Showjumper Cameron Hanley out of action after freak accident

Cameron Hanley, one of Ireland’s leading showjumpers, is unlikely to ride for some time, after damaging a knee in a freak accident.

Cameron – who rode at the 2006 World Equestrian Games and was 2009 Irish showjumper of the year – has spent four months in hospital and endured 17 operations, after rupturing his patella tendon.

The accident happened in June last year while he was playing with his children in the garden at his home in Dielingen, Germany.

Cameron fell while jumping fences the children had made.

“I had an operation the following day, but my knee joint became infected,” said Cameron.

Surgeons then attempted a tendon transplant, but another infection seven weeks later left them with no choice but to use Cameron’s calf muscle to replace the tendon.

“The final operation was on 20 December and I’m at home at last, being looked after by my wife, Evelyn,” said Cameron, 38.

His top two horses have been soldSouthwind VDL is with Canadian Tiffany Foster while SIEC Livello – on whom Cameron was fourth individually at the 2009 European Championships in Windsor – has gone to Sweden.

“Although I’m feeling great and can’t wait to get back in the saddle, it looks as though it’s going to take a while,” he said.

“I think this year will be more about coaching and training.”

This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (26 January 2012)