Young rider makes winning return after kick to the head

  • A young showjumper has made an incredible recovery after suffering a life-threatening injury.

    Kelly Evans, 19, a working pupil for Southampton-based showjumper Kimberly White, was found unconscious in a field in October.

    She had suffered a serious head injury when being kicked bringing in a horse.

    Kelly was put into an induced coma for 22 days.

    She has since had an operation on her skull and facial reconstruction on her nose, which was broken in three places.

    I needed to learn everything again after the accident,” Kelly told H&H.

    “I could only stand up for 30 seconds at a time to start with before I had to sit down again — I had to build it up gradually.”

    Kelly was rehabilitated at Kimberly’s yard.

    “The first place she went to was back to the yard to see us and her horse,” Kimberly told H&H.

    “She remembered all the horses’ names, the tack room codes and feeds. Each day Kelly would make the feeds and start to remember more and more.

    “I rode Kelly’s horse and competed her successfully so she was all ready to go when Kelly was allowed to ride again. We had to take Kelly’s riding right back basics to build her strength up.”

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    Kelly is now working for Kimberly full time and recently started competing again.

    She won a newcomers class at Crofton Manor earlier this month (8 July) with her horse Capellini II (Cappi), an eight-year-old Dutch warmblood.

    Kelly was also named the advanced apprentice of the year at the Haddon Training celebrating success awards 2015 (10 July) after being nominated by Kimberly.

    “For her to come back, finish her NVQ level and to compete at the level she was before is quite amazing,” said Kimberly.

    It brought our world to a complete standstill. I couldn’t bring myself to compete until she was on the road to recovery.

    “The ambulance was here within six minutes, which is one of the main reasons she is still with us.”

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