Top American event rider critically injured in rotational fall

  • America Olympic team bronze medallist Darren Chiacchia remains in a critical condition in hospital after suffering a rotational fall while taking part in Red Hills Horse Trials in Florida on Saturday (15 March).

    Chiacchia (pictured right competing in Athens 2004) was riding seven-year-old Baron Verdi at preliminary level when the pair fell at the fifth cross-country fence. He was airlifted to Tallahassee Medical Center where he remains in critical condition.

    His family have released a statement saying: “Darren sustained a severe head injury, and contusions to both lungs, with multiple rib fractures and a partially collapsed lung. His pulmonary function is improving, but the major concern remains the head injury.”

    Darren’s ride, Baron Verdi, was uninjured, but two other horses died at the event. Jonathan Holling’s Direct Merger collapsed and died on course and Missy Miller’s Leprechauns Rowdy Boy died in a fall. Autopsies showed that both horses died due to pulmonary hemorrhage.

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