On Aug. 30, Kevin Babington sustained a serious fall while competing grand prix horse Shorapur at the Hampton Classic in Bridgehampton, New York. He was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital and then transferred to the New York University Langone Medical Center in Manhattan, according to the Irish Examiner. He’s scheduled for spine stabilization surgery on Sept. 3. Shorapur is uninjured.
On Sept. 1, Babington’s wife, Dianna Babington, posted this message to Facebook. “Kevin does have a spinal [cord] injury in his neck, and we have transferred to NYU, and I am doing my best to surround myself with knowledgeable people to help me navigate what medical procedures are best. Kevin is such a humble and private person I don’t want to post about the details, but know I remain optimistic as we receive info from doctors. It is too early at this time to know anything for certain. Please know that at my lowest moments the messages of love and support are carrying me through this.”
Kevin, 51, competes for Ireland but lives in Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania, with Dianna and daughters Gwyneth and Marielle. A consistent Nations Cup rider, Kevin represented Ireland at the 2002 FEI World Equestrian Games (Spain) and the 2004 Athens Olympic Games as well as two European Championships. He’s a regular grand prix competitor and finished first, second and third in the $100,000 Great American Insurance Group Grand Prix in July at the Lake Placid Horse Show (New York).
Sissy Wickes started a Facebook fundraising campaign to help pay Kevin’s medical expenses, and as of Sept. 2, the equine community had raised more than $188,000.