SYDNEY: Pakistan’s premier equestrian Usman Khan is out of danger after getting critically injured died during FEI Naracoorte Horse Trials CIC-4 Olympics Games Qualifiers in Australia.
However, the player lost his horse Kasheer as it died in the incident on Sunday. According to the reports, Usman Khan critically injured as he received multiple external and internal injuries. He was taken to Naracoorte Hospital and from there, he was shifted to Mount Gambier in South Australia. The player is under treatment for internal bleeding.
Equestrian Australia (EA) said: “Usman Khan, the rider, transported to hospital yesterday following the incident at the Naracoorte Horse Trials Event was discharged from hospital last evening,” Equestrian Australia (EA) said. “The horse Usman was riding called ‘Kasheer’ (aka Benny), passed away from a proximal cervical fracture,” it said.
Usman Khan and Kasheer were in third place after a successful dressage test. Both did well in showjumping with only one rail. This placed the Pakistan combination in the second spot before going into the cross country.
Earlier, Usman Khan made a national record at the CIC 4* dressage in Sydney after Pakistan’s win was within reach as the combination commenced the cross country. In Australia, they soared together and cleared all hurdles while rhythm of the duo was so good that they averaged a pace of 35 kilometre per hour and 570 mps.
The reports said that Usman and Kasheer were 50 metres away from the finish line with only one fence to clear, a record in sight, and Olympic qualification at stake. They jumped the last fence and cleared it. Kasheer hit his right knee on take-off. There was no FEI safety pin system at the Naracoorte at CIC4* level. Had there been this system the top rail would have given way. The duo tragically fell metres from the finish line after clearing the last fence.
Usman fell so close to the finish line that he wanted to crawl towards it. Kasheer had a rotational fall and landed on his neck. The local vet reached within 30 seconds but Kasheer sadly could not survive.
Kashmir landed on Usman who had fallen down on head. The rider remained unconscious for two to four minutes. An eye-witness said that when Usman regained consciousness the first thing he asked was the welfare of Kasheer.
“Allah is the greatest witness. We did efforts, because we are not afraid of death. I did it for Pakistan and for my people,” said Usman while talking to a reporter. “Kasheer was a six figure Dollars investment. It’s not about money but about having lost another teammate. It’s really sad,” he added.
“I’m sad and sorry that I could not bring joy to my people and my country. I’m sorry I couldn’t do it” said Usman, adding that Kasheer had full faith in me and he cleared the last fence. He died saving me, he died for Pakistan. That’s so tragic when unconditional love is given by your partner and he dies,” the rider said.
He further said that he was still alive and so is the Olympic dreams. “I’ll fight till my last drop,’ Usman vowed, urging the government of Pakistan not to take us for granted. Don’t throw a rule book at us,” Usman said. He stated that they had given blood, sweat, tears and life for this goal. He asked the government as to why it did not support them.
“Political statements or suggestions to present an award are not sufficient. We have a strong case at a medal. Our loyalty is out of question,” he added. He qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in 2019 through his partner Azad Kashmir but AK died last year and later he found Kasheer by his own efforts and not the help of the state which he lost on this Sunday.