Olympic rider Jonty Evans has made a welcome return to Hartpury as part of his rehabilitation from a serious head injury.
On a momentous day for everyone involved, he experienced the feeling of what it’s like to ride a horse again for the first time since sustaining life-threatening injuries in a fall in June.
Jonty was guided by Liz Launder, osteopath at the Margaret Giffen Centre for Rider Performance, whilst riding Hartpury’s £90,000 riding simulator.
Kathryn Nankervis, Principal Lecturer in Equine Therapy, said: “Welcoming Jonty back to Hartpury again after his accident is probably the most significant day Liz and I have ever had at work.
“It was absolutely lovely to have him back and it was a real privilege to be part of what was a hugely important day.
“He’s been here many times to use our facilities in the past, of course, but this was particularly special after what happened in the summer.”
Jonty said: “It’s great to be back. The simulator allows me to focus completely on the movement and work on my position.”
The first of its kind in Europe, the simulator’s hi-tech equipment includes a three-screen display to provide riders with an opportunity to jump a course of show jumps or ride cross-country.
Hartpury’s world-class equine facilities also include an indoor championship arena, three outdoor arenas, an equine veterinary practice, equine science laboratories and a commercial riding school.
One of the largest equine education facilities in the world, Hartpury hosts showpiece competitions throughout the year, including the NAF International Five Star Hartpury Horse Trials, and will be home to 2020 FEI Dressage and Eventing European Championships for Young Riders and Juniors.
Picture: Jonty Evans riding the simulator at The Margaret Giffen Centre for Rider Performance at Hartpury