Italian junior dressage rider Filippo Di Marco has been seriously injured in a dirt bike accident.
The 15-year-old reportedly crashed the bike into a gate when the brakes failed at his home in Rosate near Milan last month (29 September).
Filippo was taken to hospital where they found he had a compound fracture to his right femur. He was operated on immediately and has since had a second operation following the accident.
Filippo is required to stay in the hospital for 45 days and will be out of the saddle for at least six months.
The accident occurred just days after Filippo returned from the 2015 Italian dressage championships last month (25-27 September) in Arezzo, Italy.
He finished fifth individually in the junior rider section riding Anaya Welt.
‘Back stonger than before’
The son of dressage riders Nausicaa Maroni and Roberto di Marco is based with his family at Il Cavallino Riding Center.
The riding centre posted an update on Fillipo’s condition on its Facebook page.
“The second operation was overcome with success,” they wrote.
“Filippo Di Marco hang in there! You’ll be back stronger than before!”
Many supporters replied to the post and wished the teenage rider well.
“That is great to hear good luck,” wrote one.
“You are young and strong… Soon on the road again,” posted another.
Filippo is reportedly in good spirits following the accident.
He aims to qualify his new horse, 10-year-old Dutch warmblood Alfons, for the 2016 European junior/young rider championships in Madrid next summer.