Home Australia Injured equestrian determined to recover for Paris Olympics after horrific fall

Injured equestrian determined to recover for Paris Olympics after horrific fall

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Man sitting on a bed with his hands behind his head.

Shane Rose is in a makeshift hospital bed in his family’s living room but is confident he will travel around Australia through the grounds of the Palace of Versailles at this year’s Paris Olympics.

The triple Olympic medalist still does not remember the training accident on March 14 that left him bedridden.

“I haven’t remembered anything at all, but I know what I was planning to do. I would prepare some drills, cross-country jumps,” Rose said.

“I guess a horse got a little confused or made a little mistake and fell, and most likely fell on me, and I very kindly broke his fall.

“He kind of crushed me in the middle here.”

No horses were injured in the accident and Rose’s champion horse, Virgil, was not involved.

Shane Rose is determined to get back into the saddle in preparation for Paris.(ABC Illawarra: Justin Huntsdale)

Multiple broken bones

The accident caused 18 breaks.

“I have three fractures in my elbow and then I had a big fracture in my [my] femur, into which they inserted a rod and then I have four fractures in the pelvis and the worst in the back near the sacrum,” he said.

“Apparently it’s divided, but it’s not displaced… so they’ve just left it like that.

“And there are three fractures in my transverse processes, which are the bones on the sides of the spine, and then seven ribs on this side and apparently one on the other side, but I think it’s probably an old one.”

A few days before the accident, Rose had confirmed his qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympics as part of the Australian all-around team.

Rose breaks horses and over the years has been injured many times, including breaking both wrists, arms, legs, a thumb, and five ribs.

He was once kicked in the head and put in an induced coma for a week, requiring facial reconstruction.

But speaking to the ABC from his property in Werombi, southwest of Sydney, Rose said it was the first time he had broken his pelvis.

It is this recovery that he is most focused on.

“They won’t let me bear weight for four weeks,” he said.

“The surgeon was saying that in a normal person with the injuries I have, it would be 10 to 12 weeks without weight bearing, so they certainly allow me to go further.”

The clock is ticking

With the games just over 100 days away, Rose is already pushing the limits of his recovery and briefly mentioned the pain of a strain in his legs after some stretches.

“Right now I’m not in much pain, which is good, it’s just frustrating,” he said, adding that the next two weeks would involve intense discussions with his medical team.

“I hope that between six and eight weeks after the injury I can start riding a little on calmer horses.

“It’s been four months since I was injured at the Games, so I’m trying pretty hard.

“The ideal would be to be in the saddle for at least eight weeks beforehand, so it’s complicated, but I’m confident.”

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