Injured US event rider dies

October 13, 2008


Debbie Atkinson riding Melancholy Blues.

Former US event rider Debbie Atkinson died peacefully at Vanderbilt Hospital, Nashville, Tennessee, on September 30, two years after being seriously injured in a cross-country accident in Kentucky.

Atkinson sustained severe injuries to her second vertebrae in a fall at the Kentucky Classic Horse Trials at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington on September 2, 2006. She fell from Melancholy Blues at an intermediate cross-country fence. The horse was not hurt in the accident.

Atkinson was confined to a wheelchair after the accident and needed full-time care.

Sadly, last year Atkinson lost Pantera, her 10-year-old Dutch warmblood gelding. Veterinarians decided he could not be saved after his off side femur was broken after apparently being kicked while out in his field. Pantera had been ridden by Cathy Wieschoff since Debbie's accident. His ashes were spread at Atkinson's farm in Columbia, Kentucky, where Debbie's ashes will also be spread.

Debbie Atkinson is survived by her husband, Michael Wright.