Jonty Evans and Cooley Rorkes Drift AKA 'Art' were competing at Tattersalls International Horse Trials on 3 June in the CIC3* when he fell at the main water feature on the cross-country course.

A statement released by Eventing Ireland this week said,

"Jonty remains in a stable but serious condition in Hospital.

"Jonty has now been moved from intensive care at the Beaumont Hospital to a high dependency ward in the Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown, West Dublin.

"Unfortunately, there is no change to report in his condition from the most recent update. Jonty remains unconscious, with a very serious head injury.

"The family deeply appreciate all the care for Jonty from the Beaumont Hospital staff and the support and messages from all his family and friends.

"Further updates will be issued if there is a change in Jonty's condition." 

Horse Sport Ireland had already confirmed that the 46-year-old suffered a "significant brain injury" after falling from Cooley Rorkes Drift and that it “may take him many months to recover”.


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Following the fall from his Rio Olympics mount, Cooley Rorkes Drift, during the cross-country phase of the CIC3* competition at the Tattersalls international horse trials in Co Meath this statement was issued on Monday afternoon on behalf of Jonty Evans’s family by Horse Sport Ireland, the governing body of equestrian sports in this country.

“Jonty continues to be in a stable condition in intensive care in the Beaumont Hospital under the care of the hospital’s neurological team. Jonty’s family would like to express their thanks to the wonderful staff at the hospital and for all the best wishes and kind messages of support that have poured in over the past days.


“The family appreciate that people do wish to understand the nature of Jonty’s head injury and we can confirm that Jonty has not yet recovered consciousness after his fall. Although no longer under heavy sedation, further tests in the past few days have shown that it is a significant brain injury and it may take Jonty many months to recover. The Beaumont Hospital medical team continue to emphasise that every case has to be treated individually and people’s recovery rates vary case by case. 


“If there are any changes in Jonty’s condition, further updates will be issued in due course through Horse Sport Ireland,” concluded the statement.

Those seeking information on the rider’s condition have been asked once again not to contact the hospital.


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He did it! British eventer, Jonty Evans, began fundraising in July to buy Cooley Rorkes Drift AKA 'Art', the horse he rode at the Rio Olympics in 2016 after its owner put it up for sale.

"I am lost for words and so, so grateful to everyone who donated, I just can't believe it.
"This was my last and final choice, and I didn't really think it could be done.

"I'm a blithering wreck, I can't believe how people have helped.

“The fact that Art is going to stay with us now and this will be his forever home is a really, really, really special thing. People have done it for us.”

"The momentum in the first 24 or 48 hours was unreal, and I thought 'can this happen?' Then of course it slowed a bit, then there were the two larger donations and we crossed the line. It's unreal.
"The prospect of the horse now staying here and being able to continue our partnership - it's incredible that people have made this happen.
"We've had contributions for donations from all around the world and without doubt people have taken the horse and me a bit to their hearts.

"The horse's performances at Rio and at Badminton have shown that he is a top class horse and the rest is about the relationship and the partnership and people have really taken that to their hearts."

Evans now hopes to compete in the European championships.

"The big deal for us is prepare us for next year for Badminton and this will hopefully be a good event for us.

"Then at the end of next year, the world games in America (FEI World Equestrian Games 2018 in North Carolina) and the future - looking towards Tokyo and the Olympic games."

He added that there was "no way" Art would be sold in the future.

"Hopefully one of the big feelings around the campaign was that Art was here just into his fifth year, and he will stay here forever. He won't go anywhere."

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Jonty Evans is trying to raise funds to buy Art before the horse's owners sell him, and has raised £75,000 of his half a million pound target

Jonty, 45, of Trefriw, was devastated to learn Cooley Rorkes Drift - aka Art - the horse he has ridden and trained for six years, is now being sold by his owners. 

The former pupil of Trefriw and Ysgol Dyffryn Conwy Secondary School, grew up in North Wales “riding hairy ponies” with Aberconwy Pony Club; his family still lives in Trefriw and were at the Rio Olympics to see him place 9th. 

But now he faces being parted from the horse he calls “my best mate”. 

Jonty, whose training yard is in Shipton Oliffe, near Cheltenham, said: “Unfortunately, the success that Art and I have achieved has not gone unnoticed, and there have been some huge offers made for him to be sold.

“His owners have a young family and I totally understand their need to accept an offer. 

“Selling my best mate had never entered my head. It has been an horrific few months wondering if he will be sold, and praying that a solution might be found. The owners have given me time to try and raise the funds”... READ MORE
You can support Jonty’s crowdfunding bid at
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Cooley Rorkes Drift AKA 'Art' has been produced by Jonty Evans since he was 5 years old. Together they finished ninth and the best of the Irish riders at the Rio Olympics last year.

Now 11, and coming in to his prime Art might get taken away from him. Jonty is launching a crowdfunding website to help raise several hundred thousand pounds needed to keep Art in his care.

Art is currently owned by Fiona Elliott and her mother Ann Nobbs. Jonty was asked to ride Art when Fiona started a family, initially for just a year, and he considers himself lucky to have continued riding him.

However, as Art's talent has begun to shine on the world stage it was inevitable that 'interest' in him has come from other countries...

Jonty describes Art as inspirational - a talented horse with so much ability.

"The horse that I feel at one with, my partner, my best friend. He wouldn’t let me down, and I will try everything I can to not let him down. I need people’s help."

“Owning an event horse has always been the privilege of the wealthy, but I hope it might appeal to people to get involved. Anybody can donate and so anybody can get involved in supporting Art’s journey. We are hoping to have T-shirts and photos printed to offer to people, so that they can feel part of the family that will own Art.”

“We hope that Art can become The People’s Horse. If, and I know it’s a huge if, 5,000 people around the world could see their way to donating £100 each, we could afford to buy him — and the beauty of the plan is that, he would never again be under threat of being sold. This is a one-off thing and if we can buy him once then he and I can stay together for good.”

Writing on social media Jonty adds

'...the response so far has blown me away - you are a truly amazing bunch of people - just imagine if we can make this work!? Art will be "The Peoples Horse" - just imagine if then we could win something big - just imagine the party!! Thank you all so much for your support so far - it is a long road ahead, but maybe, just maybe .........!! the website will be live by Thursday evening at 18.00hrs it will be on  ...'


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