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Hampton Classic rider suffered spinal cord injury, wife says

Kevin Babington, shown in 2014, suffered a spinal

Kevin Babington, shown in 2014, suffered a spinal cord injury after falling off a horse at the Hampton Classic Horse Show Friday, his wife said.  Credit: SocietyAllure.com/Rob Rich

The veteran rider who fell off his horse while competing in the Hampton Classic Horse Show Friday suffered a spinal cord injury to his neck and has been transferred to NYU Langone Medical Center, according to his wife.

Kevin Babington, 51, of Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania, was thrown from a horse about 4:14 p.m. Saturday and had initially been taken to Stony Brook University Hospital, Southampton Town Police had said.

He has since been transferred and his wife Dianna Babington said in a Facebook post that the family is attempting to “navigate what medical procedures are best.”

“Kevin is such a humble and private person I don’t want to post about the details but know i remain optimistic as we receive info from doctors,” Dianna Babington posted early Sunday morning. “It is too early at this time to know anything for certain. Please know that at my lowest moments the messages of love and support are carrying me through this.”

A Facebook fundraiser to offset his medical care and other expenses had raised more than $118,000 as of Sunday afternoon. The post was read aloud by an announcer during Grand Prix events Sunday at the horse show.

“Please know you bring strength and integrity to all who are lucky enough to know you. We love you,” one supporter wrote.

Babington was interviewed by Newsday after winning the Grand Prix in 2014.

"Every rider wants to win a Hamptons, and it's always been a dream of mine," Babington said five years ago. "Today it paid off."

According to a biography posted on the event’s website, Babington is an accomplished rider, having scored major victories this year alone, including at the 2019 Lake Placid Horse Shows where he occupied the top three places in the $100,000 Great American Insurance Group Grand Prix with horses named Shorapur, Super Chilled and Mark Q. An online industry magazine, The Plaid Horse, called it "the greatest performance in Lake Placid Horse Show history.”

“We’re all very hopeful that everything will turn out all right,” said Hampton Classic spokesman Marty Bauman. “Kevin is one of the best liked riders on our circuit and the entire horse show community is pulling for him and we’re all hopeful that he’ll have a full recovery.”

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