EXCITING NEWS!  -  Karen named as Torchbearer for the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games!


Karen is thrilled to be chosen (nominated by the Province of BC) to be a torchbearer for the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Games!  Karen will carry the Torch on March 10th  in Maple Ridge.  The celebration is scheduled for 6:30 pm – 8pm on that date.  (details to be added when known).  Maple Ridge has a large concentration of horses in that area and the Maple Ridge Equestrian Center is where Karen did her first Eventing competition, winning it with her beloved horse, Alpine Renegade in the 1980’s.  This Torch-Relay is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and Karen is very proud and excited to represent Maple Ridge and Saanichton, BC and Canada with the Paralympic Flame.  Karen hopes that many Equestrians, friends and proud Canadians will turn out for this special Event.  Karen has the opportunity to purchase the Torch afterwards, making it a very special memento!




Please check out this link about Karen and others in the Canadian Pony Club Wall of Fame:






Karen Odette.JPG

"Karen riding her horse VDL Odette in the Freestyle to Music at the 2008 Paralympic Games"





AND PUT “Karen’s Fund” in the Subject line.  Thank you!”


You Tube – Olympic Dreamers – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPehzGwATuw

Online Video of Karen’s Olympic Journey - http://www.veoh.com/videos/v1415373pm72jbAe

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Biography of Paralympic Rider
Karen Brain Inspires Readers to
Chase Their Dreams

Comments from readers ………..

“I just wanted to say how touched I was reading your book, and how insanely inspirational it was.  I read the whole thing in one day.”    Alayna

“I just finished reading your book and I must admit, I cried through a lot of it!  You are truly an inspiration to everyone.  I really loved to read about Merlin – there is no doubt that you loved him very much.”  Shannon

“When your book arrived and I opened it .. my life has been on hold .. I wasn’t able to put it down.  I cried, cheered and shared with my family.  Karen’s story has given me so much inspiration with her bonds with the horses she rode, sold.  Then at the end knowing Merlin had just passed away, I wept.  I will treasure this book forever and I’m sure it will become creased and loved with wear as I read it over and over again.”   Carolyn

“Karen’s book is a wonderful tribute to a great girl.  We have both read it and are passing it around. We received Karen’s “thank you” and realized she can also write as well as ride.  We shed tears reading the book but also when reading the thank you!”   Marlene

“You are an amazing family that has overcome so much together and I’m sure will continue to do so.  I admire you all.”   Fiona

“I read your book and I had a good cry over it.  I think your horse is absolutely wonderful and your book has seriously inspired me.  You are wonderful for sharing your story.”   Talia

“This is just a short note to say how much I am enjoying the book.  It really shows how dedicated Karen is, with so much drive, with all the difficulties she had.  What a terribly difficult time it was for all of you.  You all came through with flying colours!”    Jenny

After a young horse falls on Canadian event rider Karen Brain, she is left an incomplete paraplegic.  After her surgery, when she fully realizes the severity of her injury, Karen’s initial response is relief.  For the first time in years she is free of the stressful burden of being responsible for the care, training, and campaigning of her horses, the constant struggle to find enough money to keep going, and the relentless pressure to find (and maintain in peak condition) a top notch competition horse.

“I had no idea how hard it was for Karen to keep eventing,” says author Nikki Tate, whose biography of Karen Brain chronicles the determined equestrian’s drive to succeed at the top levels of international competition both before and after her devastating accident.  “To say that such a debilitating accident was a relief – it just shows the stress levels these athletes are constantly dealing with.”

Karen’s response quickly changed from ‘great – I needed a break’ to ‘how can I get back in the saddle?’ and the story of how she returned to international competition is nothing short of remarkable.

Though Karen Brain’s journey to the Paralympic Games in Athens is filled with challenges from start to finish, it’s impossible to read Double Take: Karen Brain’s Olympic Journey and not be left with a sense of triumph and accomplishment.  “It was grueling to listen to Karen’s stories and then to write about how she fought back after an accident that could easily have ended her career,” Tate says.

“I couldn’t hold back the tears when I saw the two Bronze Medals that Karen won at the Athens Paralympic Games,” Tate confesses.  “After spending dozens of hours interviewing Karen and her family, I know what kind of Herculean effort went into winning those medals.”

Anyone who has ever met Karen will know it’s true when she says she considers herself to be one of the luckiest people she knows.  As she says, “More and more as I age, I catch myself thinking, ‘Everything always work out for me in the end.”

The Book Launch for “Double Take: Karen Brain’s Olympic Journey” took place at Greenhawk Tack Store in Brentwood Bay on October 20th, 2007 with over a hundred people in attendance.  Nikki Tate is the author of the best-selling StableMate Series, as well as other fine books.

To order “Double Take: Karen Brain’s Olympic Journey”, please email Karen Brain at karenbraineventer@hotmail.com or Darlene Brain at darbrain@shaw.ca and put “Book Order” in subject line.  Books are $13.00 each plus shipping.


Former – Canadian Equestrian 3-Day Event Team Athlete
Current – Canadian Equestrian Paralympic Team Athlete

Karen and Mozart at Dutch Open, Helvoirt, Netherlands, Sept/05
Photo by Sharon Burton of Ideal Images

Karen Brain was an accomplished rider, coach, and trainer in the Equestrian Sport of Three-Day Eventing, representing Canada at many competitions, until an unfortunate riding accident on September 18th, 2001 left her partially paralyzed with a spinal cord injury.  She spent three months in the Hospital in London, Ontario and almost four more years doing Rehab at Parkwood Hospital as an outpatient.  Karen’s strengths as an Athlete, as in all athletes, were her strengths in recovery – positive attitude, self-determination, dedication, and perseverance.

Karen started riding again, with many difficulties, about eight months after her accident.  As she could not put her feet in the stirrups, she rode without them.  She used two whips as her signals to the horse, in lieu of her legs.  When she couldn’t do something the “usual” way, she found some other way to do it.  She rode until she ached, and then she rode some more.  She practiced her walking in the ring while she cooled her horse off, because she knew if she fell in the sand or hogfuel ring, it wouldn’t hurt as much.  She found out later, that the movement of the horse, forced the same movement in her own body as walking would do.  So riding was therapeutic to her body, as well as to her soul.

Despite her life-altering accident in 2001, Karen has attained the highest level of competition in both able-bodied and disabled riding competitions.  Karen won two Bronze Medals at the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games with the mare Dasskara, and won two Silver Medals in 2005 at the Dutch Open International Dressage competition for disabled riders in Helvoirt, Netherlands with the Dutch gelding Mozart.  Before her accident Karen represented Canada in 3-Day Eventing at the World Equestrian Games in Rome in 1998, with her horse Double Take, and the same year, the pair won the Advanced Canadian Championships in 3-Day Eventing.

Karen has now set her goal to represent Canada at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, and feels that she is capable of winning gold!  In 2006, Karen plans to compete in England and Belgium in International competitions for disabled riders, to qualify for the 2007 World Championships in Great Britain for Riders with a Disability.

In late 2005, Karen moved home to BC, after living and training in Germany, the US and Eastern Canada for nine years, the past six years in London, Ontario.  Karen has been fortunate to be able to train with world-renowned Coach, Conrad Schumacher, in Germany, who has helped her immensely, and with whom she plans to continue to train with.  She feels honoured to have the privilege of training with him.

Karen would like to thank all the individuals and businesses who have generously helped her in the past and feels that her last two years have been especially successful due to all the support she has received.  Thank you all very much!


Thank you For:
Website Design: donated by: Jason Washington
Website Host: RBGRed Bay Group, LLC
Website Copyright: Karen Brain 2004