California Riding Magazine • January, 2011

With A Little Help
From Her Friends
San Diego rider on the mend
after well supported benefit.

Participants in the benefit for injured rider
Cassie Hagey enjoy competing for a good cause.

Jake Berenguer and Dance With Me Cowboy "Cowgirl"
of Manuel Campos Performance Horses, participate in the
sorting event as part of the benefit for injured rider Cassie Hagey.
Photo by: Katie Shipley of Manuel Campos Performance Horses

The horse world is well known for helping its own and that was the case Nov. 20, when friends and supporters turned out for a show and silent auction to help San Diego rider Cassie Hagey recover from injuries sustained when kicked by a horse in September. Despite a fractured skull, shattered jaw and having four teeth pushed up into her sinus cavity, Cassie is back in the saddle and now nearly fully recovered. She is deeply grateful to her friends Heather Peterson and Courtney Meitz, who organized the benefit events to help raise funds for medical and dental care critical to her recovery.

Cassie's long list of thank-yous includes Willow Glen Equestrian Center and Cece Flint for use of the El Cajon facility for the benefit; Tammy Esquivel and her husband Rueben, for donating the food; Mike Milner and Ron Jensen for making "my gorgeous temporary teeth which no one can tell are fake;" and Cassie's mom Connie Hagey and Kathie McNabb for running the silent auction all day. She also thanks Chad of Chad's Custom Cowboy Challenge, "who was so supportive throughout my recovery," and Dave and Terri Halverson. "Dave was the paramedic who was off duty and helped Heather save my life at the show until the ambulance came," Cassie relays.

She is also grateful to the many sponsors, donors and service providers who lent their time, products and efforts to her cause. "So many more people donated amazing things that the list would go on forever," she says. "There was a grand total of over 80 items donated. I was blown away by the generosity of everyone. 

"And the biggest thank you to everyone who came out and braved the rain!" Cassie continues. "It was a huge success. It was due to pour but we had a huge turnout anyways. The weather miraculously cooperated, and held out until that night. I think everyone had a great time and a few lucky people went home with beautiful buckles."