Top cowboy dressage rider continues to improve

October 5, 2010

The rider injured at the World Equestrian Games opening ceremony in a fall sparked by a heart turn is improving in hospital.


Eitan Beth-Halachmy

Eitan Beth-Halachmy, a world-renowned exponent of cowboy dressage, had performed at the WEG opening ceremony.

As he was leaving the outdoor arena on his Morgan horse, Santa Fe Renegade, he suffered a heart problem. He lost consciousness and slumped from his mount, falling into a jump pole and rupturing his spleen.

Beth-Halachmy was admitted to the University of Kentucky hospital, where he underwent two surgical procedures in two days.

For a time, his condition was listed as critical.

His condition improved over the weekend and he was reported to be sitting up in bed. His condition was upgraded on Saturday to serious, but stable.

It is understood he is scheduled for more surgery this week in relation to his heart problems.

"Eitan remembers the WEG opening ceremony," a report updating his friends said.

"He knew he was in trouble and he was trying to get to the EMTs [emergency medical technicians].

"As you remember, he fell from Santa Fe only several feet from medical help. Since his [multiple bypass] heart surgery 14 years ago, he keeps track of where the medical help is. Thank goodness!"

Beth-Halachmy also suffered broken ribs and a broken sternum due to CPR performed on him after the fall.

Beth-Halachmy, who is from Grass Valley, California, had been scheduled to teach and perform further at the games. He also performed at the 2006 World Games opening ceremony in Aachen.