Andrew Nicholson has said he has been “incredibly lucky” after being released from hospital to continue his recovery following neck surgery at home.
The Kiwi rider suffered a serious neck injury during a heavy fall at the Festival of British Eventing on Sunday (9 August).
“My surgeon, Mr Jeremy Reynolds, told me that the injury I sustained to my neck would have caused paralysis at the time of injury, in 98% of cases,” he said today (Thursday, 20 August).
“I was extremely fortunate this did not happen.”
Andrew fell with Cillnabradden Evo in the CIC3* at the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park in Gloucestershire earlier this month (9 August). The horse was not hurt in the fall.
The six-times Olympic rider was taken to hospital in Swindon immediately. However, he was then transferred to the John Radcliffe in Oxfordshire, where he underwent surgery on 10 August.
“I underwent an eight-hour operation where they repaired the fractures and stabilised my cervical spine,” he said.
“This procedure in itself was not without risk, and I cannot thank the team of spinal surgeons at the John Radcliffe hospital enough for what they have done.”
Andrew is now walking unaided and has a full range of movement. But he has withdrawn all his horses from Burghley and does not know when he will return to the saddle. He had been preparing for a record-breaking fourth consecutive win in the Lincolnshire event.
“Obviously I won’t be riding again this season as it will take some time to fully recover,” he added.
“ While I have to take things easy, I am up and about and fully mobile, and look forward to getting back to full fitness in due course.
“Thank you in advance for allowing my family and I some privacy and time to rest and recover.
“I am very pleased to be back at home and wanted to take the opportunity to thank everyone myself for their kind messages and support, which have meant a lot to me and my family.”