Promising signs for young eventer who was in a coma following cross-country fall

Young French event rider Thibault Fournier is showing promising signs following a serious head injury.

The 24-year-old has opened his eyes after six days in a coma following a fall at Pompadour horse trials on 13 October.

An update from his mother, Isabelle Fournier-Jouve, on 19 October said there was “a little glow of hope”.

“Thibault opened his eyes and seems to want to get out of the deep sleep in which he has been immersed for six days,” she said.

“We are back in the starting box and the course will be long and filled with obstacles. Thank you from the bottom of the heart for your incredible support and for all the strength you send to Thibault.”

Today (23 October) she added that Thibault is no longer under respiratory assistance or sedated.

“We hope to give you more good news soon,” she said.

“[We have] no doubt that he benefits from all the positive vibes you send to him.”

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The Frenchman made history exactly a year ago when he became the youngest winner of Pau CCI4* (now CCI5*-L) aged 23 aboard Siniani De Lathus. This was also his first attempt at the top level of international eventing.

He rode for France at the 2015 young rider European Championships, finishing 11th individually, and has had success across the international circuit.

In 2018, he finished runner-up in the under-25 CCI3* (now CCI4*-L) at Bramham, and was second in the CIC3* (now CCI4*-S) at Chatsworth in 2016.

The horse he was riding at Pompadour was seven-year-old gelding Chactas Chalonges, who was uninjured in the fall.

Thibault was attended on course by the event medics, then emergency services from Brive, before he was airlifted to hospital in Limoges by the Hélismur 87 crew.

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