Crashes can't keep hurt Kelly from appointed round

RANDY SPORTAK, CALGARY SUN

, Last Updated: 9:54 AM ET

The reminders from the crash can't be missed on Carolyn Kelly's face.

There are scraps on her nose -- which was broken -- and along her jaw.

Plus there's the concussion and five stitches inside her mouth from the crash two weeks ago when she went over top of her horse during the Skyliner tournament.

"I saw the video of it, but my trainer wasn't happy I did," said the young rider from New York who celebrated her 19th birthday Saturday. "But my mom is never gonna see that."

Apparently, there are no long-term affects. She won in the Spruce Meadows International Ring for the first time in her career by claiming the $75,000 Sun Life Financial Reach for the Sun yesterday.

"I'm always one to get back on -- at least always have," said Kelly, who actually rode the day after her wicked crash. "I've had a couple of bad falls -- a horse stepped on my head last year, and I got back on in the same class."

Kelly and Rulanda, a 13-year-old German Warmblood mare, went double-clear and finished the jump-off course two seconds faster than the competition to win the $26,000 first-place prize yesterday.

It comes on the heels of winning the 1.45m circuit in Florida this past winter.

"When I got her, she was a very hot mare," Kelly said.

"It took me a little while to get used to her, but once we started to get along, I just adore her. She's always game for anything and will try anything I ask, even when she probably shouldn't.

"She's had some great wins, but this is a topper."

Earlier this week, Kelly -- who just completed her first years of studies at Princeton University -- just missed out in the $25,000 Pepsi Challenge, finishing second to Chris Pratt by 1/100th of a second in a jump-off.

Eddie Macken, a great Irish rider now living in Langley, B.C., finished second yesterday aboard Tedechine Sept and won $15,000.

Calgary's Jenna Thompson was third with Zeke and won $9,000, while Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, Ont., placed fifth aboard Narcotique de Muze II and won $7,000.

Tamie Phillips of Strathmore placed seventh with Lucas and won $2,400.


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