Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Support From A Friend

Dear Laine:

I just wanted to let you know not that everyone in the horse world is placing blame on you for the misfortune at Rolex nor the push for increased safety of eventing competitions.

Although I have never competed anywhere near the level that you do, nor have the guts to do so, many of the things I have read regarding the accident I do not feel are very factual of the event. I was standing a few yards away on the far side of that jump and witnessed the terrible fall and it was gut wrenching to be there and to be so useless to be able to help either you or Frodo. It is not something that I would ever wish on anyone nor want to be a witness to again. I did not see any rider errors nor an approach that was different than anyone else's while watching that jump that day. I do not feel that you were competing prematurely at the 4 star level. You competed clean and successfully in cross country for over 2 years at the 3 star level with him. You obviously knew what you were doing and were well prepared or you would not have gone clean on your earlier ride that day.

I'm sorry that they are making you the scape goat for this issue, especially as you were not the only one to lose a partner at Rolex, nor the first rider to lose a horse in the eventing competition or be injured even this year alone. If this terrible incident increases the safety of eventing for all future riders and horses, you will have saved many lives and many injuries in years to come. If that means redesigning the cross-country courses, requiring safety pins for all jumps on course, etc., so be it. In no sport should a single error of a competitor have the potential to cost them their life.

I am very sorry for your loss of Frodo. I lost my horse 2 years ago May in a freak, non-riding accident. After spending a week at Haygards, I had to make the very difficult decision to let him go when his odds of recovery were reduced to less than 10%. To suddenly lose your riding partner is so very difficult and something those outside the horse world didn't seem to grasp for me. Your strength and determination to be back riding again already is inspiring.

Good luck in your future endeavors. I look forward to seeing you ride in the 2012 Olympics.