New Zealand eventer Andrew Nicholson is recovering after surgery following a neck injury, sustained in a cross-country fall at Gatcombe at the weekend.
A statement from Nicholson’s family said: “The surgery went well and his condition is stable. Andrew is comfortable and has full range of movement.”
His family also thanked “the many well-wishers.”
Nicholson had been leading the competition before his fall, from Cillnabradden Evo on the final fence of the cross-country at the Festival of British Eventing’s feature class at Gatcombe.
He was initially taken to hospital in Swindon before being transferred to specialist emergency hospital John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
A spectator described the fall as a “somersault” by the horse, which in eventing circles is known as a “rotational” fall. Another spectator said the fall was very heavy, and while both horse and rider got up, “Andrew didn’t seem to know where he was or what he was doing”.
Nicholson is among the most successful riders in eventing history, helping New Zealand to win three Olympic team medals – including bronze at London 2012 – and three World Championship medals, highlighted by a team gold in 1990.
He is also a prolific winner on the British and European circuits, winning the Burghley Horse Trials in Lincolnshire five times, as well as claiming victories at other major four-star events in Kentucky, Pau and Luhmuhlen.
His title collection additionally includes three British Open titles, while he has won the Barbury International feature class four years in succession on Avebury, a partnership that completed a Burghley hat-trick last September.
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