Grand Prix dressage rider Silva Martin sustained a head injury in a fall yesterday, March 5, and is currently hospitalized at Delray Medical Center in Delray Beach, Fla. She is currently in stable condition but not fully conscious.
“She was on a horse who sort of half-tripped, and as it tripped, she bumped her head on the neck and then got sort of knocked out as she fell,” said Boyd Martin, Silva’s husband and four-star eventer. “Luckily all the girls who work for her were in the ring, and they called the paramedics right away.”
Silva, a native of Germany who now rides for the United States, was riding on a farm in Wellington, Fla., and was airlifted to Delray Beach.
“She’s had a couple scans, and there is some bleeding on the brain,” said Boyd, who's usually based with Silva in Cochranville, Pa. “The good news is that the bleeding isn’t getting worse. If that remains stable, they won’t need to operate to release the blood. They’re hoping her body will reabsorb it. At the moment she’s not really responsive, but the doctors said this is normal, and they’re hoping over the next few days she comes back to her senses.”
Doctors don’t believe Silva, 34, sustained other injuries besides the head trauma.
“They said for sure if she wasn’t wearing her helmet, she’d be cactus,” said Boyd. “I was very thankful she was wearing it. She comes from a culture in Germany where you don’t wear a helmet every day, but for the last couple of years she’s been very diligent about it.
“Personally, I feel pretty optimistic about the situation,” he added. “She’s a very good athlete, and she’s got the German fighting resilience. Right now it's just a lot of sleeping in waiting rooms and praying that she comes to life again.”