Talented young eventer in coma following cross-country fall

A talented young rider, who won on his top-level eventing debut, is in a coma following a fall at a national event in France.

Thibault Fournier, 24, was riding the seven-year-old gelding Chactas Chalonges at Pompadour horse trials (12 to 13 October), when was injured in a cross-country fall on Sunday. The horse was uninjured.

“An accident occurred on the racecourse of Pompadour this Sunday, October 13 in the morning,” said a statement from the organisers.

“A professional rider, who frequented Pompadour, had a serious fall with his horse while competing in the Pro 4 event held by New Aquitaine’s regional riding committee.

“The usual emergency plan of action was immediately started and the event doctor, who was there from the start, called the SMUR [emergency medical services] of Brive.”

The statement added the air ambulance crew, Hélismur 87, then took on responsibility and airlifted the rider to hospital in Limoges.

“His condition is stationary (stable) since his care at the CHU Limoges,” added the statement.
“We will not fail to keep you informed of his state of health. The regional riding committee of New Aquitaine and the National Stud of Pompadour are keen to affirm their support to the rider’s relatives.”

Thibault is one of the rising stars of the French eventing scene.

In October 2018, he became the youngest ever winner of Pau CCI4* (now CCI5*-L), taking the title aboard Siniani De Lathus aged 23. This was the first attempt at this level for both horse and rider.

He has had success across the European and British international circuits, finishing second at Bramham’s under-25 CCI3* (now CCI4*-L) last year and runner up at Chatsworth CIC3* (now CCI4*-S) in 2016 among his top results.

Thibault also represented France at the 2015 European Championships for young riders, where he finished 11th individually.

A statement from his mother thanked everyone for their support and thoughts.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday