Marie VDH ParaRider

$22,180 of $200,000 goal

Raised by 112 people in 2 months
Created March 6, 2019
My name is Marie, I am  28 years old and was professional rider.  As we say, when you fall off a horse, you need to get back on immediately. Well, it took me two years to be back in the saddle.

I started riding horses as a little girl, I quickly became passionate and started competitions at the age of 8! I was performing in Three Day Eventing, winning many awards, every week end on shows. I became the  French gold medalist Grand Prix in 2008, later was part of french team in European championship-
                                                                                          Today, for me,  this is hard to believe. 

After my graduation, I joined the renowned French National Riding School in Saumur, where I completed my studies as a Bachelor in business & management, I also became a certified riding trainer and instructor and continued competing, while spending lots of internships with international riders in Germany and France.
In 2013 I was hired as a pro rider in Lexington Kentucky, and later moved to Wellington Florida to work for an international show jumping rider! I felt fortunate to put my experience at work.

                                                                               Until that tragic fall on  February 20th 2015 

I suffered  severe traumatic brain injuries which left me in an induced coma for 8 weeks at St Mary s Hospital West Palm Beach, and 8 months on life support at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta GA . Every day my beloved family wondered if I would live or die.

                                                            Despite doctors diagnosis :   “She will never speak, hear or walk“, 
I am now able to fight for my future again! Four years went by as I endured multiple brain, eye and ear surgeries, intensive speech, physical, occupational therapies, struggling back on horse again during Therapeutic Riding sessions. Today, I can walk with assistance and express myself, but I have memory loss, balance issues, right side weakness, difficulties to speak and to coordinate gestures, my brain and body have slowed down.

       I know I will never compete as a world-class cross-country champion again. This dream is gone forever,  
                                                         But my life has to go on, I have to hope for new horizons and goals.

I know I am strong enough to be a Paralympic rider, and ride towards the 2024 Paralympics in Paris.  Isn't this truly exciting!?  My determination, motivation,  hard-training on my new horse will lead me,  but this project implies even more commitments and financial sacrifices from my entourage.

I  humbly ask for a gift  to kick-start my new life as a severe traumatic brain injured paralympic athlete, and to support this journey of healing and hope!

You are part of this adventure and I thank you from all my heart. 

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Dear friends,
The last 2 weeks have been very hectic. On top of the daily challenges (not forgetting my equipment, having a good physical preparation and being on time) I have been training for a week-end long competition while looking for a new house.
Aaaannnndddd I am very proud to share that I have ranked #2 - all Grades combined! :)

I hope you come and visit me soon in beautiful Wellington FL - THANK YOU AGAIN SO MUCH FOR YOUR GENEROUS SUPPORT

This picture shows my crew! From left to right: Cecile (my mom), Eleanor (owner of London Swing), London Swing (horse) and me!
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You are all so generous !! Many thanks my friends !
Vous m encouragez tant !!
Merci de tout mon coeur chers amis !
I thank you from all my heart !!
I wanted to wish you a happy Easter,
Joyeuses Paques de Wellington FL,
We will have a technical update next week, preparing for a paradressage show end of April.
Je me prepare pour un concours fin Avril, Grade 1 Paradressage.
Voici London Swing qui me permet de progresser !
Here is London Swing, my new partner !
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Thank you all for your generosity !! You are helping Marie realize she CAN DO IT !!

Last April 2018, Marie was classified by the USEquestrian Federation www.usef.org as a GRADE 1 para dressage rider -

What is Classification ?
The competitor’s mobility, strength and coordination are assessed in order to establish their Classification Profile. People with similar functional ability Profiles are grouped into competition Grades. The Grades range from Grade 1 for the most severely impaired, to Grade V for the least impaired. The competition within each Grade can therefore be judged on the skill of the individual competitor on their horse, regardless of the competitor’s disability.
More information on
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$22,180 of $200,000 goal

Raised by 112 people in 2 months
Created March 6, 2019
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