Aug. 21, 2009
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The family of Victoria Middleton, a junior equestrian at the University of South Carolina, announced yesterday that she is expected to return home to Marrieta, Ga., from the Shepherd Center in Atlanta on Fri., Sept. 4. Once home, Middleton will be participating in an extensive recovery program.
“We hope that Victoria continues to recover at the rate she has been,” South Carolina head equestrian coach Boo Major said. “To think that three weeks ago she was unconscious in the hospital on a respirator, it’s just great to see how far she has come.”
Middleton was injured July 24 while bathing a horse in preparation for a horse show in Bennington, Vt. The horse became scared and broke the fencing where it was tied, causing the rail to hit Middleton in the face and knocking her to the ground. During the fall, she hit her head on the cement surface.
Major said that she received a text message from Middleton and that she also called several of her teammates yesterday to wish them good luck as fall classes began. Major is cautiously optimistic that Middleton will be back at South Carolina in the spring and hopes that she will be able to attend one of the Gamecocks’ fall competitions. The season opener is Sun., Sept. 20 as the Gamecocks compete against TCU at OneWood Farm in Blythewood.
Middleton’s family has created a CaringBridge Web site to keep friends and fans up to date on her recovery. To view these updates and to sign the guestbook, go to www.caringbridge.org/visit/victoriamiddleton. As of this afternoon, over 1,300 messages were signed to the guestbook.
Middleton had a strong sophomore season in 2008-09, which was highlighted by an individual national runner-up finish in equitation on the flat, the best finish by a Gamecock last season. In team competition, Middleton went undefeated at the Varsity Equestrian National Championships. She went 11-1-1 on the year with two MVP rides to earn a No. 5 national seed before her amazing run to the championship round.