A former eventer and retired pediatric orthopedic surgeon, Debbie sustained a brain injury from a riding accident on March 14, 1999. After a long recovery and rehabilitation she returned to riding, but stopped trying to return to eventing around 2008, opting instead to compete in Para Dressage. In March, 2013 she was re-classified as a Grade II Para Equestrian. In 2014 Debbie and her mare Tiramisu competed in CPEDIs in Wellington, Florida and Rancho Murieta, California; in June, 2014 they finished fourth in the USEF Para Equestrian Dressage Grade II National Championship in Gladstone, New Jersey. At the end of 2014 Debbie leased "Goldie" to a junior rider and purchased Biara G as a potential partner for the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. In the summer of 2015 Debbie and Biara traveled to Europe to compete at CPEDIs in France and Germany.
Skovlunds De Nice
Debbie's current goal is to represent the United States in Para Equestrian competition at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. In 2018 she purchased the Danish Warmblood mare Skovlund’s Denise as a suitable partner for this endeavor. Debbie and “Jolie” spent the winter season in Wellington, Florida training and competing.
Para Equestrian competition provides unique opportunities for riders with disabilities to compete on a level playing field with typical athletes, thanks to the US Para Equestrian Association's grading system.
Following USEF and FEI rules, para equestrians can ultimately compete at national championships, the World Equestrian Games, and the Olympics.