Four-star rider breaks same leg twice in six months: ‘It’s so frustrating’

  • Four-star event rider Dani Evans is on the sidelines after breaking her leg — having just started riding again after a number of injuries in November, including a break to the same leg.

    “I have a horse in to break and he had a little wobbly,” Dani told H&H, explaining how she had the first fall in early November. “I dislocated and broke my right ankle, broke my right leg and dislocated my right shoulder.”

    Dani was back on board on 10 March and headed to Portman last week for her first competition of the season. But her first very ride across country, on Flamenco Ping in the BE100, resulted in her hitting the deck.

    “He was going really well, he landed from a fence, took a stride and then pecked. He ended up nosediving, came right down and rolled on top of me. It was just bad luck and I’ve broken my right leg higher up,” explained Dani.

    Dani is seeing a specialist on Wednesday to find out how long she will be out of action.

    “I really hope it won’t be as long as last time. I’m going to get myself into an oxygen chamber and heal as fast as I can,” she said.

    Dani says she has “had so much support” with her yard and horses while she has been out of action.

    “My head girl Georgie Thomas has been amazing and Adrian Whiteway, a local showjumper, has helped me out a lot,” she said. “I have a new working pupil, Gemma Gurvidi, who has been keeping the horses ticking over, and the owners have been so supportive.”

    Continued below…

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    Dani’s frustration at being on the sidelines has been compounded by the fact she has a new four-star ride, Movistar. The 12-year-old was produced by Andrew James, who completed Burghley on him in 2015, before being sold and competed by Swedish rider Hedwig Wik. Hedwig has now decided to give up eventing and concentrate on her studies, but she and her mother Sara Sjoborg Wik have decided to keep the horse with Dani, who trained with Hedwig at Pippa Funnell’s yard.

    “You wait your whole life for these opportunities and now I’m stuck on crutches — it’s so frustrating not being able to ride him,” said Dani.

    Dani’s other four-star horse, Smart Time, is currently in the field after a minor injury, but will head to a few events at the end of this year in preparation for his “main aim”, Badminton 2018. Dani was selected for the 2015 European Championships with Smart Time, but the horse wasn’t quite himself on arrival at Blair so was withdrawn.

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