When British eventer Pippa Funnel fell at the Withington Manor Horse Trials in Gloucestershire with Sandman the consequences of this fall were not clear. Now, however, Horse&Hound announced that her first choice for the Olympic Games will not able to attend Rio. 10-year-old Sandman has injured nerves in the neck area and has to stay in his box for two month. “We will wait and see how he is after that,” so the rider said. “I’m shattered about it, but he’s still young and his limbs are in good order.”
Last year they were part of the silver-winning team at the European Championship in Blair Castle and now the plans were to attend the Olympic Games in Rio. But they fell on fence 16, a big oxer, in Gloucestershire. Funnell says she is still shocked by the fall since she would still ride down to that fence in the same way every day of the week. Sandman was an experienced horse, but “he simply misread the big oxer”.
The British rider also expressed her gratitude to the fence judge, who told her not to move after the fall. “My first reaction was that I wanted to get up, then I realised that I had no feeling in either of my arms, so I did as the lovely fence judge was telling me and stayed still. It can’t have been nice for her to see.”
Funnell had whiplash and hyper-sensitive bruised nerve endings in both arms, she was able to leave the hospital after three days.
Funnell’s new hope for Rio now is 11-year-old Billy the Biz, who was already able to win the CCI3* in Ballindenisk.