Back in the saddle: From critical condition to Olympic hopeful - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Back in the saddle: From critical condition to Olympic hopeful

By Joe Sullivan- bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Laine Ashker from Crozier, Virginia is just back from the Rolex Kentucky three day event. This is the highest level for equestrians...and Laine's first time back to Lexington since she nearly died in a fall there two years ago. 

April 26th 2008 Laine Ashker was riding a horse she loved, "Frodo Baggins". As the horse approached a jump he flipped over landing on Laine. Laine was in coma and in critical condition with all of her ribs broken and punctured lungs. Two years had passed since the accident and it was time to return to the scene of so much sadness. As one of the top equestrians in the world, Laine knew this is a fear she had to conquer. 

"It was definitely hard to enter those gates - to drive into the horse park. As the weekend progressed I gained more confidence with him. It was definitely a spiritual, emotional and every kind of struggle you can think of," said Laine. 

Her return to Lexington was a success. She was perfect in the cross country event. Overall at Rolex she finished 14th internationally and 8th nationally. Two years ago she left the event on a helicopter headed to the hospital. Now the 26 year old UVA graduate was leaving with a smile on her face. 

"Al (her horse) really stepped up to the plate. It was his first time at the four star level. Everything was easy. It was awesome. It was meant to be and I was really happy as I crossed the finish line knowing that all of our preparations to get here paid off. By far it was the best day of my entire life," she said. 

Laine began riding when she was only three years old and she's had one dream since she was a little girl and that's to make the United States Olympic team. She has already qualified for the 2012 Olympic team. 

"It's been my lifelong dream since I was a little girl and is something that has never changed since day one. I had a poster on my ceiling, always wanting to go to the Olympics. That's the one thing that has stayed constant in my life," Laine said. 

Laine won the award for top owner - rider at Rolex. She is currently looking for sponsorship in a sport that costs her over $100,000 a year. 

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

  • SportsMore>>

  • Correction: US Open story

    Correction: US Open story

    Sunday, June 17 2018 8:59 AM EDT2018-06-17 12:59:32 GMT
    Monday, June 18 2018 1:14 PM EDT2018-06-18 17:14:04 GMT
    (AP Photo/Julio Cortez). Dustin Johnson misses a putt on the 18th green during the third round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Saturday, June 16, 2018, in Southampton, N.Y.(AP Photo/Julio Cortez). Dustin Johnson misses a putt on the 18th green during the third round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Saturday, June 16, 2018, in Southampton, N.Y.
    The toughest test at US Open is getting Shinnecock Hills in the right condition for a memorable final round.More >>
    The toughest test at US Open is getting Shinnecock Hills in the right condition for a memorable final round.More >>
  • USGA apologizes for unfair course in 3rd round of US Open

    USGA apologizes for unfair course in 3rd round of US Open

    Saturday, June 16 2018 9:19 PM EDT2018-06-17 01:19:31 GMT
    Sunday, June 17 2018 3:43 PM EDT2018-06-17 19:43:16 GMT
    (AP Photo/Seth Wenig). Dustin Johnson reacts after missing a putt on the 15th green during the third round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Saturday, June 16, 2018, in Southampton, N.Y.(AP Photo/Seth Wenig). Dustin Johnson reacts after missing a putt on the 15th green during the third round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Saturday, June 16, 2018, in Southampton, N.Y.
    'A tale of two golf courses': USGA apologizes for unfair course in 3rd round of US Open.More >>
    'A tale of two golf courses': USGA apologizes for unfair course in 3rd round of US Open.More >>
  • Bacot earns gold medal with Team USA

    Bacot earns gold medal with Team USA

    Trinity rising senior Armando Bacot helped Team USA's U18 team to a gold medal at the FIBA Americas tournament in Canada this past weekend. Bacot says it was a great learning experience, as he now shifts his focus to his senior year with the Titans.

    More >>

    Trinity rising senior Armando Bacot helped Team USA's U18 team to a gold medal at the FIBA Americas tournament in Canada this past weekend. Bacot says it was a great learning experience, as he now shifts his focus to his senior year with the Titans.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly