U.S-based Australian four-star eventer Peter Atkins broke his leg in a fall on April 16. He was hacking HJ Hampton when “Henny” spooked, as was first reported by Eventing Nation.
“We were just hacking down the road, and he shied and spun around a little bit, and we were right next to a stone wall. Somehow he got his back legs in there and panicked and basically collapsed over backwards,” said Atkins.
While Henny wasn’t injured, Atkins was set to leave for the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton CCI**** (England) the next day. “It was pretty bad timing, but it’s better me than him with a broken leg,” he said. “It was one of those really quick falling backwards falls where you have no chance of getting off. It was a stupid, stupid accident.”
Atkins broke the fibula and tibia in his right leg and underwent surgery the same day of the accident in New York. “They pinned it, plated it and screwed it,” he said.
Doctors predicted he could be back in the saddle in six to eight weeks. “But I’m a horse rider. We don’t always believe doctors,” he said.
Atkins and Henny are already qualified for the Olympic Games, but they would now need to compete at the Luhmuhlen CCI**** (Germany) in June to impress Australian selectors. He hasn’t made any plans yet and hopes he’ll be ready by then, “but that’s being optimistic.”
In the meantime, Atkins is trying to decide who will ride Henny, with dressage rider and former eventer Jim Koford, Wellington, Fla., as his top choice.