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October 10, 2012

Updated: Silliman Released From Hospital After Skull Fracture

Caitlin Silliman, who sustained a skull fracture after a fall from a young horse, is expected to be back aboard upper level mounts Catch A Star (pictured) and Remington XXV in three or four months. Photo by Lisa Slade.

Boyd Martin has reported that Caitlin Silliman, who sustained a skull fracture in a fall on Sept. 26, has been released from the hospital on Oct. 10.

"After two weeks in the hospital, doctors and nurses could not contain the fighting spirit of Caitlin anymore," wrote Martin on his blog. "It's great to see her up on her feet breathing the fresh air in Cochranville again. It has been an impressive recovery according to the experts so far. Caitlin will be sidelined from riding from some time until her skull is fully healed."

Silliman, who works as an assistant trainer for four-star eventer Martin, was riding a 4-year-old at Martin’s farm in Cochranville, Pa., when the accident occurred.

“The positives are that she doesn’t have any brain damage or damage to her spinal column, and they opted not to do surgery on her,” said Martin. “They say in a week or two she’ll be fine, but it has affected her coordination for now. I think she’ll make a full recovery, but when it’s a head injury, it’s very, very serious.

 “The horse just stumbled when she was in rising trot, and she bumped her head on the kickboard of the ring,” he continued. “The kickboard struck her below the helmet, and she incurred a fracture. Luckily, she was wearing her helmet, and an ambulance got her to Christiana.”

The weekend before her accident, Silliman, 22, rode Catch A Star in the CIC*** and Remington XXV in the CIC** at Plantation Field (Pa.). Both horses were being aimed for the Dansko Fair Hill Three-Day Event (Md.), but Silliman is now looking at three or four months out of the tack.

“The heartbreaking thing is that I think she’s one of America’s true future riders, and she was about to burst onto the scene this fall riding Catch A Star and Remington at Fair Hill,” said Martin. “She works seven days a week, and she’s a wonderful student and a hard worker. I saw her true colors and spirit when Catch A Star was badly burned in the barn fire; she showed up every day and never once showed any signs of doing anything different. On the positive side, both horses are qualified for Rolex Kentucky [CCI****], and that’s the ultimate goal for her.”

Catch A Star will spend some time doing dressage with Martin’s wife and Grand Prix rider, Silva Martin. Boyd will keep his former partner Remington in work.

“They’ll both be raring to go by the time she’s fit to ride again,” said Boyd.

 
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