Women's Health

Kaitlyn Moneer – Professional Equestrian Rider

Kaitlyn Moneer - Professional Equestrian Rider
Kaitlyn Moneer – Professional equestrian rider. Brain Media Credit Mark

Kaitlyn Moneer – For many high school football players, a collapsed lung could be a career-ending injury. Even if the body recovers, the road to mentally overcome an injury like this is unimaginably daunting. Couple that with major knee surgery, a major car accident, and mono in a short amount of time, and many amateur athletes would look to early retirement.

A young athlete from Goose Creek, South Carolina is defying all odds, overcoming a 75% collapsed lung, a crippling car accident and a mono in a single year. Kaitlyn Moneer didn’t stop there; she graduated from high school early, re-educating her mind and body through a six-month solo travel adventure of self-discovery, and secured a spot on the World’s Best Show Jumping Tour in across Europe with Laura Kraut of the American team.

The former high school football star turned world-class equestrian rider credits her desire to represent her country for keeping her pursuing professional athletics despite so many setbacks. “I always wanted to be at the Olympics for something,” laughed Moneer. “I really didn’t care what it was, to be honest.”

When asked what her road to recovery was like after suffering a collapsed lung, she said: ‘After the surgery they took x-rays every 3 hours. I really couldn’t sleep at all. I must have slept with my hand up,” laughed Moneer, “That was kinda crazy.”

However, the battle began when rehabilitation began, it continued; “Mentally the challenge really started when rehabilitation started. I got out of breath very quickly. I had to totally rebuild my stamina, so it was frustrating, but my family was really supportive, which helped me keep showing up. Eventually I started to see progress, and that’s when I felt like I was really hungry.

His thirst for success would pay off. In June, Moneer was invited by Team USA’s Laura Kraut to join Kraut and her team at the exclusive Travers Horse Facility in Kronenberg, The Netherlands, which Team Kraut had rented exclusively for the season. Moneer will travel the world competing on the European Tour in an attempt to rack up points towards an invitation to the Longines Global Champions Tour.

Moneer and her boyfriend, technology CEO and former TV producer Eric Leopardi, also recently acquired a 45,000 square foot training center in Montfort, the Netherlands. Asked about the acquisition and the subsequent move to Europe, Moneer said: “I am delighted with this opportunity. I will miss my family, but the chance to learn from some of the best pilots in the world is incredibly humbling.

She continued: “Obviously I’m excited to win something, but right now I’m just focused on learning everything I can from the veterans around me and contributing whatever I can. to the team to help.”

Kaitlyn Moneer is due to report to Travers Horse Facility on August 1 and hopefully won’t be returning to the United States any time soon. Leopardi and Moneer are also reportedly filming a reality TV series following their life-changing adventure taking on the competitive world of show jumping overseas.


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