21 Aug 2015

Nicholson knows he was lucky

11:54 am on 21 August 2015

The New Zealand equestrian Andrew Nicholson is back home after his recent fall and says he now realises how lucky he was.

Nicholson underwent surgery on his neck following a fall at the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park in England.

Andrew Nicholson

Andrew Nicholson Photo: Photosport

The 54-year-old has a full range of movement.

In a statement he said: "I am very pleased to be back at home and wanted to take the opportunity to thank everyone myself for their kind messages and support which have meant a lot to me and my family.

"In terms of my injury I realise I have been incredibly lucky.

"My surgeon, Mr Jeremy Reynolds, told me that the injury I sustained to my neck would have caused paralysis at the time of injury, in 98 percent of cases.

"I was extremely fortunate this did not happen.

"I underwent an eight-hour operation where they repaired the fractures and stabilised my cervical spine. This procedure in itself was not without risk, and I cannot thank enough, the team of spinal surgeons at the John Radcliffe hospital, for what they have done.

"Obviously I won't be riding again this season as it will take some time to fully recover.

"Whilst I have to take things easy, I am up and about and fully mobile, and look forward to getting back to full fitness in due course."

The former world number one has won three Olympic team medals with New Zealand, as well as three World Championship medals.

Nicholson is also a five-time winner at Burghley Horse Trials in Lincolnshire.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs

We have regular online commentary of local and international sport.