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Media Kit

Media Release


November 23, 2017


On September 13, 1997, Ottawa-area event rider Claire Smith sustained a catastrophic brain injury at an international competition as thousands of horrified spectators watched in person and on television. In her new book FALLING INTO NOW: MEMORIES OF SPORT, TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY AND EDUCATION, Claire Smith details her experience as a former elite equestrian who suffered that traumatic brain injury and the ups and downs of her life since that fateful fall.

Her story begins when, as a young girl, she discovered a passion for horses. She succeeded in becoming a member of the Canadian Equestrian Team and represented Canada at the 1994 World Championships as well as at the 1996 Olympics. Claire’s life instantly changed on September 13, 1997. While competing at the European Championships, she had a disastrous fall and sustained a severe traumatic brain injury.

After six months in hospital, where she had to learn how to eat and walk again, and many more months of rehabilitation, Claire enrolled in the MA program at the University of Ottawa in 2000, graduating in 2004. In 2006, Claire began to lose function in her right leg. She was diagnosed with the movement disorder Dystonia, a chronic illness originating in the brain, directly related to her injury. Undaunted by this huge loss, she was awarded a PhD in 2010

Claire’s memoir captivates readers with its heart-wrenching description of Claire’s life during the first three years of her recovery. When she realized she had no choice but to relinquish her equestrian identity, her journey became one of reinvention.

Claire Smith’s compelling story, one of loss intermingled with achievement, engages and inspires readers. Falling into Now: Memories of Sport, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Education is available online at, as well as in select bookstores.

Meet the author at her Book Launch in Merrickville at the Baldachin Pub from 5 to 8 pm on December 1st and in Ottawa at Books on Beechwood on December 3rd from 1 to 3 pm.


For more information, visit the author’s website
Contact Info: Email   Phone  613-269-2559



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Book Cover Image

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Claire Smith Image

Please credit: Arranel Studios, Smiths Falls

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