Silva Martin presented the inaugural Charles Owen Equestrian Memorial Award to Courtney King Dye in an emotional ceremony yesterday at Millbrook Horse Trials. Courtney will donate the $5,000 award to Riders4Helmets, the helmet advocacy group that formed after she sustained a traumatic brain injury when she fell from a horse while not wearing a helmet in March 2010.
Courtney, Silva and Steve Blauner, who speaks about the award at the beginning of the video, all talked to EN about the award last week in this story; I’ll let their words do the talking. Read on for a transcript of Courtney’s speech during the awards ceremony:
“I just want to say how special it is to get this award. I’ve always said that the difference it makes — if I could save one person’s life — makes my accident seem worthwhile. Riders4Helmets had made my accident save many lives. The difference it has made astounds me.
“And it’s so appropriate that Silva is up here with me because her accident proves to the world that helmets do save lives. Many people have emailed me saying that they wore a helmet and it saved their lives, but no one ever hears about that. Silva’s accident was widely publicized, so the world got to hear that helmets save lives.
“I donate this to Riders4Helmets. Silva is just as much a part of it. I thank everyone for making my accident mean something instead of being a simple tragedy. I’m like Steve — I’m not an emotional person, but right now, I’m on the edge of tears.”
Go Courtney, and Go Eventing.