WEG Para Dressage Silver Medalist Ricky Balshaw Injured in Fall; Star Sidelined with Broken Back

It’s hard to keep a good man down.

Ricky Balshaw will be working on a comeback to the form he showed last October when he won a silver medal in para dressage competition at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. In this photo, Ricky has just signed his name on the blue horse covered with all the nations’ riders signature. Photo © Fran Jurga

The doctors will learn that in the weeks to come as Ricky Balshaw recovers from injuries suffered in a fall from his horse on Friday. The British newsmagazine Horse and Hound is reporting that Ricky has been diagnosed with compressed vertebrae and will be out of the saddle for approximately ten weeks.

Ricky joins Paralympic gold medalist Lee Pearson on the sidelines. Strangely enough, Pearson also broke his back in a fall from a horse recently.

Ricky, who has cerebral palsy thrilled the world with his silver medal performance at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky.

“It is hard to move my limbs individually,” he says. “I don’t use any special tack except jumping reins as my grip is not great. I also use elastic bands on my stirrups to hold my feet in place as I can’t get the stirrups back if I loose them.”

Ricky’s physiotherapist recommended riding as a therapy for Ricky when he was only four years old and he’s been riding since.

Now almost 25, Ricky qualified for the British Dressage (BD) National Disabled Rider championships every year from 1998-2006. In 2007, Ricky won the individual bronze medal (Ib) at the World Championships. The following year, Ricky earned his first Paralympic medal when he won an Individual Silver – Grade Ib Freestyle at the Bejing 2008 Paralympic Games.

Ricky broke several ribs in a bad fall in 2009; that injury forced him to take a break from International competition but Ricky was part of the para-equestrian dressage squad selected to compete in Kentucky, where he won an Individual Silver medal in the grade Ib para-equestrian dressage competition.

Ricky also competes at novice level in able-bodied competitions.

Get well soon, Ricky!




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