No stranger to horses or to racing, Fayetteville’s LeAnne English Keller took a bad spill Sunday after winning the quarter-mile race during the Quarter Horse races at the Lincoln County Fair.
Keller, 34, was LifeFlighted after the riding accident to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, where she remained Monday, said Randy Cowley, president of the Lincoln County Fair Association, noting that prior to the fall, she had just won her race.
“She’s a tough young lady,” said Cowley. “I just got a picture of her there at Vanderbilt, and she’s smiling, but she was banged up pretty good.”
Keller received multiple injuries, including broken ribs, a broken collar bone, a small lung puncture, and a small puncture to her liver, and sustained a concussion, according to family, adding that she is not expected to require surgery.
“She had won her race and was on the backside of the track, where the horse trailers are,” he said. “There’s an opening in the rail there, and there was a rope up. Her horse was still excited and just darted for the opening … They both went airborne.”
Keller has been racing at the Fair since 1994, according to a feature in the 2017 Fair catalogue. She was 11 at the time of her first race when she took a pony on the track. In the years since, she’s won many races. In addition to the quarter-mile race Sunday, she was also registered to compete in the Lincoln County Residents’ Race and the mule race.