Jonty’s remarkable story is one of utter resilience, determination and physical and mental strength following a life-changing injury. In 2018, the Irish Olympic eventer suffered a serious brain injury and was in a coma for several weeks after a fall while competing in Ireland. Jonty believes that his positive mindset played a critical part in pulling him through 12 months of rehabilitation. Through his talks, he now shares his story to inspire others to overcome adversity and challenges to achieve goals.
Jonty, who competed for Ireland at the 2016 Rio Olympics, fell from his horse Cooley Rorkes Drift (Art to his friends) at the Tattersalls International Horse Trials in County Meath, Ireland in June 2018. Doctors told his family to prepare for the worst, but Jonty regained consciousness and had to learn to talk and walk during a long and intensive rehabilitation programme.
“It was like being a toddler again,” says Jonty, a father of two who is based in Gloucestershire. “I had to learn how to walk and talk all over again”
Jonty, who secured a top ten place for Ireland at the Rio Olympics as well as a clutch of other international and national eventing medals, shocked his doctors when just six months after his accident he was back in the saddle and riding again.
He’s also returned to coaching event riders of all levels and to his media engagements interviewing star eventers including Zara Tindall on the circuit for popular online eventing platforms.
Since my fall, my life has changed in many ways. As well as learning to walk and talk again, I’ve also had to accept that life is going to look different.