It will be exactly one year, on March 3 since a simple wrong step taken by the horse she was riding resulted in an accident which almost claimed the life and mind of American Dressage Olympian Courtney King Dye. Because of her notoriety, Courtney has received help from the equestrian community which has allowed her business to continue as she works with the built in discipline of an Olympian athlete towards her recovery. Courtney knows first hand the importance of “horse people helping horse people” and in marking the anniversary of her accident has offered to open the fundraising efforts of the Dressage Community for the Equestrian Aid Foundation at the IHS Palm Beach Dressage Derby.
Dye who was not wearing a helmet suffered a severe brain injury which left her in a deep coma for four weeks, while the equestrian world prayed for her recovery. Not only did Courtney defy the odds and come back, but in her recovery she has literally changed the rules and practices of equestrian sport raising the bar of safety standards. Had it not been for Courtney, Olympian Debbie McDonald would not have survived a recent fall from a young horse, and high performance Dressage rider and close friend of Courtney’s Liz Austin would have also suffered serious injury from a fall from her normally “sure footed” stallion. At the USEF Annual Meeting, the helmet rules were ramped up for all disciplines, and the warm up arenas as well as the FEI Competitions now have a majority of previously top hatted riders in protective head gear. “The EAF, the Equestrian Aid Foundation, is organized to help horse people who are hurt and their families.” Courtney recently posted on her website courtneykingdressage.com. “It could be a farrier who was kicked, a vet who was trampled or a rider who fell. It helps anyone with horse related injuries. I know there are many people who don't get the immense support I get simply because people don't know about them. The EAF is a great way to support those who need it.”
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