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Canada’s Bennett-Awad suffers concussion after fall at Olympic equestrian event

Hawley Bennett-Awad, of Canada, and her horse Gin and Juice, compete in the equestrian eventing dressage competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 28, 2012, in London.

David Goldman/AP

Canadian rider Hawley Bennett-Awad is in a London hospital for treatment of a concussion and a back injury after being thrown from her horse during the cross-country portion of Olympic equestrian eventing on Monday.

The 35-year-old from Murrayville, B.C., fell from her horse, Gin & Juice, and was taken to the Royal London Hospital for further examination, according to a team spokesperson.

Michael Gallagher of Equine Canada said Bennett-Awad's concussion is improving significantly and she is receiving pain management for a "stable sacral fracture."

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Peter Barry of Dunham, Que., also fell from his horse, Kilrodan Abbott, and did not finish. He was not hurt in the fall.

Bennett-Awad and Barry were among a half-dozen riders who fell from their mounts during the 5.7-kilometre course up and down the hills of Greenwich Park. Several horses slipped on the tight turns.

The cross-country portion of the three-discipline eventing competition is designed to test horse and rider's endurance and guts. There were razor-sharp turns, blind two-metre drops and tricky combination jumps.

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