Para rider Ricky Balshaw fractures back in fall from horse

  • Para-equestrian dressage rider Ricky Balshaw is recovering in hospital after a fall left him with compression fractures on two separate vertebrae.

    The 24-year-old grade 1B rider, who has cerebral palsy, was individual silver medallist at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky.

    He was schooling at home on Friday (22 July) when the accident happened.

    Speaking from his hospital bed at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, he said: “I was just cooling off my new boy, Lenherr Rocco, at the end of a schooling session when something spooked him.

    “I was only on the buckle end so couldn’t pull him up, I was a passenger really and slipped out the side door.

    “The doctors hope to put me in a back splint on in the next couple of days and I’m hoping to be back in the saddle in about 10 weeks time.”

    This is not Ricky’s first enforced break from competition. A bad fall in 2009 resulting in several broken ribs forced him onto the injuries bench.

    This time he joins fellow para rider Lee Pearson, who crushed three vertebrae, also in a fall during training last month.

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