Famous rider recovers well after fall


“It will take a while before she can get on a horse again, but I’m sure she will again. She doesn’t take no for an answer.”

Janita Doyer, a well-known equestrian who was seriously injured six weeks ago when she fell off her horse, is doing better every day.

Doyer has been cared for in the MidStep clinic in Pretoria for just over a week now. Last Monday it was exactly six weeks after her accident.

Doyer is well-known in horse circles and also the owner of the Arkab riding school and the Arkab Arabian stud at Belfast in Mpumalanga.

According to her husband, Van Duyn Doyer, she is stubborn and doesn’t take no for an answer.

“It will take a while before she can get on a horse again, but I’m sure she will again. She doesn’t take no for an answer,” he told RNews.

It was a grueling road for the couple after the accident. Doyer fought for her life for days in the intensive care unit of the Midmed hospital in Middelburg, and had to lie very still so that the swelling around and in her bone marrow could subside. After being admitted, she was kept in a medically induced coma.

She was also placed on a ventilator to help with her breathing.

In addition, Doyer’s heart stopped at one stage.

The accident happened when she participated in an endurance ride over a route of 117 km and four days during the Easter weekend. Doyer and a group of riders were on their way from Dullstroom to Belfast to visit historical sites.

Near the end of the ride, Doyer’s horse slipped and she fell off the horse.

According to Van Duyn, it took her weeks before she could remember everything clearly. Van Duyn was also on the trek, together with the couple’s daughter-in-law. There was also a doctor in the group and he tried to revive Doyer while they waited for an ambulance.

These days things are much better, even though Doyer is still connected to a feeding tube and tracheal tube.

“Yesterday she was able to smell food for the first time since the accident,” says Van Duyn.

For him, it was wonderful news when Doyer informed him of this by phone. He holds down the fort at home at the stud and drives over to visit her on weekends.

The gratitude and relief clearly shines through when he tells how well his wife has recovered. “She can move both her hands now. It is still only the right hand that struggles with the fine motor movements.”

He was unsure how long Doyer would have to be treated at the center.

“We are grateful for the progress and improvement,” he said.