Rider speaks out on safety after fall that killed his horse

A rider who suffered concussion in a fall in which his ride suffered a fatal injury has spoken out on the effects of head injuries.

French eventer Gaspard Maksud’s ride Pizazz II, owned by Jill Tasker, had to be put down after the fall, at fence seven of the OI class at the South of England Horse Trials on 7 April.

Gaspard said he can remember nothing of events immediately before or after the incident.

“It was just a normal oxer, nothing major,” he told H&H. “We couldn’t understand what happened but from the video, it looked as if he took off but never landed – he didn’t bring his front legs forward. We’ll never know exactly what happened but his bum went up into the air and he fell head first.”

Gaspard was knocked unconscious for what he later found out was about half an hour, coming round in the ambulance.

He was taken to hospital, where he had a CT scan and was discharged.

“I’ve never been knocked out before and it’s hard to explain; I wasn’t sick or anything – but it took me over a week to come right,” he said.

Gaspard said he tried to drive five days after the fall but felt so dizzy, he had to stop.

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“When I left A&E, it was without [doctors] giving any advice but lots of people have since told me that it can take a good while to recover so I’ve been very careful,” he said.

“People can try to get back riding quickly but you can’t with a head injury; if you can’t do other simple stuff, it wouldn’t be sensible to ride.

“I feel fine but I’m not 100% and if you hit your head again after an injury , it would be very bad.”

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