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Charity Barrel Race

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January 9, 2005

Brooks County - These images depict a life changing event for 20 year old Ashley Cassotta. Ashley says, "I broke my tibia in my right leg, my femur and my femur, and I broke the front and back of my pelvis, and then both of the bones in my arm."

On October 21, just two days shy of competing in a big barrel racing event, Ashley was involved in a car accident. Ashley's mother, Robin says: "They said it was bad, so we go to the hospital, and they tell me what all is broken and they transfer her to Shands, and we spent a month at Shands, and it's hard, it's extremely hard."

The hard work that mother and daughter have put in, has Ashley progressing faster than doctors had hoped. But as Ashley's steps get bigger and bigger, so do the medical bills. Robin says, "Our medical bills now I think are close to $250,000 and are probably going to be more."

Those who know the Cassotta family are trying to help with expenses. Longtime friend Jan Kinsey is one of many supporters who has helped to organize a charity barrel race to raise money. She says, "A group of us got together and decided that we would do a benefit barrel race, and we're going to go with it on January the 15th. "

Ashley is currently on two crutches, and hopes to be down to just one in a couple of weeks. Robin says her daughter is a fighter. She'll be back," Robin says, "she'll be back, she's very determined, that she will be back." Ashley says, "I want to ride again, they said I can probably start to ride again around April." And riding barrel horses is something Ashley loves to do and vows to do again soon.

The benefit barrel race for Ashley Cassotta will begin next Saturday at 4:00 PM with the exhibition at 2:00 PM, at Gold Leaf Arena in Jennings, Florida. There is 60% payback for winners. All other proceeds benefit Ashley and her family. For more information, contact Jan Kinsey after 5 PM at 229-247-8303.

posted at 4:45 by robbyn.despain@walb.com

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