Top dressage rider returns to competition after serious head injury

  • Italy’s top dressage rider Valentina Truppa is back competing after a serious fall in June.

    Valentina suffered a serious head injury when she fell from her horse at Arrezzo CDI on 7 June.

    At the end of July she was given the all clear by doctors, who confirmed she had recovered well. However, they told her she wouldn’t be allowed to ride until September.

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    This led to her withdrawing from the Italian team for the FEI European Dressage Championships (12-19 August). She had already been selected for the team, prior to her hospital appointment on 29 July.

    And now she’s back in action and will be at the Italian Championship in Arezzo (2-4 October), where she will compete with Fixdesign Eremo Del Castegno.

    “I start again in the Italian Championship in Arezzo after a fall. But after a fall, which can happen to anyone who like me has dedicated her life to horses, it is most important to stand up again more determined than before,” she said.

    “I will be more focused than ever and any show or placing will be a victory for me.

    “Thanks to all my fans who were so close to me during this period.”

    Valentina most recently represented her country at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy last year, riding Fixdesign Eremo Del Castegno — the horse on whom she was selected for this summer’s Europeans.

    She also represented her country at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, where she qualified for the freestyle and finished 15th individually.

    The rider, who was wearing a crash hat at the time of the fall in June (not pictured), was aboard the seven-year-old HotPoint di Fonteabeti, a Hotline x Royal Diamond gelding, in a national intermediate I class at the show.

    Her father and trainer Vincenzo (Enzo) Truppa told H&H at the time: “She was riding a young horse who was scared by some workers still in the competition arena when the horse was supposed to enter for his test.

    “The horse reacted by spinning round and falling over, and Valentina fell off. Fortunately the helmet protected the base of the head, but the counter movement caused a blow to her head.”

    The 29-year-old was taken to the local San Donato hospital and was later transferred to a specialist hospital in Siena. She remained in hospital for two weeks.

    Last month she thanked the medical support she received.

    “It is thanks to this top medical assistance that I will be back riding in less than three months from my accident,” she said.

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