On March 3, 2010, Olympic dressage rider Courtney King-Dye suffered serious head trauma after the horse she was schooling slipped and fell. Exactly one year later, still on the road to recovery, King-Dye spoke at an Equestrian Aid Foundation fundraiser at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby.
King-Dye reflected on the past year on her website where she has been keeping her fans and friends updated on her recovery since she regained consciousness in the spring of 2010.
When I first wrote on my website after the coma. I said I was all for wearing helmets, but I didn’t want helmets to be all my accident means. Now I think it should be. What else could it mean? It’s exactly that that helps save people from injury. It saved a few people we all know from having to go through what I went through. Guenter Seidel, Liz Austen, Debbie McDonald. They’re three great riders who have had recent falls and didn’t always wear a helmet before my accident. I’ve said before that if my accident saves ONE person from going through what I went through, it’s worth it. That’s THREE that everyone knows… Definitely worth it.
Since the accident, more upper-level dressage riders began choosing to compete in helmets instead of the traditional top hats. The increased awareness of helmet safety led to the USEF approving two rules this year that call for mandatory helmet use in eventing and dressage.
King-Dye has been participating in several different types of therapy, including equine-assisted therapy, as she works to regain strength and motor control after her accident. She is now able to walk with just a cane for assistance and is searching for a horse to lease to re-enter the competitive arena.
To keep up with her progress, visit Courtney King-Dye’s website.
Learn more about the Equestrian Aid Foundation.