Mayor Moore's back brace and why she's wearing it

Sara Golling
By Sara Golling
June 9th, 2018

WHY is Mayor Kathy Moore looking so bulky these days as she goes zipping around town? Looks like she has a back brace on under her clothing. Yes, that’s what it is – proof that riding a horse can damage you even if you’re a competent rider and don’t fall off the horse when something unexpected happens. (Moore’s friends already know all this, but why shouldn’t all the other citizens of Rossland be informed too?)

Here’s the story how our Mayor came to be wearing a brace – meant to act as a cast for the back. She was on holiday in Ireland, sightseeing and enjoying doing a lot of horseback riding, taking jumps – having a wonderful time.

The sightseeing included hiking, visiting castles and other landmarks, and a visit to, as Moore wrote, “a giant rock seat that is meant to be sacred. The tradition is to sit in it and make a wish. For the life of me, I couldn’t think of a wish (given circumstances to follow, maybe I should have wished for continued good health!)”

Moore wrote about her delight at the horseback riding: “I really enjoyed getting back into jumping. It was so much fun! Brought me back to my misspent youth as a barn rat and horse crazy kid.

“I've done some things that I had never done before — like jumping into water, galloping through the lake and jumping out of water. None of the fences have been really big but by Thursday we were doing things that certainly got my attention. It’s been terrific. There were some jumps perfectly spaced up a steep hill like steps. To get them right, the horse just floats up, like going up an escalator. It was really cool. Then going down another set of steps was fun too.”

But the fun turned to pain when events required Moore to “slam on the brakes and pull up very abruptly. I really compressed my back slamming into the saddle.”

She knew right away she had hurt her back, but didn’t know how badly until later – after she had tried more riding, and it continued to become more painful, she went to the Emergency Ward at a Dublin hospital.

She got there at 3:00 pm.  She got an X-ray at 1:00 am – ten painful hours later. The X-rays showed fractures in the three lowermost thoracic vertebrae (T-10 to T-12), but Moore still had to have a CT scan for a more thorough assessment. More waiting . . . at 11:20 am, she had the CT scan. It showed that only the T-12 fracture was new; the T-10 and T-11 were old injuries.

Because it was a holiday weekend in Ireland, the usual back-brace fitting staff were off, so Moore had to wait until the orthopaedic surgeons could take time to do that for her, and it was 10:00 pm before she had the brace, and by 11:00 pm she was free to go back to her B&B nearby, accompanied partway by one of the drunks from the Emergency Ward. Total time elapsed from entering the Emergency Ward to leaving with her new back brace?  32 hours

During that time, Moore cancelled the rest of her holiday plans and arranged to come home early.

The original brace was the wrong size (a “Men’s Medium”), so Moore had to go back again and was provided with a better-fitting model (a “Men’s Small”), though it was still not a good fit – they were out of women’s sizes!

The final visit took only an hour and a quarter, though, so Moore was able to get on with getting home.


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