June 11, 2015 9:10 pm

Kelowna quadriplegic overcomes obstacles to pursue horse racing passion

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KELOWNA – She’s not exactly a typical horse rider but 62-year-old Adrienne Colby isn’t letting her disability get in the way of her passion. When Colby was 30, a car accident left her a quadriplegic.

“I started out totally paralyzed. I had no movement in any hands,” says Colby.

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Colby now has five per cent of function in her right hand and 50 per cent in her left. A recreational horse rider since she was a little girl, the accident forced her to give up her favourite hobby. But after 12 years of not riding, she was determined to get back on the saddle – a decision she said saved her life.

“I live with serious chronic pain 24 hours,” she says. “Had I not had the horses for the escape of my circumstances, I think I would have done suicide by now.”

Colby says being on her beloved horse Razz helps her forget the constant pain she’s in, giving her a small reminder of the freedom she once enjoyed.

“Yeah I’m free, I’m free of equipment, I just feel free,” she says.

She’s now training for the Interior Gaited Horse Show that takes place this weekend in Armstrong. Colby will be the only disabled person taking part. She competed in the event six years ago and came in second place. She hopes her story inspires others, disabled or not, to pursue their dreams.

“The big thing is passions and dreams,” she says. “There is power in them. It does not matter how difficult it is, just do it, trust in the power in them.”

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