Update: Latest Courtney Condition. Steffen Peters Fund Raiser Raises Over $11,000

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Steffen Peters wearing GPA Stars 'n' Stripes helmet with Ilse Schwarz on Sauvignon. © 2010 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Steffen Peters wearing GPA Stars 'n' Stripes helmet with Ilse Schwarz on Sauvignon. © 2010 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WEST ORANGE, New Jersey, Apr. 13–Courtney King-Dye is “totally alert, funny, serious, inquisitive” and able to stand for several minutes, according to the latest report from Lendon Gray after a visit to The Kessler Institute where Courtney is undergoing rehabiltation.

“Just got back from a wonderful afternoon with Courtney,” Lendon wrote. Courtney received a fractured skull in a horse accident in Florida on Mar. 3 that left her in a coma for three weeks. She was transferred to The Kessler Institute closer to her home to undergo intensive rehabilitation.

“She is totally alert, funny, serious, inquisitive. She asked about her horses, her students and various irrelevant things.

“We talked about the amazing support she has had from so many people around the world and she had trouble believing this. She has to cover the trach hole in order to talk, but that should be closed soon.

“She is able to stand for six minutes at a time balancing herself with only one hand part of the time. She has even been on little outings away from Kessler.

“Miracles do happen! Thank you all for your part in it.”

Included in the support was a fund raiser last weekend centered around a clinic by Steffen Peters that raised almost $11,400 (€8,450) for his Olympic team mate.

More than 70 people attended the clinic and a lunch provided by Kim and Frederic Boyer. The fund raiser was held at Carol Cohen’s Two Swans Farm.

The raffle for a Speed Air helmet with the US flag painted on it and donated by GPA was won by Sharon Ghilarducci of Manzanola, Colorado who was one of the buyers from across the country who bought $3,100 worth of tickets.

“What an awesome result,” Steffen said after the results were tallied. “It’s wonderful to see so many people rally around Courtney and Jason, to help one of our own. The response has been inspiring.”

Robert Dover on Don Principe. © 2010 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Robert Dover on Don Principe. © 2010 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

In another Wellington fund raiser for the Equestrian Aid Foundation, Courtney and hunter trainer Charlie Weaver who was also injured in a horse accident this winter, six-time U.S. Olympian Robert Dover came out of retirement to ride a musical freestyle on Don Principe on Sunday. The Marydell Farm’s 10-year-old stallion was being trained and ridden by Courtney.

Robert’s ride was watched by several dozen spectators. He said that one supporter had pledged $10,000 (€7,400) for the four-minute ride and was looking for matching contributions.

The event by Steffen was organized to help offset medical expenses incurred by Courtney, 32, and her husband, Jason, following an accident that fractured her skull on Mar. 3 in Florida. Courtney was in a coma for about three weeks.

Debbie McDonald, who was a a team mate of Courtney’s at the 2008 Olympics, also has offered a clinic to raise funds.

Steffen, who lives in San Diego, California, made the offer of donating a day of clinic fees after visiting Courtney in the hospital while he was in Wellington in mid-March for his monthly two-day teaching session. Kim and Frederic Boyer of Hampton Green Farm donated a lunch, GPA the safety helmet and photographer Sue Stickle a photograph for Steffen to autograph.

Six-time U.S. Olympian Robert Dover, World Equestrian Games riders Oded Shimoni of Israel and Kelly Layne of Australia joined Steffen in a question and answer session

Carol Cohen said that money raised was instrumental in the aggressive rehabilitation program that was enabling Courtney to recover faster from the accident.

Ilse Schwarz, an Australian who lives in Wellington, said that tickets for the GPA helmet were sold across the United States and at least two tickets in Australia.

Ilse arranges Steffen’s monthly clinics in Wellington and also organized the fund raiser.