Paris Olympics: Aussie 'Mankini' equestrian Shane Rose seriously injured in heavy fall that threatens Games selection

Australia's three-time Olympic medallist Shane Rose has been seriously injured in a heavy fall that could end his hopes of competing in a fourth Summer Games at Paris this year.

The team eventer and horse Virgil all but secured qualification for the Olympics by winning the Horse of the Year event at Hastings last weekend, but fell during a cross-country session on Thursday.

"As the saying goes, peacock one day, feather duster the next!" his team said on Facebook.

Shane Rose earns a suspension for his mankini costume.
Shane Rose earns a suspension for his mankini costume. Photo credit: Instagram

"Thankfully, his horse was not injured in the fall. Shane is currently in ICU with a badly broken femur, and a fractured pelvis and ribs.

"He also suffered a heavy concussion. Shane had surgery this morning to stabilise the femur and pelvis."

Rose, who made waves by wearing a 'mankini' at a show-jumping event last month, has twice qualified for the Olympics, but been unable to compete.

In 1996, his horse went lame on arrival in the United States for the Atlanta Olympics and, in 2012, mount All Luck suffered a shoulder injury that prevented him from competing at the London Games.

Rose has also battled back from several serious injuries over his career, including a kick to the face from a horse in 2006 that left him in a medically-induced coma for a week.

"While the timing is unfortunate we are hopeful there is adequate time for him to recover and still be able to continue his preparation schedule for the Paris Olympics Games," his team said.

Despite his past misfortune, Rose won team silver medals at the 2008 Beijing and 2021 Tokyo Olympics as well as a bronze in Rio in 2016.

Rose's ambitions to compete in Paris were also jeopardised last month when he was stood down after a complaint was made to Equestrian Australia (EA) about him wearing a G-string inspired by the comedy film "Borat" at a fancy dress event.

EA, though, cleared him of a breach of their code of conduct.

The eventing competition at this year's Olympics will take place at Versaille from July 27 to 29.