‘Squashed’ Burghley event rider aims for ERM glory at Blenheim

  • A rather bruised Paul Tapner is determined to compete at Blenheim this weekend despite his dramatic fall at Burghley.

    The Australian event rider and his horse, Up In The Air or Harry as he is known at home (not pictured above), fell during the cross-country on 4 September.

    Harry slipped approaching fence 22, Herbert’s Hollow, and hit the jump with both front legs.

    “It became very slippery and my horse had lost both his front shoes earlier in the course,” Paul told H&H yesterday (7 September).

    “He slipped before he took off [at fence 22] and was too close to jump a fence of that size.”

    Having slithered across the top of the oxer, the horse then rolled over Paul before he got to his feet and cantered away.

    *Warning: footage of Paul’s dramatic fall – both horse and rider escaped without serious injury*

    Paul was taken to hospital for a suspected shoulder injury, but was found to have suffered no broken bones.

    “I was just very squashed and bruised,” said Paul. “I feel surprisingly normal today — I didn’t expect to.”

    He added that Harry was also unscathed.

    “Harry is fine,” Paul said. “He’s feeling a bit sore and sorry for himself, but he has no major injuries whatsoever.”

    Continued below…

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    Burghley was Paul’s last ride on Harry.

    “It wasn’t quite what I was hoping for,” he added.

    A statement on Paul’s Facebook paged thanked Harry’s owners, the Hancoxes, for their support.

    “Such a shame it didn’t end the way we all wanted it to, neither horse, rider or owner deserved this … we had a fun week until it went wrong.”

    Paul now has his sights set on competing in the final leg of the Event Rider Masters series at Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials (8-11 September) on Yogi Bear VIII. Paul is currently leading the series on 93 points.

    The winner of the series will take home £30,000.

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