This year’s Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials winner Sam Griffiths has had to undergo an emergency appendix operation.

The Australian event rider, who also finished third at Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials this year (4-7 September), is still recovering in hospital and will not be able to compete in the last four-star of the year in Adelaide, Australia.

“The horses are now all on holiday and Sam is making good progress but he is not yet fit to travel such a long distance,” said a spokesman for Team Griffiths.

As well as success at Badminton and Burghley, Sam also helped Australia to finish fifth at the World Equestrian Games in August. Sam finished eighth in the British Eventing end of season rankings having amassed 746 points.

“Sam and everyone at Team Griffiths would like to thank all our incredible owners, sponsors and supporters who have made this year possible. We couldn’t have done it without you,” the spokesman added.

Sam was still competing until earlier this month and finished with two horses in the top-ten at Larkhill (18 October). He had three horses entered for Aldon last weekend (23 October) but withdrew.

Sam’s fans have taken to his Facebook page to send him their best wishes.

“Poor Sam — get better soon. Look forward to following your 2015 season,” said Lauren Hyde Was Leete.

“Wish Sam a speedy recovery. And many congratulations to team Griffiths for an outstanding year — awesome,” added Denise Long.

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