British groom suffers head injury during Rio dressage medal ceremony

  • A British groom working for the German team at the Rio Olympics has been injured in the team medal ceremony.

    He was leading Sönke Rothenerger’s nine-year-old Cosmo 59, who was part of the German gold medal winning team, when the horse reared up and struck out, catching him on the head and knocking him to the ground.

    Blood could be seen and Robbie pressed his hand to his forehead. A replacement groom held Cosmo for the remainder of the ceremony. Robbie left the arena with what appeared to be at towel pressed to the wound.

    Robbie Sanderson injured during team dressage medal ceremony at the Rio Olympics

    Robbie Sanderson injured during team dressage medal ceremony at the Rio Olympics

    Sönke said: “Cosmo jumped up a bit and swooshed his front right leg and swiped him on the forehead. Robbie seems fine and he is on his way to the hospital. Thank god it looked worse than it hopefully was.”

    Robbie has posted on his Facebook page that he is “OK”.

    This was the second piece of bad news for the German team today.
    Continued below…

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    Isabell Werth, who led the grand prix individually, said: “Robbie is injured and we just had a message that the chief trainer of the German canoe slalom team, Stefan Henze, had a very bad car accident. It’s really sad and that is why we did not celebrate the gold so much.”

    Stefan, 35, is reported to be fighting for his life after sustaining a head injury in a collision while travelling in a taxi back to the Olympic village. Another canoeing delegate, Christian Kaeding, suffered less serious injuries and has already been released from hospital in Rio de Janeiro.

    In another incident, The Olympic, Rio 2016 and Brazilian flags were flying at half mast today at Olympic venues as a sign of respect for the death of a Forca Nacional officer who was involved in the security operations for the Games.

    Experienced groom

    Robbie is an experienced international dressage groom, having started his career working for Spanish rider Beatriz Ferrer-Salat, for many years.

    This is the fourth Olympics that Robbie has groomed at.

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