Amateur foxhunter and breeder Patti Brantley is currently in the Intensive Care Unit of the Midtown Medical Center in Columbus, Ga., following a fall while foxhunting with her horse Debonair.
Brantley, 64, and “Trey” were hunting with Midland Fox Hounds on Dec. 7 when they turned a corner and the gelding lost his footing in the mud. The horse and rider fell together, and Trey rolled over Brantley in an effort to right himself.
“There were some leaves over mud, and [Trey] just slipped and went down with her,” said Peggy Mathews, Brantley’s close friend. “It wasn’t anyone’s fault—just a unfortunate accident.”
Brantley, featured in the Nov. 24 Foxhunting issue of The Chronicle of the Horse, suffered a brain injury from the fall and was transported to the hospital, where she’s been heavily sedated and monitored since. She suffered no other physical injuries. Trey walked away uninjured and is now at home in Tallahassee, Fla., where he’s being cared for by friends of Brantley’s.
“She’s still on a ventilator, but she opened her eyes briefly after the accident on the field, and a few times since then in the hospital,” said Mathews.
“I’ve been playing Elvis Christmas songs to her; she’s a big Elvis fan, and she actually opened her eyes when Elvis started playing!” Mathews added.
Patti’s husband, former Lieutenant Governor of Florida Bobby Brantley, their sons Bobby Junior and Leonard, and a few of her close friends have traveled to Georgia to be with Patti as she recovers.
“It’s a wait and see game right now,” said Mathews. “[The doctors] really have nothing to say as of right now, so we’re all just here. However, the next step will be rehab, and they’re talking about [bringing her to] the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. It’s going to be a long road, but it’s encouraging that she’s making some progress.”