New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson is recovering following surgery to repair an injury to his cervical spine (neck), which he sustained August 9th in a fall at the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe.

Nicholson was taken to a local hospital in Swindon after he fell from Cillnabradden Evo at the final fence of the CIC3* Championships cross country course, then transferred to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

The nine-year-old gelding was not injured in the fall.

Nicholson has released the following statement:

“I am very pleased to be back at home and wanted to take the opportunity to thank everyone myself for their kind messages and support which have meant a lot to me and my family.

“In terms of my injury I realise I have been incredibly lucky.

“My surgeon, Dr. Jeremy Reynolds, told me that the injury I sustained to my neck would have caused paralysis at the time of injury, in 98% of cases. I was extremely fortunate this did not happen.

“I underwent an eight hour operation where they repaired the fractures and stabilised my cervical spine. This procedure in itself was not without risk, and I cannot thank enough, the team of spinal surgeons at the John Radcliffe hospital, for what they have done.

“Obviously I won’t be riding again this season as it will take some time to fully recover. Whilst I have to take things easy, I am up and about and fully mobile, and look forward to getting back to full fitness in due course.

“Thank you in advance for allowing my family and I some privacy and time to rest and recover.”