‘I’m actually very lucky’: top eventers suffer falls as season draws to a close

  • Some of the world’s top event riders have suffered falls at the end of the season.

    Australian rider Bill Levett (pictured) had a horse fall at Oasby Horse Trials last weekend (15 October).

    Bill was riding Mighty Tara in a novice section when the six-year-old mare, who was running at this level for the first time, fell at fence 10, a straightforward box.

    “I was a bit off where I needed to be with regards to take-off. My horse went to jump the fence but then put down, chested it and we had a rotational fall,” said Bill who was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure. “Thankfully nothing is broken, it’s just ligament damage and I should be back riding in a couple of weeks. I’m actually very lucky.”

    Meanwhile, there were plenty of high-profile fallers in the CCI4* competition at Pau, France.

    Laura Collett was the victim of a horse fall at fence 28 (pictured below) when her mount, Pamero 4 caught his legs on the front of the jump. Owned by Clive Smith, the nine-year-old gelding was making his first attempt at four-star.

    Fence 28

    Laura said: “Pamero jumped all of the tricky combinations like a total pro, but sadly we had a fall four fences from home at the smallest fence on the course. I’m gutted but also very proud of how well he coped with the four-star questions. It’s frustrating but the main thing is we are both in one piece.”

    Kiwi eventer Tim Price got a little soggy when his ride Xavier Faer landed awkwardly at the first part of the third water, a corner with a downhill slope behind it, unshipping Tim in the process. Both he and his horse were fine.

    British competitor Kate Honey also fell foul of the same fence as Tim when her horse Fernhill Now Or Never tipped up.

    Kate said: “So today didn’t quite go to plan. We had a fall at the third water. ‘Hugo’ had been amazing until then. We are both fine. We live to fight another day.”

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    Fellow Brit Abigail Boulton fell from Tilston Tic Toc at a triple brush at the second water (fence 10b).

    Abi said: “Well it wasn’t quite how we wanted to end the season! We were having such an amazing time until the second water where I went swimming! Both absolutely fine just so gutted that we couldn’t jump the rest of the course.”

    Meanwhile in Poland, Paul Tapner put a recent run of bad luck behind him, finishing fourth in the CCI3* on Bonza King Of Rogues at Strzegom.

    The Australian rider re-routed to this event after the pair fell at Boekelo one week previously when “King” tripped up a step out of water early on the course. This marks the end of a turbulent autumn campaign for Paul after he was hospitalised with a shoulder injury following a heavy fall at Burghley.

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