Young event rider remains in hospital after cross-country fall

  • A young event rider remains in hospital after a fall at Little Downham Horse Trials last Friday (1 June).

    Alexa Palmer, 19, was riding her own nine-year-old Ogue Caviar in intermediate section B when they suffered a fall at fence six, the Ian Olding memorial log.

    Paramedics attended to Alexa, who is from Bridport in Dorset, within seconds, and a rapid response ambulance, road ambulance and air ambulance soon arrived. Ogue Caviar was uninjured.

    The cross-country course at Little Downham, near Ely, was held for over 90 minutes while Alexa was treated. She was then airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital near Cambridge with a severe head injury.

    In a statement posted on Alexa’s social media on Tuesday afternoon (5 June), the Palmer family said: “As some of you might know, Alexa had a fall at Little Downham on Friday. She was airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital nearby and spent a couple of days in intensive care due to a severe head injury. She now has the sign-off to go to a lower intensity ward to recover and is likely to spend a couple of weeks there. As with all bumps to the head, it’s hard to tell how long it will take Alexa to fully recover so we have to be patient.”

    Alexa and Ogue Caviar were contesting their first intermediate together, although the rider had previously competed at this level on another horse. Alexa has been eventing the gelding by Ars Vivendi since 2015 and has clocked up a number of top 10 placings and wins at novice and CIC* level.

    In the statement, Alexa’s family also welcomed messages from well-wishers saying: “I’m sure she would love to see some of you when she is further along the road to recovery. We will of course let you know when that is.

    “In the meantime, I’m sure any letters would be hugely appreciated by Alexa. Please post to the below address and we will bring them in each day. Also happy to print out any messages/photos you wish to send via email: epalmer9426@gmail.com. Alexa Palmer, Old Hall, Caistor St Edmund, Norwich, Norfolk, NR14 8QN.”

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    This week’s pony special, out 7 June, features Britain’s naughtiest ponies and how to find the dream smaller equine. We also look at the pros and cons of equine treadmills, talk to showing producer Aimee Devane and have reports from the H&H Festival of Eventing, Tattersalls Horse Trials, racing at Epsom and much more.

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