London Horse Show star rushed to hospital and awaiting surgery after fall

  • Belgian dressage rider Marc Peter Spahn was taken to hospital by ambulance, days after dazzling the crowds at London International Horse Show (LIHS) with his Friesian stallion Elias.

    Marc and Elias finished 13th in the dressage World Cup qualifier at LIHS, and Marc says he “drove home in euphoria on Saturday” but was then taken to hospital following a fall on Tuesday afternoon.

    Marc suffered a serious leg fracture and is set to undergo surgery in the next week.

    “It’s not a good prognosis for me. I will have to cancel everything in January. I will have surgery this week, preferably ASAP,” he said.

    Marc had been aiming to secure a coveted place to compete at the World Cup Final, in Omaha, USA, in April, and had been planning to continue competing on the World Cup qualifier circuit through January to earn the points needed to rise up the rankings. He is currently 10th in the standings for the Western European League, for which nine spots at the final are available.

    “You can cry, but it won’t help,” he said. “What is important now is to keep things on track at home. All horses must be given a place to stay in training. I haven’t thrown in the towel yet – I have too big a goal in mind.”

    Marc has competed five Friesian horses up to grand prix level, but the 13-year-old stallion Elias represents his best chance of qualifying for the World Cup Final for the first time. The pair have been on flying form; their 73.32% at London Horse Show was close to their all-time best score.

    According to Phryso, Marc’s partner Ykje Baron will step in to keep Elias fit while Marc is out of action.

    Although Marc’s injury will rule him out of competing at key World Cup shows over the next month, such as Mechelen and Amsterdam CDI-Ws, he hopes to be recovered in time for later fixtures such as Gothenburg CDI-W in late February and ‘s-Hertogenbosch in March.

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