Jonty Evans makes winning return to eventing

  • A four-star event rider was who was left partially paralysed after a fall has made a winning return to competition less than two-months later.

    Jonty Evans broke three vertebrae and suffered a brain haemorrhage in an accident while schooling at home on 27 June.

    “My right leg wouldn’t work for about five days,” Jonty told H&H. “I had feeling but no movement at all.

    “The doctors wouldn’t say whether it [the feeling] was going to come back or not because they didn’t know.

    “I am quite good in that situation as I just get monumentally pig-headed. But it wasn’t very nice for my wife and family not knowing whether I was going to be able to walk again.”

    The movement in Jonty’s leg did return and his fractures healed “quicker than expected”.

    Jonty competed three horses at Bicton this weekend (16-17 August) finishing ninth in the open intermediate with Double Dutch (pictured competing at Luhmuhlen earlier this year) and winning a five-year-old class with A Chance Affair.

    “It was amazing to be back competing again. I rode Double Dutch on the Saturday and he was so appallingly behaved in the dressage I had to close my eyes. He was so excited to be out again.

    “He jumped three feet higher than all the showjumps and then it was so lovely to have a run cross-country. I was smiling and giggling the whole way round.”

    The fall has prompted Jonty to recondiser the kind of horses he takes on.

    “I have always earned my living riding whatever came along and breaking horses in.

    “But now I have got some lovely horses and some fabulous owners and I am not going to do it any longer. I have got some good lads who can do [the breaking] for me. I don’t bounce like I used to!”

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