Superstar showjumper making progress after life-threatening shoulder injury

  • Clooney 51, the former European champion ride of Swiss showjumper Martin Fuchs, is making progress and walking out in-hand following his serious shoulder injury.

    The 15-year-old gelding fractured a bone in his shoulder – his right humerus – when he slipped and fell in the field on 16 August, nine days after he and Martin had been jumping at the Tokyo Olympics.

    Martin said at the time Clooney was receiving the best care at Tierspital Zurich hospital, with the team working towards making a field retirement possible. The gelding was being supported in a sling to help stabalise him, but he was eating well and able to put weight on his injured leg.

    Martin, who took team gold and individual silver at the European Showjumping Championships last week with Leone Jei, has been sharing regular updates about Clooney’s condition. On 1 September he released a video of the gelding taking his first steps following the injury, with the 29-year-old rider stating Clooney “never stops surprising him with his strength”, and that he was “blessed to have him in his life”.

    In an update yesterday (7 September) Martin shared another video of Clooney being walked out in-hand and said he “couldn’t be happier”.

    “My Clooney [is] progressing every day,” he said.

    Clooney 51, owned by Luigi Baleri, was sourced by Martin’s father Thomas as a seven-year-old. Martin and Clooney won individual gold at the 2019 European Championships, and individual silver at the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, USA.

    The Tokyo Games was the combination’s second Olympic appearance, following an individual top-10 placing in Rio in 2016. They qualified for the individual final in Tokyo, but eight jumping faults ruled the pair out of the individual medals. They went on to jump in the team competition alongside Steve Guerdat and Bryan Balsiger. The team made it through to the final, but faults from all three combinations meant Switzerland finished fifth.

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