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Rising Up on the Back of a Horse
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Rising Up on the Back of a Horse

Andrew Diemer is always seen zooming across the polocrosse field, leaving nobody with even a hint that there is more than meets the eye with this brave man.  Even when a rare heart condition got the better of him, he persisted and got back up on the back of a horse.

The Beginnings of Andrew Diemer

Raised on a farm close to the Carolina Horse Park, Diemer loved horses starting in his childhood and participated in riding events, becoming one of the best young polocrosse players in the state.

Polocrosse, which is a combination of lacrosse and polo, is a game that aims to improve a rider’s ability to control his horse. However, the polocrosse field is much smaller than that used for polo thus increasing the intensity of the game. This game was discovered by Diemer and his father Manny at a Pony Club event and struck a chord with Diemer due to the teamwork and skill that it entailed.

At the age of 26, Diemer played defence and never failed to block a goal. After playing in Australia, Zambia, South Africa, and other places, Diemer was completely drawn by the sport. After a year in Colorado, he decided to train his Australian Stock horse Stella to play the sport. Together, the pair went on to win the American Polocrosse Association Nationals held in 2013. Stella was also awarded for being the best A grade horse there.

Where it all turned around

When Diemer decided to train the National Youth Pentathlon Team, he did not pay much heed to his congenital heart problem until he began experiencing intense pain and sudden, inexplicable fevers. After several incorrect diagnoses, he was found to have endocarditis and had to be flown to John Hopkins for emergency heart surgery.

After the chest surgery, a clot in his leg demanded a below-the-knee amputation, all of which made 2015 a tough year for the young man. Despite all these hiccups, Diemer did not fall down but chose to rise back up on the back of his horse.

Riding Once Again

On leaving rehab, Diemer had a prosthetic to get used to. He was not too sure about his return to competitive riding, given that he had to relearn how to maintain his balance. However, with some good advice by fellow dressage rider, Robin Brueckmann, Diemer was soon able to get the hang of riding again.

Having loved horses since he was a child, he could not imagine life without them and decided that even if he didn’t get to play A grade matches again, he still wanted to continue playing. Beth Younger, the owner of Muddy Creek Farm, has watched Diemer fall plenty of times, only to get back up again. Watching him play now at the B grade matches makes it hard to even remember that he had a major injury.

Despite everything, Diemer hopes to get back into eventing soon. In fact, Lynn Doki, his long-time dressage trainer, stated that all these hardships have actually helped make Diemer into a more empathetic and understanding rider and irrespective of his past hardships, it is clear that Diemer is aiming to raise himself up again, on the back of a horse.

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