British event rider air-lifted to hospital following cross-country fall

  • British event rider Caroline March suffered a serious fall on the cross-country at Barefoot Retreats Burnham Market on Saturday (16 April).

    The 29-year-old was riding her own eight-year-old grey gelding Shades Of Cooley, when she fell at the 16th fence – an ascending triple bar – on the CCI3*-S cross-country course. British Eventing’s records list the fall as an unseated rider.

    A statement on Caroline’s professional Facebook page said she was knocked unconscious and immediately attended to by the on-site medical team.

    “She regained consciousness before complaining of pain in her right chest, back and altered sensation in her legs,” said the statement, shared on Saturday evening (16 April). “Given her condition, the decision was taken to sedate her and transfer her by air ambulance to the major trauma unit at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

    “After further assessment at Addenbrooke’s, her head scan was clear but scans showed lacerations to her liver as well as fractured vertebrae. She was operated on this afternoon for the liver whilst the ramifications of the fractured vertebrae remain unknown at this stage. She will remain under sedation in the intensive care unit overnight.”

    The statement added: “On behalf of Caroline and her family I would like to extend our thanks to the emergency services, both at the event and thereafter, for giving her the best treatment possible. We would also like to thank the organisers and officials at the event for their swift and effective actions.

    “We all have our fingers crossed that Caroline will make a full and swift recovery and be back in the saddle soon. In the meantime, we are grateful for your well wishes and I know any messages of support will be much appreciated by Caroline when she is able to read them.

    “We will continue to keep you updated on her condition but would also appreciate the space to process the situation at this difficult time.”

    A statement from the event added: “Whilst competing at the Barefoot Retreats Burnham Market International Horse Trials on 16 April 2022 Caroline March and Shades of Cooley had a fall on the cross country.

    “Caroline has been transferred to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, where she will receive a further detailed assessment. Further information will be provided when available.”

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