Our thoughts & prayers go out to Hawley Bennett-Awad who was hospitalized after fall at London 2012 Olympic equestrian event. Hopefully she will make a full recovery and be back in the saddle soon…
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Langley’s Hawley Bennett-Awad hospitalized after fall at Olympic equestrian event
LONDON — Canadian rider Hawley Bennett-Awad was thrown from her horse during the cross-country portion of the eventing competition at Greenwich Park on Monday and taken to hospital.
“Bennett-Awad suffered a concussion, which is improving significantly,” Equine Canada president Michael Gallagher said in a statement late Monday night. “She also suffered a stable sacral fracture. Bennett-Awad was transported to hospital by ambulance and admitted for observation and pain management. We will continue to monitor her progess.”
The 35-year-old from Murrayville, B.C., aboard Gin & Juice, was one of a number of riders unseated during the event.
The 5,728-metre Greenwich Park track — which has undergone a grooming regime for the past two years to provide optimum conditions for the cross-country test — had several slippery patches, which caused several horses to lose their shoes and several riders to fall.
Among the victims was Bennett-Awad’s teammate Peter Barry, of Dunham Que., who fell from his horse Kilrodan Abbott. He was not injured.
“As stupid as it sounds, I think we had a good round,” Barry said afterwards. “I had planned a quick, direct route — the course was well in the ability of my horse and I was in a good frame mentally. The turns rode well but I’m not sure what happened at fences 10 and 11. I would like to see it again. The ditch distracted him and I came off.”
The overnight leader following the dressage phase, Yoshiaki Oiwa, was eliminated when he was unseated from Noonday de Conde at drop fence 20 on the course. The same combination obstacle also ended Australia’s hopes of gold when Clayton Fredericks’ horse Bendigo lost his footing and slipped onto his side.
Two-time Olympic champion Mark Todd of New Zealand sits third in the competition after a couple of lucky escapes, first when his horse Campino lost his footing in the climb up Greenwich Hill and the second when it hit the leading edge of the fence.
Germany’s Ingrid Klimke, aboard Butts Abraxxas, and Sweden’s Sara Algotsson-Ostholt, aboard Wega, share the lead.
Jessica Phoenix, aboard Exponential, is the top Canadian in 28th. She said it was tough to compete after watching Bennett-Awad leave the field in an ambulance.
“She is my friend but I just had to keep focusing,” she said.
The eventing competition involves three disciplines: dressage, cross-country and jumping.
In the team competition, which runs concurrently with the individual event, Germany holds a narrow lead over Great Britain, Sweden and New Zealand. Canada sits 12th of 13.
Postmedia News, with files from the Canadian Press and the Olympic News Service