It's been a long road to recovery for a woman hurt while competing in the Rolex Three Day Event.
On April 26, Laine Ashker suffered injuries to her face and lungs when her horse crashed into a fence. The horse had to be put down, but Ashker Tuesday walked out of the hospital where she has spent the last three weeks.
When the vivaciouis 24 year old Laine Evian Ashker, known by her family and friends as Lainey, was airlifted to UK Hospital after the fall, doctors were not confident this day would ever come.
Lainey's mother, Valerie Ashker, says, "They had come to us and said they didn't really expect Lainey to make it through that Saturday night. Miracles do happen, people. They really do."
And it would be an even bigger miracle if Lainey could overcome all the physical and emotional obstacles and fulfill her wish to return to the highest levels of her sport.. She looks determined when she says, "Hopefully, I'll be back here for the 2010 World Games.
When Valerie Ashker was asked by 27 NEWSFIRST if she would now champion changes in the sport of eventing to make it safer, she said, "I do believe in my heart that we need to change things. How we do it and what needs to be changed, I don't know, but I think Lainey would be a great asset to achieving that. She has a lot to offer, to educate."
The Rolex marked the second time in less than a year that a horse Lainey was riding in competition died so it's important now that she focus on the horses waiting for her back on the farm in Virginia.
Her mother says, "There are horses there ready to tell Lainey that they are alive, they need her attention, they need to have her back with them. And that's when the repair mode will kick in and she will start taking that broken heartedness and put it into something positive that will get her back into the light again."