Ashlyn Bell, the executive secretary for the South Carolina Hunter Jumper Association, broke most of her ribs and her back in a fall on Jan. 2 while trail riding. She also suffered from a collapsed lung.
On Jan. 10, she underwent surgery to repair some of the damage to her back, and friend Lewis Pack reported that it went well.
Pack, of Harmon Classics, is organizing a fundraising class at the Harmon Classics Winter Challenge, held Feb. 16-17. In the Pick 10 Derby Challenge, all of the entry fees as well as proceeds from a donations box at the exhibitors’ party will go directly to Bell, of Statesville, N.C.
The Pick 10 will be judged like a hunter derby with one major catch: Riders can pick their course in the first round, as long as they jump 10 jumps and no single jump twice in the same direction.
“She’s worked for me at some of my horse shows—I’ve known her for quite some time,” said Pack, who thought this was a perfect opportunity to add a fun class to the show while helping a friend.
Pack has put up $1,000 in prize money for the class, and he plans to send all of the money directly to Bell, a long-time friend. The challenge will be held on Saturday, Feb. 16. More information as well as the prize list can be found at the Harmon Classics website.
Other members of the equestrian community have rallied around Bell, a single mother of toddler Jaxon, to help with her medical expenses. Cathy and Rick Cram of Progressive Show Jumping are organizing donations to be sent to the Equestrian Aid Foundation, which will pass on the assistance to Bell.
According to the PSJ website, the Crams will collect funds for Bell until Jan. 22, at which time they will send donations to the EAF. Donations may be dropped off at their office or mailed to PSJ c/o Ashlyn Bell, 147 Warehouse Road, Aiken, SC 29801.
“Rick and I consider Ashlyn a part of the family, and I am doing everything within my power to make sure this has gone forward,” said Cathy. “EAF had an emergency meeting [on Jan. 10] and has sent a check directly to Ashlyn [on Jan. 11]. Ashlyn has a spider web of friends and family in the horse show community that cannot be rivaled by very many people. So many people have taken it upon themselves to help her."
Donations can be sent via Progressive Show Jumping or the Equestrian Aid Foundation or directly to Bell at 1357 Turnersburg Hwy, Statesville, NC 28625