Professional hunter/jumper rider Cassandra Kahle is showing improvement following a head injury sustained after a serious fall on Jan. 29.
According to a Facebook post written by Kahle’s mother Natasha Brash, Kahle regained consciousness Tuesday morning, Feb. 8, and was able to communicate with doctors and family at University of Florida Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville through hand signals. She had been unconscious since the fall.
“The physiotherapist came in right after and had her perform a few mobility exercises, small ones but she was able to,” Brash wrote. “Her eyes are opening when we speak to her, and we can ask her questions, [to] which she can give us answers with hand signals. Then she has to nap.”
Emil Spadone, her boss at Redfield Farm, said Kahle is semi-conscious and progressing in a good direction.
“She had a great day, and she is beginning to wake up, yes,” he said. “We, including the doctors, are thrilled with how she followed commands during her exam. It was quite amazing!”
Kahle fell from Redfield Farm’s Heviola at an oxer during the jump-off for the $5,000 HITS Post Time 1.40-meter Classic held during HITS Ocala January Festival II (Florida).
Kahle, who rides for Redfield Farm in Ocala, Florida, and Califon, New Jersey, is a decorated rider in both the hunter and jumper rings. Most recently she won the $100,000 Forrester Farm Equipment Grand Prix de Penn National (Pennsylvania), and she also won the 2019 $30,000 WCHR Professional Challenge at Capital Challenge (Maryland). She and Heviola were an experienced team, most recently placing sixth at the Duke Children’s Benefit Grand Prix (North Carolina).
Liz Schindler McFadden is organizing a Go Fund Me to help with Kahle’s medical expenses.