Oliver Townend has been discharged from hospital following his fall from Ashdale Cruise Master on the cross-country course at Rolex Kentucky and will be flying back to the UK tonight.
“I feel a bit bashed and bruised but my spirits are good,” he said. “Hopefully I will get a good rest on the plane. At least the trip home should be easier than the journey here!
“It’s a tough sport and these things happen. I was very fit going into Kentucky and the physical strengthening work I did helped me take such a hard fall without serious damage.
“I’m also grateful for my Point Two Air inflatable air bag jacket and Champion riding hat, which saved me from suffering more serious injuries.
“I’d like to thank all those who have supported me while I’ve been in Kentucky and everyone who has been sending me messages on Facebook.
“I want to get well quickly and start riding again as soon as possible.”
Listen to Oliver Townend reflect on his fall
Ashdale Cruise Master was not hurt and will fly back to Britain with the other Rolex horses. Oliver won’t be defending his title at Badminton, however, as he has been signed off from competition for 21 days due to being knocked out.
British World Class Performance Manager Will Connell confirmed that while Oliver did sustain some minor injuries in the fall, he did not suffer a head injury.
“There were some reports Oliver had a head injury, but that was absolutely not correct,” said Will. “He is obviously a bit sore. He has some minor injuries and we’re sure he’ll make a full recovery. That’s the sport of eventing; Oliver had a good ride on his first horse and had a good ride on his second horse up that moment.”
Will added: “It’s excellent that William Fox-Pitt is in the lead; [with] all the talk about Oliver’s unfortunate fall, people forget we got three British riders over here and one is in the lead going into show jumping, which is fantastic.”