About The Kevin Babington Foundation
In late August 2019 Kevin suffered a complete spinal cord injury after a fall during the 2019 Grand Prix at the Hampton Classic Horse Show in Bridgehampton, NY, United States of America. Kevin underwent surgery to stabilize the vertebrae in his neck in early September and by mid-October of that year was breathing without the aid of a ventilator but paralyzed from the neck down. Two months later Kevin began teaching from his wheelchair. Today he is undergoing experimental stem cell therapy on the hopes of regaining movement below the neck.
This was the genesis of the Kevin Babington Foundation which was established in 2019.
The Foundation has the following objectives:
- Create standard protocols for immediate treatment of spinal injuries in as many locations as possible.
- Make available funding for grants to assist equestrian show jumping athletes with spinal injuries to give them access to professionals for consultation at top-tier medical facilities.
- Fund viable sources of new safety equipment and to educate the horseback riding public about any advances in this market. Arguably our sport is behind in this area; we need to examine the many cutting edged options in safety vests and riding coats which are readily available.
- Work in conjunction with national equestrian federations and competitions to educate equestrian show jumping athletes about available safety equipment to protect against catastrophic injuries.
“The Kevin Babington Foundation is an all-volunteer organization. Every effort is made to minimize any overhead but items such as the website, tax preparation, research, lobbying for safety such as air vests, account for some minimal overhead. In that regard 15% of every foundation is reserved for that purpose so 85 cents on every dollar goes directly to care of those Equestrian Show Jumping Athlete needing our support. This is a small fraction of the national average for 501c3 which approaches 39 percent.”
Road to Recoveries
Kevin Babington and Alexis Halbert have been the first beneficiaries of the Kevin Babington Foundation. Donations have been instrumental in their rehabilitation from traumatic spinal cord injuries.
If you, or someone you know is in need of funds as a result of an accident, please click the button below.
Our Goals as a 501(c)(3)
The Kevin Babington Foundation was established in 2019 and received its Internal Revenue status as a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization in 2021.
Our goal is to provide resources to those in the equestrian show jumping community who sustain spinal injuries, educate the community on research breakthroughs and identify resources for those in needs.
Show Jumping Athletes with serious spinal injuries will be in need of financial resources for such things as medical bills, physical therapy, outfitted transportation vehicles, house remodeling to make it handicap suitable.
As many of you know, rehabilitation from catastrophic injuries is a long process. All of us at the Kevin Babington Foundation wish to extend a heartfelt thanks to the many people who have already donated. With the contributions received, for example, we were able to purchase a van for Kevin so he can easily be transported to and from physical therapy. And Alexis Halbert was able to receive ground-breaking therapy at The Shepherd Center and is now able to walk on her own after doctors questioned whether that would ever be a possibility.
About Kevin Babington
Kevin Babington, the youngest of 11 and the son of a wool merchant from County Tipperary, Ireland, was 18 when he came to the United States with $300 in his pocket. He rose in the sport to work under Frank and Mary Mairs Chapot. Frank Chapot rode in six Olympics and coached the U.S. show jumping team for six more. But Babington said it was riding a horse named Carling King, a headstrong Irish-bred gelding, and finishing fourth with him at the 2004 Olympics that “finally put me on the map.” One rider on the current Irish team said Babington was “a big part of the Irish equestrian history.” That success didn’t stop him from learning. That’s partly what has endeared him to others. Babington is reserved, but was never shy about asking for opinions about courses or technique, and he taught other Grand Prix riders, as well as beginners. He waived his fee for young riders who could not afford it.