Shelley has been riding horses since she was 6 years old and show jumping since 1986. It is now her career profession. “It’s hard, this horse lifestyle,” she said recently. “My desk is riding six to eight horses a day. I coach young riders as well. It’s fun and totally worth it.”
Her show and competition schedule routinely takes her and her husband from Del Mar in Southern California to Spruce Meadows, the number one show jumping site in the world, in Calgary, Alberta.
After years of wear and tear on the ankles while competing at the highest levels of jumping, Shelly stepped out of her truck and right into a pothole. She was in pain but went on competing through the week end of a Grand Prix competition. While warming up on the last day, she was executing a final hurdle when she came down with the 1400 pounds of force the horse and rider create and did more damage to the ankle. A lot more.
”I heard it snap,” she said. “I could have chosen to quit riding. You can choose to get it fixed or you can give up, that’s not my style. I chose Surgery. I would totally do it again.
“Dr. Beaman did a great job. I’ve had zero problems through 4 injuries. He was so professional and the recovery happened just like he said it would.”