Kim Meier, a professional equestrian and sports horse breeder, is now a quadriplegic after her horse tripped and fell during a practice jump in January.
She suffered a spinal-cord injury when she came down with her horse.
On Friday, there will be a fund-raiser at the Radnor Hunt Club to help Meier cover the medical expenses and the rehabilitation costs for her recovery.
The event will include a dinner, dance and silent auction at the club, where Meier has participated in horse competitions.
A friend of Meier's, Susie Beale, who owns Cairn O'Mount Stables in Phoenixville, is helping to organize the event. "This is something that I felt I really needed to do and wanted to participate," Beale said. "She's very hardworking and full of life. She's just a wonderful person."
Right now, Meier is unable to talk, said Beale. The description of her as a quadriplegic comes from a Web site maintained by friends.
Beale got to know Meier because they are both contenders in the same type of equestrian competitions and Beale has bought horses that Meier breeds for her students.
Meier has competed at the four-star level, the most advanced level of classification for competitive riders, in eventing.
This particular type of competition is likened to an equestrian triathlon. It involves dressage, endurance and show jumping. She's represented the United States at the four-star Burghley CCI in England and competed in the four-star Rolex Kentucky CCI in Lexington, Ky.
In Chester County, she's competed in the Plantation Field Horse Trial and the Delaware Valley Combined Training Association Horse Trial, both in Unionville. Meier also competed in the Radnor Hunt Three-Day Event.
Meier also breeds sports horses for competition, along with coaching other riders, at her Seven Hills Farm in Worton, Md. Beale said Meier is in her 40s, and has been a horsewoman for more than 30 years.
Meier is also the single mother of a teenage daughter, Kelly Morani, who also competes in eventing. Beale said Morani is still living on their farm, while her mother is convalescing in northern New Jersey.
Though the accident happened in Florida, Meier was transferred to the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, N.J., to be close to her family and friends. She was training on a horse named Merle when she fell. She was also coaching students from Maryland while she was in Florida.
In addition to huge medical expenses, there are other costs associated with her rehab. "When she's eventually allowed to come home, everything will have to be modified for her," in terms of making her house handicapped accessible, Beale said. She's not independently wealthy.
Being an equestrian is "a hard way to make a living," Beale said.
Also sponsoring the fund-raiser is the Maryland Network for Injured Equestrians, a nonprofit group that helps equestrians who've suffered severe head or spinal injuries. Beale said, "We contacted them because we wanted it to be tax deductible." The organization held another fund-raiser for Meier in Fair Hill, Md., from April 20 to 22.