Tamra Smith sustained a broken fibula after falling off her CIC* ride, Rafflasia Z, during cross-country at the Event At Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Mont., on July 14. Rafflasia Z kicked out after Smith hit the ground.
“I don’t know if the sound of my air vest going off spooked her, but she kicked out and happened to land her stud into my right fibula. The stud shattered my fibula,” said Smith.
Rafflasia Z had spooked before jumping up a bank.
“I kicked her and lost my stirrup, and she jumped up the bank long and almost didn’t get her hind feet up there, and it jolted me loose,” said Smith. “She jumped the skinny moose [the next element of the complex] anyway. The fall itself wasn’t bad at all. I was hanging there for 5 seconds trying to stay on her, but I eventually gave up. I was like, ‘I’m down by her knee. I should just let go.’ ”
Smith, who’s based at Next Level Eventing in Murietta, Calif., was transported to the hospital in Kalispell where she underwent surgery. Doctors put a plate and four screws into her leg and told her it would likely be four to six weeks until she can bear weight on the injured leg.
“They gave me really good IV antibiotics, and Sarah Broussard [Kelly] assured me that I had a great surgeon,” said Smith. “Considering what happened, the pain has been pretty good, but it’s just not a fun thing. Being strapped to a couch is driving me crazy.”
Before coming off Rafflasia Z, Smith was leading the CCI** after cross-country aboard Top Secret.
“I’m mostly disappointed for the horses I was riding, and I’m really disappointed for the owners, but what can you do?” said Smith, 37. “The event was unbelievable as always, and the two-star course rode fantastic. It was just a bummer that it ended up the way it did, but that’s eventing.”