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Betsy Carter’s Horse Scene: O’Connor healing up from bad fall
KAREN O’CONNOR is recovering at home in The Plains following a fall from a horse and resulting back surgery.
O’Connor, 54, was on course at the Morven Park Horse Trials in Leesburg, in mid-October when the horse she was riding, Veronica, fell at a jump.
It was a rotational fall, but Veronica was not injured. In the fall O’Connor suffered a harsh blow to her back just between the shoulder blades, which resulted in a burst vertebra. Another vertebra had a compression fracture.
During the five-hour surgery, a rod was placed beside her spine from the T1 to T10 vertebrae to stabilize it. She was in the hospital for a week.
A week later, during a a follow-up visit, doctors found that one of the vertebrae had slipped out of place and further surgery was performed. She had some physical therapy there, during which time she was able to walk up and down the hall and climb stairs. She was fitted with a back brace before leaving the hospital.
Doctors said that with time and rest, O’Connor should make a full recovery. It is not certain if full recovery means a return to her former level of horseback riding or if full recovery means to a level commensurate with an average woman.
All O’Connor winter clinics in Ocala, Fla., will be canceled this season.
Betsy Carter can be reached at The Free Lance–Star, 616 Amelia St., Fredericksburg, Va. 22401; or by fax at 540/373-8455.