Doctors have ordered Tim Stockdale to have six weeks’ bed rest after he broke his neck in a fall.
The Olympic showjumper was initially told he had fractured two vertebrae – but subsequent tests revealed three fractures, to his C3, 4 and 5. He tweeted from his hospital bed on Tuesday (25 October): “One more doesn’t matter, I guess?”
This additional fracture is not thought to affect Tim’s prognosis. Doctors say that with bed rest and physio, he should make a full recovery.
The accident happened on 17 October when Tim was trying a young horse in north Wales.
Tim’s wife, Laura, told H&H: “He’s torn the ligaments on both sides of his neck as well as the fractures – so by all accounts, he was very, very lucky. It was a freak accident – the horse show forward when he tried to adjust the girth. He hit the post-and-rail fence and landed outside the school.
“It was a nasty knock and he was unconscious for a bit.”
Tim, 47, is being treated in the spinal unit at Oswestry. It’s not clear how long he will stay in hospital. Laura has been making the four-hour round trip from their Northampton yard to Oswestry most days.
They are hoping that Tim will be transferred – at some point – to the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville hospital, Bucks, to be closer to home.
Laura said her husband was feeling “positive” and was “in good spirits” but was not the easiest patient.
“He’s really fidgety and all I hear the nurses saying is, ‘Will you stop moving!’
“He doesn’t do relaxing, so it’s going to be hard.”
“Everyone is joking and saying he’ll be back for the Sunshine Tour,” she added.
“He’s looking forward to getting back – and we do think February or March is realistic. Hopefully he won’t drive us all mad before then!”