May 2, 2008

Laine Ashker and Frodo Baggins.

With her badly broken jaw wired shut, injured US event rider Laine Ashker is slowly recovering from injuries sustained in a fall during the cross-country phase of the Rolex Kentucky three-day-event last weekend.

Ashker's mount Frodo Baggins, hit and somersaulted over jump five, and landed on her. Frodo's injuries from the fall were severe and he was later euthanised.

Ashker broke her jaw, ribs and clavicle, and her lungs collapsed in the accident. The 25-year-old is in intensive care at the University of Kentucky Hospital.

Ashker's mother, Valerie, reports that Laine's communication skills "are crippled by a moraphine drip line and the incredible frustration in this 10 x 10 room is emotionally exhausting."

Laine's lower jaw line has had a plate inserted and the right upper jawbone has been reset, and both have been wired together.

"So, far our setbacks have been few and Laine's forward steps have been consistent."

She said that Laine's lungs are gaining strength and she was recovering from pneumonia, and that she is less reliant on the ventilator.

The Ashker family is devastated at the loss of Frodo Baggins, who sustained a fracture at the base of his skull and a severe lung injury.

"Laine's partnership with her boy will never be equalled. He is gone. We have only memories. While I was running this morning I thought of how in shock not only I am in but my family around me that he is even gone. When I drive home to Crow's Ear Farm and see my black beauty is missing from the famous "Jamie field" and stall #2 ... it will be another whole round of heartache and void that both Laine and I will endure," Mrs Ashker said.

"I am extremely concerned as to how and if (Laine) will even pick up the broken pieces and continue on with her eventing carreer."

She said that Laine had not yet been told about Frodo, but was trying to ask about him. "When she was first flighted into emergency on Saturday Laine's hands were bound but she was able to finger out the letters F_R_O_D_O on her sheets," Mrs Ashker said.