Colby and Seajay checking back in with a follow-up to our earlier blog entry on the American Eventing Championships. We had an unfortunate turn of events 2 days before leaving for Chicago that most horse owners and all eventers can certainly sympathize with.
I moved up to Training Level at an event at King Oak Farm before leaving for Chicago and two fences before the end of Cross Country we experienced every eventer’s worst nightmare. It’s called a rotational fall. The one thing that all of us who choose to point our horses at solid fences know is a possibility, but hope never happens. It is where the horse flips all the way over head first and the rider goes airborn or gets buried under 1200 lbs of falling equine. These are the falls notorious for causing fatalities, and I am happy to report that my horse and I are still in one piece and still capable of riding and competing. I have had Seajay for 3 years. She is a careful jumper and a quiet partner. Despite my best efforts I had never fallen off of her, but we certainly made up for lost time at King Oak Farm. Unfortunately it meant no AEC’s for us.
This is the fence we hit that fateful day. It was a hard, but fair jump and I can’t really tell you what happened. Maybe I turned her too tight to it or maybe she didn’t see it with the changing light conditions. One moment were cruising along fine with the finish in sight and the next moment we were both hurtling through space and tumbling down the hill. Luckily for me, our paths didn’t cross. I got banged up and likely had a concussion, but Seajay got the worst of it (but still not nearly as bad as it could have been).
We rushed her to Tufts Veterinary School with three pretty significant puncture wounds to the head in close proximity to her right eye. X-rays, ultrasound and blood work were all clear, but we weren’t out of the woods. She would have to stay for a week on IV antibiotics to make sure that the wounds healed and any possible infection didn’t spread to her eye.
That was 3 weeks ago…now she is home and almost fully healed. Incredibly, she is sound and emerged with barely a scratch other than the wounds to her head (that was bad enough). We have been out jumping a few times since she came home and plan to finish the season at Valinor Farm this coming weekend. Hoping for a safe round to end the season. Ribbons are great, but having a healthy horse and having fun are certainly the most important things….we’ll save the AECs for next year.