British Olympian misses start of eventing season after fall

  • Gemma Tattersall has withdrawn her eight rides from the Noisy Associates Tweseldown Horse Trials this week (8-11 March) as she does not feel at full strength after a recent fall.

    “I had a bit of a tumble in the warm-up at a local showjumping show on Saturday 24 February,” the British Olympian told H&H. “I thought I was absolutely fine, but the next day I was super stiff and sore. I took a few days off, then decided to ride nine or 10 horses two days in a row and realised I wasn’t fine.”

    Gemma had an MRI scan, which revealed she has no long-term damage, but with the help and advice of doctors she decided it would be better not to run at Tweseldown.

    “We thought it would be a good idea not to push myself and run eight horses — I wouldn’t have my normal strength and obviously riding Arctic Soul requires full strength!” she said, referring to her notoriously strong four-star ride.

    “I will focus on preparing for Lincolnshire [16-18 March] instead. I’ve been riding quietly at home, building up — I started with two horses on Wednesday, rode five yesterday and will ride six today.”

    Gemma paid tribute to the support she has received from Dr Pippa Bennett, who took over as chief medical officer on the Lottery-funded World Class programme last October, following the retirement of Dr Peter Whitehead, after 15 years’ of service.

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    Gemma was due to ride three horses in the open intermediate sections at Tweseldown (Arctic Soul, Billy Senora and Chillis Gem), Pamero 4 in the advanced intermediate, Billy Shania and Chilli Knight in the open novice and Chillis Prince and Facari MG in the BE100. She has the same eight horses entered at Lincolnshire next week.

    Full report from Tweseldown in H&H next Thursday (issue dated 15 March).

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