Dressage trainer Willy Arts was severely injured in a carriage driving accident yesterday, Feb. 20. Arts, who’s based out of DG Bar Ranch in Hanford, Calif., was airlifted to the hospital with severe head trauma.
The original post on the DG Bar Ranch facebook page said: “Willy has multiple skull fractures as well as other broken bones. Right now his head injures are [of] the most concern. The next 24 hours are the most critical. He is stable and talking with us. We will try and keep you updated as needed.”
The page was updated Feb. 21 to say, “Willy is making improvements, and the doctors are pleased with his progress. He is talking with us and can move his arms and legs. He is so tough, which we all knew, but it is very encouraging to see! I let him know that everyone was thinking of him and he said ‘Thank you!’ We still do not have precise details on his injuries, but he is very stable.”
Arts, originally from the Netherlands but based out of DG Bar Ranch since 1984, is a frequent competitor at the Markel USEF National Young Horse Championships (Ill.), winning the 4-year-old title in 2010 aboard DG Brendo. DG Bar Ranch was scheduled to host a Friesian Horse Association of North America stallion testing Feb. 22-23, but the event was cancelled after Arts’ accident.