This story was updated to include a statement from the Upperville Colt & Horse Show and to correct the date of the accident, which happened June 9.
Jumper rider Kimberly Prince is in stable condition after she was injured in a fall at the Upperville Colt & Horse Show in Upperville, Virginia, yesterday, June 9.
She was riding Heineken in a 1.30-meter jumper class when the fall occurred. Prince has shared the ride on the 10-year-old gelding with owner Katherine Pugliese since 2020.
“He had just landed and took a stride, and he just caught his toe,” Prince’s daughter Lydia Frey said. “It was a freak accident. It’s one of those things where sometimes they can recover, sometimes they fall down a little bit or you pop off. I told her she must have done her stretches because she was sticking to him.
“She was wearing a vest, but because she didn’t leave him it didn’t go off until they both hit the ground,” she continued. “Kudos to Helite; the airvest definitely did protect all her organs and her lungs.”
Prince was evacuated via helicopter to the Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Virginia. There doctors performed surgery to stabilize her C3, C4 and C5 vertebrae which were compressed and out of line.
“She was with it right before she went into surgery, and her last concern was making sure the horse was OK and that we checked in with him,” Frey said. “We had the vet out, and we had our body work lady come out and look at him. He’s sore but going to be OK. He’s got a good mind, so he’ll be fine. Up until the very end her concern was about him.”
Frey said doctors report that she will spend a few days in the intensive care unit before spending a day in observation. She’ll then spend two months in a neck brace before starting rehabilitation.
“The surgeon is fantastic, and they are very positive the surgery went as well as it could have, and they feeling very good about how her recovery is going to go,” Frey said.
Prince, 57, runs Kimberly Prince LLC out of Wellington, Florida, and Upperville. She has represented Team USA at both FEI World Cup Finals and in Nations Cup competitions.
“Kim is an important member of our leadership team, a friend and a respected member of our community. We are sending our best wishes for a speedy recovery,” said Joe Fargis, president of the Upperville Colt & Horse Show’s board of directors.