As you may know by now, former Olympic eventing rider Darren Chiacchia of New York was seriously injured on Saturday while riding a horse cross-country at the Red Hills Horse Trials in Florida.
The news tonight is that a fund has been set up by the Equestrian Aid Foundation to help with Darren's considerable medical expenses.
But earlier today came the news of Baron Verdi, the Trakehner stallion that Darren was riding. In what was called a "full rotational fall", the horse "somersaulted" and appeared to recover, while Darren apparently did not. As expected, the horse suffered bruises but is apparently in good shape, considering his acrobatics, and is being ridden.
Baron Verdi is owned by New Spring Farm's Tom and Cheryl Holekamp of Columbia, Missouri and Ocala, Florida. The Holekamps also own another Trakehner stallion, namely the stunning black Windfall, Darren's most famous international partner.
Competing stallions in eventing is a special challenge, and one that Darren Chiacchia has mastered. At Red Hills in 2007, a rein broke while Darren was on cross-country astride Windfall, and the pair completed the course and finished 13th. That's an amazing accomplishment.
New Spring Farm has come forward with a special announcement about Baron Verdi's condition since the fall, and many more details, on the stallion's promotion page for breeding on their web site.
No further news has been posted about Darren's condition. He remains in critical but stable condition and is breathing through a ventilator. Updates are being posted on the home page of his web site.