An eventing rider who sustained a serious brain injury after being thrown from her horse in 2015, is set to run in next year’s Paris Marathon.
Sophie McCormack, who was in an induced coma following her accident, suffered a rotational fall at Rockingham, while participating in the novice event. She was diagnosed with a diffuse axonal brain injury, along with multiple breakages to her bones and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Despite the severity of her injuries, she has worked hard to make a recovery and, a year after her release from hospital, she took part in the Blenheim Palace Triathlon to raise money for the two institutions that had helped her.
Ms McCormack said of that endeavour: “I recorded an awful time as I was still recovering [but] I always had it in the back of my mind that when I was fully recovered I’d do something where I was able to really push myself and raise money for them while in full health.”
The Paris Marathon is set to take place on 14 April 2019, with Ms McCormack hoping to complete it in less than four hours. She is also hoping to raise a grand total of £2,000 so that she can give £1,000 each to the hospital and rehabilitation centre that brought her back to the point where she could not only ride again, but also take part in gruelling challenges such as next year’s Marathon.
Discussing the possibility of returning to horse eventing, Ms McCormack said: “Riding is a huge part of me, but I’m leaving it alone for now. I’ve proved to myself and everyone that I am fine as everyone said I must be petrified, but I have no memory of the accident so I’m not scared.
“It’s been nice being able to take up a sport that’s filled the void that eventing has left — running is very competitive, you’re pushing yourself hard and training crazy hours, so I’ve found some overlap with eventing and found it really helpful.”