Canadian paralympian Winona Hartvikson suffered a dislocated hip in a fall at the Pacific Regional Dressage Championships at Thunderbird Show Park in Langley, BC, in late September. The 64-year-old “Noni” fell off Geronimo, her flashy seven-year-old Pinto AES gelding, after he spooked when startled by a loud noise in heavy fog.
“Five degrees in pea soup fog … scary conditions for a youngster at his first big show,” she posted on Facebook. “After the test, a loud equipment noise spooked him which caused my unscheduled dismount and hip dislocation. Lesson: dismount and put the noise cancelling bonnet back on after the Steward finishes!” The pair did manage a very respectable para TofC test score of 68+ right before the accident occurred. “Thank you to my support team Wendy Christoff/Courtney Palleson, Andrea Taylor (who observed the crash and got to me first), Eleonore Elstone (who caught the horse), the show Medic Rob, Langley Fire Department, BC Ambulance Service, LMH Emerg and my # 1 doctor at home.”
The Grade I para-dressage athlete has competed for Canada at the 2022 World Championships in Herning, 2021 Paralympic Games in Tokyo and the 2018 World Equestrian Games at Tryon, NC. This year she has been campaigning a new ride, Cadanza, a Holsteiner, including in a CPEDI3* in the Netherlands in July.
“These things go with the sport. I’ll be back in the saddle in six weeks,” remarked Hartvikson.
On Saturday, Sept. 16th, while practicing for the freestyle competition at the Devil’s Garden Mustang Challenge in Pennsylvania, well-known Ontario ‘Harmony Horsemanship’ trainer Lindsey Partridge suffered serious injuries, including a traumatic brain injury (TBI), after a bad fall. The horse she was riding, Pretzel, a seven-year-old Devils Garden California mustang mare she started in May of this year, was spooked by a nearby horse misbehaving, bolted, and Lindsey fell, hitting her head on a post. She was wearing a helmet at the time.
Lindsey was transported to hospital where she spent two weeks closely monitored in the ICU until she was cleared fit to return home on Sept. 28, where she has been referred to a brain injury clinic for rehabilitation and support.
Lindsey posted an update on her Facebook page, saying: “I’m at home feeling all sorts of weird and different, but in this post sharing pictures from the show and hospital, too. I’m not able to be on my phone/computer for more than an hour during the day, can’t watch TV, and can’t do many physical things too including bending over or running are not possible. I am super grateful to see my kiddos and family though….Pretzel was a superstar in the trail class and rode obstacles for the first time amazingly well, first ever ridden show and won her class. She really was so willing and tried so hard. I’m so proud of her.”
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help pay hospital bills and expenses on Lindsey’s road to recovery including home care, support tools, therapeutic rehabilitation, and to help with bills that she can’t work to cover.