Tragedy at US event

  • Top US event rider Bruce Davidson has been seriously injured after his horse fell and died while competing at an international horse trials in Massachusetts

    Bruce Davidson, 52, double Olympic team gold medallist and twice winner of the world eventing championships title, is recovering in hospital after a crashing fall from his advanced horse High Scope.

    The accident happened at obstacle four on the cross-country course in the National Advanced Horse Trials Championship at Over The Walls, Hardwick, Massachusetts, USA.

    High Scope, a 13-year-old Irish-bred stallion by Touch Down owned by Neil McKay, suffered a broken neck and died instantly.

    Ridden by Trevor Smith, High Scope represented Ireland at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

    A doctor and a paramedic team who were in attendance at the time of the fall examined Bruce Davidson. He was taken to the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he was treated for injuries suffered in the fall.

    A freak accident

    Erik Flemming, joint organiser of the event with Torrance Watkins, said: “It is with great sadness that we announce that High Scope suffered a broken neck and died instantly.

    This was the only horse fatality in the history of the Over the Walls horse trials, and the organising committee wishes to extend their sympathy to Mr McKay and Mr Davidson.

    We can only conclude that this was a freak accident. The fence was a simple, straightforward oxer that has been on-course for three years with no prior mishaps. We had rain the night before and the footing was perfect. Saturday was very warm and humid.

    High Scope has been buried at our Morningfield Farm just down the road from Great Meadowbrook Farm, the site of the event. He is next to Finvara [Torrance’s gold medal horse], who went to greener pastures last December.”

    Bruce Davidson is now said to be out of the intensive care unit at the Massachusetts Memorial Hospital and is planning to fly home to Chesterland Farm in Pennsylvania later today.

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