Top Irish showjumper Peter Charles has broken a vertebrae just below his neck in a fall during an event warm-up.
Charles switched from riding for Britain in 1992
The 46-year-old, a triple winner of the British Jumping Derby on at Hickstead on Corrada also sustained a severe trauma of the ligaments and muscles.
But results of an MRI scan suggested he will make full recovery and could be back in the saddle next year.
The accident happened at the Hampshire Equestrian Centre, near to former European champion Charles's home.
He was riding a novice in the show practice ring, tuning up for the jump-off.
The horse took off a stride too soon for a set of parallel rails and landed on the back bar, catapulting Charles to the ground.
Charles is one of Ireland's top Nations Cup team regulars.
He rode for Britain until changing to the green jacket in time to represent Ireland at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.