Eventing fans were shocked and delighted when Jonty Evans made a surprise appearance at a fundraiser held in aid of his recovery.
The Irish Olympian was the guest of honour at Osberton International Horse Trials’ Equestrian of Sport evening on 28 September.
He was met with emotional cheers and a standing ovation as he walked into the marquee.
The quiz, supported by Investec, raised £7,120 towards his rehabilitation costs.
“My long term goal is to ensure we have provision set up for when accidents such as Jonty’s occur. We operate in a dangerous sport and we must do all we can to support our athletes,” BEDE Events director Stuart Buntine told H&H.
“Raising funds to support Jonty in his recovery was close to all our hearts and for him to be able to attend the night was exceptional!
“The community was so generous and the team at BEDE Events would like to thank all that gave so generously and the participants in Equestrian of Sport for doing so with such enthusiasm.”
Captaining this year’s GB team was Matt Heath, who was joined by Ginny Howe and Harry Dzenis. They faced opposition from “the rest of the world”, headed by Austin O’Connor and joined by Lucy Jackson and Padraig McCarthy.
However the sides proved to be equally matched with the quiz finishing in a dead heat with 354 points each.
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Jonty is recovering from a head injury that he sustained in a cross-country fall from Cooley Rorkes Drift at Tattersalls CIC3* in June.
He spent six weeks in a coma at Beaumont and Connolly hospitals in Ireland and returned to the UK in August to continue his rehabilitation.
“All the therapists say I’m doing remarkably well; they’re incredibly impressed with my improvement but they say it’s very definitely one step at a time. It’s biting off bite-sized chunks out of a big pie,” Jonty told BBC Radio Gloucester in an interview last month.
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