When Ralph Hill broke his neck in a fall from a young horse a few days ago, somebody got in touch with Mike Plumb. Mike, who`d kept in touch with me, as had Bruce Davidson, through my rehab, called me with Ralph`s phone number. “Call him”, said Mike. “You know what he`s going through”.
If Mike tells you to do something, you do it! I would have anyway, because Ralph`s been my friend for years, so I called him yesterday. Then I posted something about his accident on Facebook. Then, Eventing Nation picked up the thread, and put out a major story, so I suspect Ralph will start to get letters and cards by the dozen.
When Bruce got hurt so badly some years ago at Over The Walls, and I called him, he told me that I was already the tenth person to get in touch, and that Mike had called every day. Bruce, as only Bruce can, then said, “I don`t know if Mike`s calling for my sake or for his!”
It`s very telling that members of such a high risk sport as ours always have each other`s back, as the saying goes. We may compete fiercely on the day, but let anything go wrong, and they are right there. When Boyd and Silva`s barn burned, the whole community started fund raising.
Obviously, the interconnectedness of modern communications makes all this instant. In the days of letters, it would still have happened, but slowly, a letter or phone call at a time. But the closeness of the community has been a constant, and no matter the medium, that won`t change.