Successful young event rider Charlie Knapp, 16, is in hospital in a critical condition following a fall at the Berks and Bucks Draghounds Hunter Trials at Kingsclere, Hampshire on Sunday.
As Knapp piloted his JRN horse River Island Cody around the course, fence judges reported he was going fast, but riding well with no evidence that he was being run away with. The accident occurred at a hedge with open ditch in front, two fences from the end of the course.
“Two fences from the end, the horse clipped the jump and fell, it was a typical riding accident,” said event organiser Gordon Wickman.
River Island Cody was uninjured but Knapp was knocked unconscious by the fall and was taken by air ambulance to John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
“He is out of intensive care, stable and progressing,” a hospital spokesperson told HHO this morning, “but he has not yet regained consciousness.”
Officials and helpers at the hunter trial were shocked by the incident. “It put a dampener on two good days at Kingsclere,” said Wickman. “Some 499 horses had gone round the course and this was the last class.”
Knapp’s accident comes at the end of a successful eventing season. Partnering Welton Free Spirit, Knapp was seventh in the Withington Manor Pony Trial and won the Lincolnshire Pony Trial. Knapp formerly partnered the great event pony Harry Hot Shot, who successfully represented Britain at a number of international Pony championships.
Update — 9 November, 05
Knapp is now well on the way to making a full recovery from the accident. He has been discharged from hospital and, although he is still undergoing treatment, he is reportedly back in the saddle.