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Italian grand prix dressage rider Valentina Truppa has had a serious accident when falling from her horse at Arezzo CDI in Italy yesterday (Sunday, 7 June).

Valentina, who was wearing a crash hat at the time, was riding the seven-year-old HotPoint di Fonteabeti, a Hotline x Royal Diamond gelding, in a national intermediate I class at the show.

Her father and trainer Vincenzo (Enzo) Truppa told H&H: “She was riding a young horse who was scared by some workers still in the competition arena when the horse was supposed to enter for his test.

“The horse reacted by spinning round and falling over, and Valentina fell off. Fortunately the helmet protected the base of the head, but the counter movement caused a blow to her head.”

The 29-year-old was taken to the local San Donato hospital and, after observation, was two hours later transferred to a specialist hospital in Siena.

“An operation has luckily been avoided,” added Enzo. “However, the next 72 hours will be very important for her recovery.”

Valentina, Italy’s top international dressage rider, had been competing at Glock’s CDI in Austria the previous weekend, clocking fifth in the four-star grand prix, and climbing to third in the freestyle on Fixdesign Chablis.

She has represented Italy on numerous occasions; most recently at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy last summer, riding Fixdesign Eremo Del Castegno — the horse on whom she also won the freestyle at Nice CDI in April.

She also represented her country at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, where she qualified for the freestyle and finished 15th individually.

This follows in the wake of British dressage rider Fiona Bigwood’s fall at Keysoe last year, which has left her with double vision.