Brain Injury Awareness Month: How Much Do You Know About Equestrians And TBIs? –

For more than three decades, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has led the nation in observing Brain Injury Awareness Month by conducting an engaging public awareness campaign in March of each year.

Traumatic brain injuries are common in equestrian sports. One of the highest profile cases is that of dressage rider, Courtney King Dye.

According to her website: King Dye is a USDF Certified Dressage Instructor and USDF Gold Medalist based out of Millbrook, N.Y. in the summer and Wellington, Fla. in the winter. As a competitor she represented the United States in the 2007 World Cup in Las Vegas, the 2008 World Cup in The Netherlands, and the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She is a graduate of Columbia University in New York and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in literature.

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On March 3, 2010, a horse King Dye was riding tripped and fell. She was not wearing a helmet and suffered a traumatic brain injury. She spent four weeks in a coma and three months in in-patient rehabilitation re-learning how to walk and talk. Her cognitive abilities were left intact but she still has physical limitations.

Today she is back to competing in para-dressage while training other riders and sharing her knowledge teaching clinics across the country.

King Dye is a also a proponent of Riders4Helmets, which promotes the use of properly fitting helmets in equestrian sports.

Children involved in equestrian sports should take an imPACT test before they have a fall. The basleine test can then be used after a fall to see if there are any cognitive impairments. See for information.

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