Two weeks ago, the world held its breath as horse after horse took off on the cross-country course for the World Championship of Eventing at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. The riders let out all the stops; the horses were primed. The chance for major injury and even catastrophic injury was unthinkable. But possible. How long could we hold our breath?
In spite of reports that the World Equestrian Games were "relatively free of injuries", the word "relatively" is key if your horse was one of the mildly to moderately injured ones. Just ask Australian eventer Paul Tapner.
Coming into the World Equestrian Games, Paul Tapner and his tough bay Inonothing were the insiders' choice to win. They had taken Badminton in the spring in impressive style and might be fresh enough and bold enough to steal the World Championship.
On Saturday, October 2, the Equestrian Federation of Australia's Franz Venhaus recorded a "play by play" on his blog as Paul Tapner came on course: "Paul Tapner is in the start box. Clear one. Clear two. He touches both of them with his toes. Clear the big brush oxers at 3 and 4.
"Heading to the water 5abc Beautifully in. 4 strides to the trout and 4 to the fence out. This walks 3 ? stride line. Great stuff.
"Clear through the 7abc coffin and the big apex 8abc. He is on fire. The horse is really jumping now!
"He is in a great rhythm. He jumps through the double apexes. But suddenly the horse looks to be favoring a back leg. Paul stops to check and then he thinks it is OK and jumps one more fence. Then he stops again and retires.
"Inonothingis lame behind." Click. End of story.
Two days later, Inonothing had been examined, x-rayed, diagnosed, and was preparing for his flight home. In spite of a chipped left patella (stifle) Inonothing was able to stay in his own stall at the Kentucky Horse Park and he left Cincinnati that Tuesday night, just 72 hours after his injury, and flew to Belgium. From there he was driven to a vet hospital in Newmarket, England for an operation to remove a chip of bone in his stifle area.
"The prognosis is good, though; he should be back in work in three to four months and hopefully back for Burghley or Pau next year," Tapner said before leaving Kentucky.
We have now learned that "Mannie" (Inonothing's barn name) is through the surgery and recovering. He needed to stay in the hospital for a few days before returning to Tapner's training center in Wiltshire, England.
Bone chips in the stifle area are a common surgery site for veterinarians. While very few details have been divulged about this horse's injury, we do know that OCD lesions in the stifle area are quite common and lead to lesions and bone chips that require arthroscopic stifle surgery.
We'll try to keep you updated on the horse's condition. Paul has plenty of horses to ride, though none are at the level of Inonothing.
by Fran Jurga | The Jurga Report at Equisearch.com
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