The Irish show jumper Hazel O’Callaghan is critically ill following an accident at Copperalley Stud

The Irish young rider Hazel O’Callaghan suffered serious head injuries while unloading a horse last week.

The 22-year-old had returned to her partner, Irish team rider Cain O’Conner’s yard, Copperalley Stud, Maynooth, Co Kildare after competing in a Royal Dublin Show qualifier in Claregalway earlierthat day.

At about 11pm Hazel was unloading a horse from the lorry, when the horse suddenly moved to the left and she slipped off the lorry’s ramp. Hazel hit her head on the floor and sustained a serious head injury. She was immediately rushed to hospital.

Hazel’s father, Owen O’Callaghan issued a statement at the weekend saying: “At the moment Hazel is in the neurological section of Beaumont Hospital in Dublin. She is seriously ill, but with the constant attention she is receiving, we are hopeful that she will fight through and come back to her old self.”

Surgeons operated on Hazel on Tuesday (25 June), but she has still not yet regained consciousness and yesterday (Thursday) her condition deteriorated.