Paralegal Overcomes Obstacles

With every goal there is ususally an obstacle. You can choose to say “I can’t” and stop there or you can say “I CAN!” and find a way to go up, over, around, or under the obstacle — doing whatever you have to do to reach your goal.

Paralegal Ruth MacCarthy of Wellesbourne, England has had several obstacles to overcome and she chose to say ‘I CAN!” She was just 19 when horse landed on her, breaking her lower back and hips, crushing her pelvis and damaging nerves and soft tissue.

Now Ruth is a paralympian and looking to compete in London 2012
Paralympic hopeful seeking replacement horse for 2012

Para Dressage Rider Ruth MacCarthy is appealing for help in the search for a horse for the 2012 Paralympics. Due the unfortunate injury of her own dressage horse, Ruth is looking for a horse to loan in her bid for this ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ to represent her country on home soil in the 2012 Olympics.

‘ Ideally I am looking for a dressage horse with a proven track record at Advanced level (or higher) between 15.2 – 17.2 hh and aged between 7 – 15 years old. Any owner who could give me this fantastic opportunity would of course be able to be a part of the whole Olympic experience’ said Ruth

Ruth, who is a paralegal at Leamington Law firm Wright Hassall, is one of Britain’s top Para Dressage and although the Olympic games is over 15 months away the clock is ticking to find the right horse ‘ It is such a big adjustment for a horse to carry someone with a disability and so they need time to get use to it. When I am on a horse I have little use of my right leg and I am limited through my lower spine. As most horses will have been brought up to carry people who can apply full even pressure through both legs it takes time to train them. I am lucky as I train with Maria Eilberg and Lee Pearson, who have been invaluable in helping ‘Team McCarthy’ reach Advanced Medium level.’ Selectors will begin monitoring potential competitors from June onwards, starting with the Hickstead Championships in Sussex.

Having ridden since the age of 4, it was some years later aged 19 when Ruth had a rotational fall riding cross country, which changed her life forever. ‘ I was thrown off the horse and despite her best efforts to avoid me she landed right on top of me. I broke my lower back, hips and crushed my pelvis as well as incurring irreparable nerve and soft tissue damage. At the time it wasn’t known if I would ever be able to walk again, let alone get back on a horse. It took a long time for me to regain the feeling in my back and legs but I was back riding before I could walk. The doctors and specialists told me that I wouldn’t ride again but I was having none of it, I was determined not to have to give up something I loved doing.’

Ruth was part of the team that travelled to Beijing in 2008 in preparation for her hopeful debut at the British 2012 Olympics.

Ruth has proven that she has the guts and determination to fight when all of the odds are against her, a great attribute for an Olympic rider, but she now just needs to overcome this final barrier and find a horse that can partner her in this fantastic opportunity.

If you think you may be able to help Ruth with a loan horse, or know somebody who can please either contact Ruth be email – or by phone – 07841704876 Ruth MacCarthy

To find out more about Ruth visit

A PARALEGAL paralympian from Wellesbourne whose body was once crushed when a horse landed on her is one step away from competing in London 2012.

Ruth MacCarthy, who works at Leamington solicitors’ Wright Hassall, fought back to be able to ride again after breaking her lower back and hips, crushing her pelvis and damaging nerves and soft tissue in an accident when she was 19.

Now one of Britain’s top paralympic dressage riders, she is ready to compete in next year’s games, but it is this time her horse Flustern – also known as Whisper – who has suffered the injury, after rupturing a ligament, putting her out of action for 12 months.

Ms MacCarthy said: “I decided to make use of this time and put her ‘in-foal’ with the hope of producing a future competition horse for me but in the meantime I am left without a horse to compete on.

“This is the first time I have been looking to loan a horse so it is a bit strange, but the clock is ticking and I would really need to get the horse by the end of April. It is a big adjustment for a horse to carry someone with a disability so they need time to get used to it.”

Ms MacCarthy is looking for a seven to 15-year-old dressage horse between 15.2 and 17.2hh in height with a proven track record at top level.

Anyone who can help or knows someone who can can visit her website to contact her.