Event rider in life-threatening fall to complete triathlon

  • An event rider recovering from a life-threatening fall will be completing a triathlon to raise funds for the hospital and charity that helped her rehabilitation.

    Sophie McCormack had a crashing fall at Rockingham Horse Trials on 24 May 2015.

    Sophie was airlifted to Coventry Hospital where she was put into an induced coma.

    Her horse, Pete, died.

    Sophie remained in the coma for a week before being moved to Leamington Spa Hospital where she stayed for two months and was taught to talk and walk again.

    Consultants told Sophie she was lucky to have survived the fall and credited the quality of the hat she was wearing (news, 8 October, 2015).

    A month later, Sophie began visiting the Injured Jockeys Fund’s (IJF) Oaksey House for rehabilitation.


    Staff at the West Berkshire centre have helped Sophie work on her balance and coordination, which she says have “greatly improved”.

    “I had left side weakness and a lot of symptoms from my head injuries,” Sophie told H&H.

    “I went to see a physio at Oaksey House and had such an amazing session that I started spending weeks at a time there.

    “I’ve been back on a horse a couple of times — because I don’t remember my accident it doesn’t scare me, but having my head injury really messes with my balance.

    “I went for a hack and was trotting, I thought, if the horse spooks, my brain would have kept going forwards and I would have come off.

    “I want to start riding properly again — having ridden every day and evented since I was very young, I don’t want this experience to be my last memory of it.”

    Sophie is now training for the Bloodwise Blenheim Palace Triathlon (4-5 June).

    She is raising funds for the IJF and the Central England Rehab Unit at Leamington Spa Hospital.

    “The only reason I am able to do it is because of the rehabilitation I’ve received,” Sophie said.

    For more information click here

    Related articles:

    Injured Jockeys Fund

    The IJF is Horse & Hound’s charity of the year for 2016.

    In the past 51 years more than 1,000 jockeys have been helped by the IJF. With two rehabilitation centres and direct support across the country, jockeys hurt in their line of work have access to free rehab and training, as well as support and advice.

    To find out more and make donation click here

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