‘Back on board’: Paris Olympic hopeful returns to the saddle following serious injury

  • Australian three-time Olympic eventing medallist Shane Rose has returned to the saddle nine weeks after he was seriously injured in a fall.

    “He is back on board!”, said Shane’s team in an update yesterday (20 May) alongside a video clip of him getting on Virgil, with whom he won team silver in Tokyo.

    On 14 March Shane suffered a badly broken femur and pelvis, for which he needed surgery. He also sustained a heavy concussion and broken ribs.

    Shane’s team has been sharing regular updates on his condition, and emphasised from the beginning that the Paris Olympics are still the goal.

    This month he began “intensive strength and condition sessions” while staying at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, and a spokesman said Shane’s medical team had worked together and developed a programme that will give him “the best chance of recovering in time to pursue his Olympic ambitions”.

    The Games will be Shane’s sixth Olympics, and his second with Virgil. The 19-year-old gelding, with whom Shane was 13th individually at the eventing World Championships in 2022, has been kept ticking along by Shane’s wife Niki. The team recently shared clips of Virgil in exercise, describing him as “fit, well and looking forward to having Shane back, although Niki might be reluctant to give him back.”

    The first day of the Olympic eventing competition is 27 July. Yesterday the British eventing nominated entries were revealed, the 12 horse and rider combinations vying for a place on the final team of three, with one alternate. The final squad will be announced in late June.

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