‘It’s where I’m meant to be’: Jonty Evans back on board Art

Jonty Evans is back in the saddle of his Olympic ride Cooley Rorkes Drift (Art) – which he says is “where I’m meant to be”.

The Irish eventer told H&H he rode two other horses before he was reunited with his crowdfunded top ride this week.

“The other horses were known for being quiet and well-behaved – but I got slightly fed up with having to kick,” he said.

“I had been being a bit precious about Art but when I got fed up, I went for a hack on him, and it was amazing.

“It’s as if sitting in his saddle is where I’m meant to be.”

Jonty was in a coma for six weeks following a cross-country fall from Art in June, in which he sustained a serious head injury, and has since been undergoing intensive rehabilitation.

“I haven’t been in the school on Art yet; it’s about being a bit precious again as everything he’s ever done in the school has been good and I don’t want to make that any different at the moment,” he said.

“Art’s so good; even if he spooks, he warns you beforehand. The other day, he spooked at a gate on the floor but he let me know he was going to do it about 10 strides earlier, so I was ready for it and he was fine.”

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Jonty said he has been trotting while hacking, and although he has been “tempted” by an inviting grassy verge, has not yet cantered, or jumped, and does not have a fixed plan as to his progression with riding.

“I have never been very good at this but now I’m literally just going to take each day as it comes, one at a time,” he said.

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