Olympian Jonty Evans remains in intensive care after fall

Jonty Evans remains in intensive care in Beaumont Hospital after a fall at Tattersalls International Horse Trials on Sunday.

The 46-year-old rider was attended to by medics at the scene and then taken to Blanchardstown Hospital for assessment before being transferred to Beaumont Hospital later in the day. On Monday it was revealed that he was being treated in Beaumont’s Neuro Intensive Care Unit. There was no further update on the situation yesterday.

Evans was contesting the George Mernagh Memorial CIC three-star event until the fall, which occurred late in his cross-country round on Cooley Rorkes Drift.

Lying in second place in the event but less than one penalty behind Australia’s Emma McNab (Fernhill Tabasco), the Irish rider was in a challenging position. Coming to the second part of the final water jump Evans looked to have his mount set up nicely but the horse appeared to take a nudge on the right hand side of the brush fence, possibly from the flagpole, and Evans fell heavily. The horse did not fall and galloped away from the incident.

Medical personnel attended to Evans for around 15 minutes, and he was later transferred to hospital. There has been no further information on his condition.

There have been numerous messages of support for Evans from riders and equestrian fans worldwide. Although denied what could have been his second win of the season on Cooley Rorkes Drift, he did leave one significant mark on proceedings at Tattersalls, as equestrian data company EquiRatings flagged his dressage score as a personal best across all levels for both rider and horse.

Jonty Evans at the 2016 Olympic Games

It was left to McNab to claim the event, and the Australian had her cross-country round interrupted while Evans was receiving attention. It was a lengthy stoppage but both rider and horse remained seemingly unperturbed and she praised Fernhill Tabasco later for getting back to business after the delay. “He got going again like lightning,” she said.

She had enough of a lead to prevail over Badminton winner Jonelle Price of New Zealand on Faerie Dianimo, while Australia’s William Levitt took third with Lassban Diamond Lift, just 0.30 penalties ahead of Ireland’s Sam Watson on Imperial Sky. Watson also claimed sixth on Horseware Ardagh Highlight.

Austin O’Connor looked to be Ireland’s best hope on the final day of The Irish Field CCI3* but two fences down with Kilpatrick Knight saw him drop from 5th to 11th. Watson was again best of the Irish, scoring a clear on Tullabeg Flamenco to end up 7th. It was a British one-two, with Izzy Taylor (Call Me Maggie May) edging it over William Fox-Pitt (Little Fire) with a faster cross-country time.

On the other side of the Atlantic Irish show jumpers were enjoying a bumper weekend. It started with Daniel Coyle and Cita winning Friday’s Grand Prix at the five-star meeting at Langley, Canada. The following day Shane Sweetnam and Main Road won the three-star Grand Prix in Tryon, North Carolina. 

Back at Langley on Sunday Ireland were guests at a North American/Caribbean divisional nations cup qualifier and stole the show. Richie Moloney and Carrabis Z opened with a clear, and single time-fault rounds from Capt. Brian Cournane on Dino and Conor Swail on Ruberns LS La Silla saw the Irish go into a commanding halfway lead as Canada, USA, Mexico, and Brazil all struggled. 

There was some improvement from the opposition in the second round, but another clear from Moloney and a third single time-fault round, this time from Daniel Coyle and Cita, saw the Irish wrap up proceedings without needing Swail to jump again. 

I wasn’t sure about being first to go but it worked out for me today,” said Moloney after his double-clear.

The fact that the four Irish riders managed to leave all fences standing in at least one of their rounds was what stood out for Ireland’s development manager Michael Blake, who took charge at this event.

What was also pleasing for Blake was another Irish team, managed by Taylor Vard, won the three-star nations cup in Lisbon two days earlier. All nice background work while the country awaits its next top-division outing in Sweden in July.

Mullingar’s two-star international meeting concluded on Monday with Alexander Butler claiming the Karlswood Stables/Mullingar Equestrian Grand Prix on Eldorado.


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