Grand prix rider David Beisel suffered a severe neck injury on Saturday, March 12, at the World Equestrian Center–Ohio in Wilmington.
Beisel was competing in the $10,000 Futures Prix when his horse left long and landed in the fence, causing horse and rider to fall, said WEC—Ohio manager T.J. Campbell.
Beisel was taken to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, via Careflight where he remains in the ICU/trauma center. Beisel will likely require surgery on his neck to correct several discs and ligaments. As of now, his spinal cord doesn’t appear damaged. The horse, D. Carolus, sustained minor scrapes and cuts in the fall, according to Campbell.
Beisel is awake and is with his wife, Paige Beisel, and two kids, Izzy and Cooper.
“He’s in good spirits, and he’s able to talk and things like that,” said Campbell. “He has a good memory of everything that’s gone on. He realizes that, and he’s tough, and he’s fighting. [Right now, doctors are] just evaluating the damage to the ligaments and the discs, and the surgery that’s going to have to go along with that. Then of course the road to recovery and what that looks like; it’s still a little unclear as of today.”
David runs his hunter/jumper business David Beisel Stables out of Goshen, Ohio. In addition to showing in the professional hunter divisions and USHJA International Hunter Derbies, he has competed up to the Fédération Équestre Internationale five-star grand prix level. This season at WEC—Ohio he’s won the $30,000 WEC Wilmington Grand Prix three times aboard Essince W.
The grand prix set to run at WEC—Ohio on Saturday was moved to Sunday after David’s accident.
“I dedicate my ride this morning to David Beisel,” said Paul Halpern after winning Week 13’s $30,000 Grand Prix. “It’s been an emotional 24 hours for all of us here as we wait for updates on David’s condition. I have known David for 20 years, and he is the hometown hero here at WEC. If he were here competing, he would have made me work harder for the win. We are all wishing him the very best on his recovery.”
Campbell has set up a GoFundMe page to help the Beisel family. As of press time the GoFundMe has raised about $140,000. WEC is also planning to host a grand prix and hunter derby where all entry fees go to the family.
“We always have shows that are right up until that week before Christmas. Everyone’s invited [to the Beisel’s Christmas party],” said WEC marketing director Candace FitzGerald. “He’ll put signs up in the front saying just come to our house. I mean hundreds of people show up. Everybody goes. It’s just a testament to that family, to Paige. They’re just a lovely group of people to have as part of our WEC family. They make it what it is.”