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TB or not TB?
Mar. 16, 2008, 07:44 PM
Okay folks, I've been researching all day and I have a partial list completed but I need your help filling in the blanks. I unfortunately have basically no data for horse deaths, so that is another project all together.

Here is a breakdown of rider death by year:
1993: 4 deaths
1994: 1 death
1995: 1 death
1996: 0? deaths
1997: 1? death
1998: 2? deaths
1999: 5 deaths
2000: 5? deaths
2001: ?
2002: ?
2003: ?
2004: 3+ deaths
2005: ?
2006: 3+ deaths
2007: 9 deaths

We thought 11 deaths for 2007 but that is incorrect; there were 11 deaths in the Nov '06- Nov '07 span, not the calendar year of 2007.

Here are the names of the riders that I have so far:
1997: Amanda Warrington
1998: David Foster, Keith Taylor
1999: Polly Phillips, Peter McLean, Simon Long, Peter Slade, Peta Beckett
2000: Jemima Johnson, Rhonda Mason, Mark Meyers, __________
2004: Samantha Hudson, Caroline Pratt, Cindy Burge, _________
2006: Sherelle Duke, Mia Eriksson, Kim Hyung Chil, _________
2007: Maïa Boutanos, Amanda Bader, Amelie Cohen, Jo-Anne Williams, Julie Silly, Elin Stalberg, Tina Richter-Vietor, Anke Wolfe, Eleanor Brennan

Obviously, need names and numbers of the missing years, as well.

pasodqueen
Mar. 16, 2008, 08:28 PM
In 1998 Keith Taylor at Radnor and I think Amanda Warrington was either the same year or the year before

ss3777
Mar. 16, 2008, 08:31 PM
geez, what the heck happened in 2000???


Edited: I found it on the other thread:

Various references to the previous spate of deaths:
http://www.iht.com/articles/2000/05/13/horse.2.t_0.php
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/1999/sep/21/vivekchaudhary
http://www.indiavarta.com/olympics/F...nd+Joy&rLink=0 (from Reuters)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/olym...ian/852582.stm
http://books.google.com/books?id=am6...=frontcover&vq (Sports Law, Simon Gardiner, 3rd Ed, pp. 117-118)

BigRuss1996
Mar. 16, 2008, 08:34 PM
Amanda died the year before

In 1998 Keith Taylor at Radnor and I think Amanda Warrington was either the same year or the year before

Lucassb
Mar. 16, 2008, 08:46 PM
Caroline Pratt died at Burghley in 2004.

2ndyrgal
Mar. 16, 2008, 09:00 PM
In light of some of the recent events, this is just a bit morbid. I'm sure you could google it without posting it here.

Ellie K
Mar. 16, 2008, 09:07 PM
TB, I believe the total for 2000 was 5. When I posted there were 10 in a 12 month period, I just meant to show that a string of deaths in a 12 month period (whether or not it falls neatly into a calendar year) is just as big a "risk factor" as a string that falls nicely into a calendar year. I believe it is certain that there were 5 in 1999, that is what gave rise to the first safety committee and is widely cited. Then early in 2000, it continued and there were another 5 around the world, still falling within 12 months' time from the first one in 1999. Does that make sense?

TB or not TB?
Mar. 16, 2008, 09:08 PM
I am sorry that you feel it's morbid. And I'm asking all the same, because this has gone on long enough, and no one is doing anything about it.

saje
Mar. 16, 2008, 09:09 PM
I think that in light of recent events this is ENTIRELY appropriate, and necessary.

I'd be interested to see data about horse deaths, and catastrophic falls that permanently disabled the rider or horse, and if there's any correlation between those accidents and the courses they were on.

TB or not TB?
Mar. 16, 2008, 09:13 PM
TB, I believe the total for 2000 was 5. When I posted there were 10 in a 12 month period, I just meant to show that a string of deaths in a 12 month period (whether or not it falls neatly into a calendar year) is just as big a "risk factor" as a string that falls nicely into a calendar year. I believe it is certain that there were 5 in 1999, that is what gave rise to the first safety committee and is widely cited. Then early in 2000, it continued and there were another 5 around the world, still falling within 12 months' time from the first one in 1999. Does that make sense?

Yes, thank you. :yes: I've been researching for about 6 hours and coming up with hardly any information. The FEI safety reports, while thoroughly padded with miscellaneous content that addresses few concerns, seem to have holes in its data.

TB or not TB?
Mar. 16, 2008, 09:16 PM
I think that in light of recent events this is ENTIRELY appropriate, and necessary.

I'd be interested to see data about horse deaths, and catastrophic falls that permanently disabled the rider or horse, and if there's any correlation between those accidents and the courses they were on.

I am working toward this. It's very difficult to find such information, other than personal recollections. I will be polling COTHers about this later when the current issues have died down a bit.

The FEI has fall statistics galore, but no info about the results of said falls.

Evalee Hunter
Mar. 17, 2008, 12:02 AM
I don't know where you are located physically & I don't know if The Horse of Delaware Valley has an archive of old issues, but I know they carried quite an article on deaths in eventing after either the 1993 or 94 death which was in this immediate area. That article remained on my bedside table for (literally) years & I read it over & over again. According to the article (which I no longer have) there had been only 10 deaths in recognized eventing worldwide in the 10 years prior (this is based on my memory but I am fairly sure I am correct) & almost all of the deaths had been at tables, which put that type of jump under scrutiny at that time. The young woman who died in either 93 or 94 died competing at training level. I know her obituary was carried by the Wilmington (DE) News Journal as it was a big deal in this area at that time. Again, you might be able to locate the obituary in archives if you were that interested - it was a big article with a picture of her jumping her horse.

seeuatx
Mar. 17, 2008, 12:08 AM
Roberta Scocia (sp?) died in 1998, I believe. There was a lovely COTH editorial in Nov (I think) of that year.... It was a farewell to them all, and discussing the dangers involved in riding (comparing the different disciplines to swimming sports).

ellebeaux
Mar. 17, 2008, 12:22 AM
I would like to see USEA fund a graduate student or postdoc to work on this issue.

What hypotheses would you like to see tested? We could look at causes of death, types of jumps, experience of the horses/riders, horse physiology and the physics of jumping. I think rather then us anecdoting away about it, someone needs to sit down and figure out the 'epidemiology' of these deaths. That will lead us to new concrete theories and give us directions for how to address and fix this problem.

vineyridge
Mar. 17, 2008, 12:26 AM
Don't just limit yourself to human deaths--catastrophic/critical injury is equally important.

Outfox
Mar. 17, 2008, 12:49 AM
In 1998, I rode at Trojan Horse (AZ) Adv, just 5 horses behind a gal named Bonnie? that died when her horse misjudged the bounce.

I will never forget my routine to stay focused during that warm-up.

retreadeventer
Mar. 17, 2008, 12:54 AM
Regarding the horse statistics:
In any statistical analysis, numbers can be skewed to form just about any point of view. It's important to understand that eventing requires many more jumps of a horse in the course of competing. If you ride a Grand Prix jumper, your course of jumps is what, 15 to 20 efforts? And if you drop a rail you do not come back, your day is done. The very fact that event horses have nearly twice as many jumping efforts on cross country day alone skews the percentages. Event horses are jumping nearly four times as many fences in a competition weekend at the upper levels than comparative non-eventing competition horses, probably on average.

(Edited to add: do not forget if you are thinking that cross country requires jumping efforts over solid fences -- remember that the majority of horses who start the courses in an average event finish, which means most horses in competition jump the solid fences cleanly, which is a very heavily weighted percentage.)

Even if the grand prix jumper has more chances to show over the course of a season, or a year, the event horse also schools jumping and cross country in addition to competing. How do you factor in fatalities vs. jumping exposure? You can't. It's impractical, not without a year of research on each and every horse. Could be done, however, not saying it can't. The point is you cannot tie horse deaths at eventing to any particular reason with regard to the competition exposure, since many things factor in to exposing the horse to risk factors while on course, or while competing. For instance, the horses at Red Hills appeared to have heart problems, both of them, which compromised them in the end. The course therefore did not cause the fatalities, sorry, but those are the medical facts, despite all the rhetoric and opinion. The horse's body did. And there is no way on God's green earth veterinary science can tell anyone (yet) beyond a reasonable doubt, that the course, or a jump, or some combination of the above (including or excluding rider error) caused their demise. The science is just not there yet. Congenital defect, undetected, picked a rather public moment to surface? Underlying infection, compromising the heart? Physical condition or lack thereof? Or no reason? sometimes things just happen. You can't blame that on a course.

How many horse deaths happen back in the barns at the huge hunter shows, or at the dressage shows? Pony club rallies? Death by colic induced by stress at shows, events, rallies? The numbers can string on and on and become an endless recitation of exceptions, qualifications, special circumstances. Did the competition cause the death or contribute to it?

If one is concerned about horse deaths, by far and away, steeplechasing holds the crown on that. Next would be organized racing. I kept statistics back in 2000-2001 for a website I was hosting, and worldwide I found over 100 horse deaths, the vast majority in England in steeplechasing, over 60 percent. The rest were mostly racing Thoroughbred first, Quarter Horse second, Harness third. (slower). There were a very tiny few reported in Quarter Horse Shows, Arab shows, Saddlebred and TW shows, reining, hunters and jumpers, etc. Surprising a lot of horses died in rodeos, a very dangerous place for a horse actually. Lots of broken necks, tangled in ropes. Oh and the new Extreme horse sport deal - whew, bad on horses too. They've had several horse deaths at those. And then eventing, dressage, youth shows (including Pony Club, 4-H, etc.) and other stuff like clinics and non competition events. An interesting statistic, the Quarter horse World show and Congress each have a horse death usually every other day of competition, it's not reported for the most part, but I know from attending both, and talking to the driver of "the truck". Congress is 10 days long. You do the math. And there's no outrage and big long epistles posted on this board about THAT tragedy of a horse sport. No one calling for the demise of showing quarter horses, outlawing rodeos, etc.

Worldwide eventing is on par with other horse sports listed above, all reported about the same number of horses per sport per year. Some a few more, some a few less. You just can't make the case based on statistics that eventing is any more dangerous to horses than any other horse sport with the exception of steeplechasing or racing. I just feel it's important to point out statistical analysis needs to be exact, and that the difficulty of comparison on raw numbers alone usually will lead to an erroneous conclusion.

buschkn
Mar. 17, 2008, 02:08 AM
I agree that statistical analyses can be skewed in many ways. However, your post implies that you feel that upper level eventing is as safe to horses as QH showing, loping around in a well groomed ring. Now who is skewing statistics? I am a happy for anyone who thinks everything is as it should be and that nobody should ask questions or try and improve the sport.

However, having been to MANY events, and MANY shows over the years, and after seeing 3 horses die at events in less than 2 years, I made the decision to change my focus to SJ instead. It is important to question why horses and people are dying and being critically injured. I am sure it will happen someday, but thus far I have not seen a horse die at a HJ show or loping around a breed show class.

These are questions that need to be asked if the sport is to be made safer for horses and riders. I applaud anyone who goes to the effort to try and gather information that may positively influence safety for our friends, both human and equine.

nature
Mar. 17, 2008, 07:13 AM
In 1998, I rode at Trojan Horse (AZ) Adv, just 5 horses behind a gal named Bonnie? that died when her horse misjudged the bounce.

I will never forget my routine to stay focused during that warm-up.

Linda Riddle died when her horse midjudged the bounce. She was competing advanced.

saje
Mar. 17, 2008, 09:08 AM
Regarding the horse statistics:
In any statistical analysis, numbers can be skewed to form just about any point of view. It's important to understand that eventing requires many more jumps of a horse in the course of competing. If you ride a Grand Prix jumper, your course of jumps is what, 15 to 20 efforts? And if you drop a rail you do not come back, your day is done. The very fact that event horses have nearly twice as many jumping efforts on cross country day alone skews the percentages. Event horses are jumping nearly four times as many fences in a competition weekend at the upper levels than comparative non-eventing competition horses, probably on average.

This has nothing to do with comparing death/injury levels sport to sport, and everything to do with determining the reason that deaths and severe injuries have skyrocketed in eventing in the last few years. It's unacceptable.


(Edited to add: do not forget if you are thinking that cross country requires jumping efforts over solid fences -- remember that the majority of horses who start the courses in an average event finish, which means most horses in competition jump the solid fences cleanly, which is a very heavily weighted percentage.)

Not quite sure what your point is here, but yes the majority do finish clean. However, how many have been overfaced, and why is that majority diminishing? It's unacceptable that we do this to our horses.


Even if the grand prix jumper has more chances to show over the course of a season, or a year, the event horse also schools jumping and cross country in addition to competing. How do you factor in fatalities vs. jumping exposure? You can't. It's impractical, not without a year of research on each and every horse. Could be done, however, not saying it can't. The point is you cannot tie horse deaths at eventing to any particular reason with regard to the competition exposure, since many things factor in to exposing the horse to risk factors while on course, or while competing. For instance, the horses at Red Hills appeared to have heart problems, both of them, which compromised them in the end. The course therefore did not cause the fatalities, sorry, but those are the medical facts, despite all the rhetoric and opinion. The horse's body did. And there is no way on God's green earth veterinary science can tell anyone (yet) beyond a reasonable doubt, that the course, or a jump, or some combination of the above (including or excluding rider error) caused their demise. The science is just not there yet. Congenital defect, undetected, picked a rather public moment to surface? Underlying infection, compromising the heart? Physical condition or lack thereof? Or no reason? sometimes things just happen. You can't blame that on a course.

Isn't it worth TRYING to find out if the course had an effect? There have been horses with heart defects who have competed successfully for years at the upper levels. Why is it such a bad thing to see if the "new" format courses of compressed, technicla and taxing jumping efforts sandwiched between varying lenghts of galloping is is MORE detrimental to the horse than the classic long format? These incresed deaths, injuries, (horse and human) and close calls are unacceptable.


How many horse deaths happen back in the barns at the huge hunter shows, or at the dressage shows? Pony club rallies? Death by colic induced by stress at shows, events, rallies? The numbers can string on and on and become an endless recitation of exceptions, qualifications, special circumstances. Did the competition cause the death or contribute to it?

The topic isn't curing ALL of horseshowing's ills and evils in one fell swoop, it's about fixing something that has gone drastically wrong in one area of showing. It's like saying why improve vehicle safety for NASCR drivers because people drive like idiots on the freeways and die all the time.


If one is concerned about horse deaths, by far and away, steeplechasing holds the crown on that. Next would be organized racing. I kept statistics back in 2000-2001 for a website I was hosting, and worldwide I found over 100 horse deaths, the vast majority in England in steeplechasing, over 60 percent. The rest were mostly racing Thoroughbred first, Quarter Horse second, Harness third. (slower). There were a very tiny few reported in Quarter Horse Shows, Arab shows, Saddlebred and TW shows, reining, hunters and jumpers, etc. Surprising a lot of horses died in rodeos, a very dangerous place for a horse actually. Lots of broken necks, tangled in ropes. Oh and the new Extreme horse sport deal - whew, bad on horses too. They've had several horse deaths at those. And then eventing, dressage, youth shows (including Pony Club, 4-H, etc.) and other stuff like clinics and non competition events. An interesting statistic, the Quarter horse World show and Congress each have a horse death usually every other day of competition, it's not reported for the most part, but I know from attending both, and talking to the driver of "the truck". Congress is 10 days long. You do the math. And there's no outrage and big long epistles posted on this board about THAT tragedy of a horse sport. No one calling for the demise of showing quarter horses, outlawing rodeos, etc.

Yes people are concerned about it, but this is the EVENTING board, and we are worried for the life of our sport, and the lives of those that participate. The rate of death and injury in the last years IS UNACCEPTABLE.


Worldwide eventing is on par with other horse sports listed above, all reported about the same number of horses per sport per year. Some a few more, some a few less.

On par how? Based on what data?


You just can't make the case based on statistics that eventing is any more dangerous to horses than any other horse sport with the exception of steeplechasing or racing. I just feel it's important to point out statistical analysis needs to be exact, and that the difficulty of comparison on raw numbers alone usually will lead to an erroneous conclusion.

So because it's going to be tricky and difficult we shouldn't try? Again, we are not looking at other horse sports, there are plenty of people actively involved in those thingsd who are fighting the same battle. We need to look at ours. YES horse sports are dangerous, yes accidents happen, yes we do this voluntarily. But our horses don't, and we owe it to them to keep it safe and fun and still provide a challenge. I do NOT understand why you think that the increasing carnage on our courses is something that can be shrugged off as part of the sport. Should we stop educating US citizens about the transmission of diseases because in other countries people die of malaria and typhoid still?

Where do you draw the line for eventing? What would make you say "OK, this is bad, NOW we need to do something?"

DLee
Mar. 17, 2008, 09:49 AM
I thought I remembered a gentleman dying at Trojan also, I believe he may have been a physician? In the 2000's?

RAyers
Mar. 17, 2008, 09:50 AM
I thought I remembered a gentleman dying at Trojan also, I believe he may have been a physician? In the 2000's?

Ken Machette

IFG
Mar. 17, 2008, 10:24 AM
I agree with those who have said that you must calculate rates, i.e., number of events per # of starters. Another issue is deaths versus critical injuries. Sometimes the difference between a critical injury and a death is the quality of medical care administered post-occurrence, and the timeliness with which that care is administered. For this reason, I would not limit any analysis to deaths alone, but I would include any injury that required an over-night hospitalization. Adding the over-night qualification eliminates the "worried well" who get checked out for minor issues.

magnolia73
Mar. 17, 2008, 10:39 AM
Retread-
Two deaths in the marathon world last year created a bit of an uproar in that community. Upon research, one in 126,000 marathon runners will die running a marathon. That research led to conclusions like death occurs in the last 6 miles more frequently, or when people sprint to the finish line. Plus more deaths are attributed to drinking too much water vs dehydration.

This year, the breakdown for deaths is something like 10 in 50,000 starts at an event will lead to the death of a rider. Your death rate would be unacceptable in other sports. If 10 in 50,000 marathoners died, you'd probably not have too many signing up to run. In other sports, people are dying less, not more. While yes, statistical analysis can be skewed, it can also help save lives and make a sport safer. Putting one's head in the sand and saying lalalalalalala its safe lalalalalalalalala statistics lie eventers jump more jumps lalalalalalala heart attacks are random lalalalalalala serve no purpose.

Plus, given the riders of eventing are often young riders, I think they are owed a clear idea of the potential danger of their sport.

A clear study that can help elicit changes is needed.

europa
Mar. 17, 2008, 10:41 AM
Can someone also add the horse fatalities to the list.......I would like to know that too.

Sancudo
Mar. 17, 2008, 11:25 AM
Roberta Scocia (sp?) died in 1998, I believe. There was a lovely COTH editorial in Nov (I think) of that year.... It was a farewell to them all, and discussing the dangers involved in riding (comparing the different disciplines to swimming sports).

Scoccia, I think. I should know, I bought her horse (not the one that fell, her other eventer). I believe she was running Novice at Fence.

eqsiu
Mar. 17, 2008, 11:39 AM
Can someone also add the horse fatalities to the list.......I would like to know that too.

The ones I'm aware of-
2 horses at Badminton '07 -one was impaled, the other from cardiac issues I think
1 at Rolex '07- euthanized post injury
1 at a BN pony club rally in '06 (not strictly in the same vein, but still a horse death)- aneurism
2 at Red Hills '08 -both cardiac?

riverbell93
Mar. 17, 2008, 11:50 AM
Didn't a horse die at Jersey Fresh 2007?

c_expresso
Mar. 17, 2008, 11:52 AM
Didn't a horse die at Jersey Fresh 2007?

Yes, Laine's horse. He finished XC and died a few minutes after when cooling out, I think it was an aneurism.

Also in 2007 do not forget Mr. Barnabus, Eleanor's horse, and the Fla CCI**

eqsiu
Mar. 17, 2008, 11:54 AM
The ones I'm aware of-
2 horses at Badminton '07 -one was impaled, the other from cardiac issues I think
1 at Rolex '07- euthanized post injury
1 at Jersey Fresh '07- aneurism?
1 at FHP CCI**- fall?
1 at a BN pony club rally in '06 (not strictly in the same vein, but still a horse death)- aneurism
2 at Red Hills '08 -both cardiac?
1 at ROlex '98- fall

mjrtango93
Mar. 17, 2008, 11:57 AM
In 1998, I rode at Trojan Horse (AZ) Adv, just 5 horses behind a gal named Bonnie? that died when her horse misjudged the bounce.

I will never forget my routine to stay focused during that warm-up.

I think you mean Linda Riddle on Bobbie Socks.

Outfox
Mar. 17, 2008, 12:01 PM
Linda Riddle died when her horse midjudged the bounce. She was competing advanced.

Thank you for clarifying. My memories are of the warm-up and the course. I'm sorry to say that I must have blocked her name from my head. It was my first Advanced.

Fence2Fence
Mar. 17, 2008, 12:22 PM
For the horse's deaths...

Boucane 1998 @ KY Rolex. Yves Landry was the rider. Heart attack.

pawsplus
Mar. 17, 2008, 12:35 PM
Please take into account serious injuries as well! I.e., Debbie Atkinson's serious injury 2 years ago (she is quadriplegic and on a vent at least part-time) should be included.

pinkngreen
Mar. 17, 2008, 12:41 PM
Scoccia, I think. I should know, I bought her horse (not the one that fell, her other eventer). I believe she was running Novice at Fence.
If this is the fatality from Fence that I was thinking of then she was running prelim, it was her first from what I had read.

I was at that event and was supposed to ride prelim. The night before the competition started I spent the night worried about one jump on the course. None of the other jumps scared me, every time I went over the course in my head my heart rate would speed up when I got to that jump. In the morning I got up early went to the show office and asked if they had a spot in Training for me, they happily obliged.

I remember seeing her horse galloping back towards the stabling past the warm up arenas after her fall on course. When I learned of what happened it reinforced that I had made the right decision to move down and there was no shame in that.

La Gringa
Mar. 17, 2008, 12:44 PM
Someone should post one of these threads for Horse deaths too.

Ellie K
Mar. 17, 2008, 02:03 PM
This year, the breakdown for deaths is something like 10 in 50,000 starts at an event will lead to the death of a rider.can you provide a source for this claim or explain how you came up with this figure? It doesn't add up, not by a longshot, since we only have good data on starts/falls per starter/rotational falls per starter/serious injury/death per starter, etc. from ONE country (GBR), plus the FEI, which is but a small fraction of the events held worldwide. So just between those two sources, there were around 50,000-60,000 starts per year in 2006 and again in 2007. Now you have to add in the national starts for ALL the rest of Europe, the USA, the rest of the Americas, etc. etc. Just adding in the USA starts alone will about double (or close to it) the pool of starters (a/k/a potential accidents) from the 50-60,000 presently being tracked under the TRL system. There were 9 deaths in 2007 for ALL events in ALL countries at ALL levels. Only a small fraction of those events are presently being tracked by the TRL system which both BE and the FEI are using. MOST of the activity in the world is national, not FEI, and therefore is not included in the FEI data. And BE's data naturally only covers Great Britain.

This is why the FEI is going to be taking on tracking national data around the world, because most NFs are not up to the task, don't have the resources, etc. It will provide a much broader picture. But I can't for the life of me figure out how you're getting 10 out of 50,000. We find out about all deaths. We don't know all starters.

magnolia73
Mar. 17, 2008, 02:08 PM
I thought 50,000 to 60,000 starts were the number of starts in all recognized competitions. Worldwide. My error. It sounded about right.....

TB or not TB?
Mar. 17, 2008, 04:27 PM
Thank you all. This is a really tough task and I had nightmares all night from barreling through this grizzly subject.

I agree, we need to include life-changing injuries as well - thank you for pointing that out.

I really wish the USEA or some governing body WOULD hire someone to figure this all out. Someone that would be paid to call and ask the family of the deceased, or witnesses of the event, exactly what happened, which fence it was, was it a rotational fall, etc etc. I don't really have the balls for that at this point, so I'm piecing it together as best I can from news articles and your memories. I will absolutely share the data when I'm done, and do my best to keep updating the first post as I go along. I was going to try to write an article about this, maybe get some discussion started where it counts.

I will start another thread for horse deaths and crippling injuries. :no: I think I'll be having some stiff drinks tonight.

TampaBayEquine
Mar. 17, 2008, 07:35 PM
I think this is a great idea. The Steeplechase circuit is now doing just that for the chase horses. The vet on the track is responsible for recording who falls, the conditions, horses who needed treatments, die, sustained injuries and even has to report horses who ran slow/appeared to have trouble but didn't actually fall , etc. This info is reported to a central secretary who then disseminates it to all the other vets involved in the circiut. It is useful information for both statistical analysis and tracking "repeat offenders"...

retreadeventer
Mar. 17, 2008, 08:05 PM
"the increasing carnage"

My personal observations do not support this. There is no increase that I can see in watching sport horse deaths internationally for almost 10 years now. The numbers have not increased to my observation, but internet communication about certain horse sports, including eventing, certainly has. Unfortunately when you compare sports to sports there is not really a big change in the numbers from the last nine years or so, so the view that eventing is getting worse to MY OBSERVATION is without merit. Raw numbers simply do not support this view. Worldwide it's been 7-10 every year I've been looking. And it's the same pretty much for every other non racing sport, the numbers remain about the same with the exception as I noted for western sports which went up due (I think)to the new western horse sports introduced.

But again, I caution, you really need to do the proper research to avoid skew. For instance, if there is 1 death per 100, that percentage is 1%, per 1,000, .01, per 10,000 - .001, and so on. If the death per thousand was .01 in say, 1955, and remained at that same rate from 1955 to 2005, and did not change, then how could one say the courses are causing it. The courses have changed dramatically in 50 years. But if the death rate did not, then the argument that there has been "increasing carnage" has absolutely no statistical base in fact. Not saying this is true -- but just pointing it out the statistical impossiblity of blaming a particular aspect of the sport, such as course change. In fact, given the growth of the sport and increasing numbers of horses and riders and competitions in the last 50 years, an unchanged rate such as the example could actually be evidence of the success of safety measures in action.

One would certainly wish (and it goes without saying) that there would be a zero death rate of course and that is of course the goal, but again, accidents happen, and deaths attributed to the horse's body can't be used to blame the events. Or shouldn't be. Roping horses die of broken necks when they get tangled in ropes directly due to human error. Nobody blames the rodeo. But events get blamed when horses die of heart attacks!

Stats don't lie but internet bulletin boards are choked with them.

The lalala comment -- very disrespectful. I have had 4 decades of experience with sport and race horses and have had a horse die under me (twice). How dare you intimate I want to stick my head in the sand. On the contrary. If you want change, you have to prove it's necessary, with reason and facts presented carefully and logically -- not browbeat people. If I had gone to my state legislature and kicked down doors and pounded my fist on the table we never would have gotten one of the first Equine Activity laws passed in the nation.

We all have opinions but I try not to disrespect other posters'. I try to word my posts carefully to avoid hurting other people's feelings or copying someone's every word and responding ad naseum to every point. Who has time for that, I would rather be in the barn.

If you are afraid to event, by all means, do not. If you are not absolutely confident and well schooled in what you are doing, do not go out into the ring, on the course, or down the trail or out of your own backyard with your horse and make him do something you fear. That's not my advice, that's a standard in the horse world. Doing anything without confidence is a great way to get somebody hurt. You can't be afraid to jump a horse, and continue to jump safely. But you know, one of the things I like about eventing is the challenges. It's not the same eight fences arranged in a different way. It's not level ground, it's got a hill or a drop or a bump that I need to THINK about how to approach and conquer. Life is sort of like that too. There are hills and bumps, and it's not always a smooth path to a pretty ramped oxer, but sometimes a bit more of a ride. Where's the fun in always being unchallenged, untested, and boringly safe? Life is urgent, we're not given tomorrow and today is a gift we have to use to the best of our ability. I'm not trying to talk you back into eventing, I'm just saying that's why I do it.

StraightAccord
Mar. 17, 2008, 08:17 PM
The ones I'm aware of-
2 horses at Badminton '07 -one was impaled, the other from cardiac issues I think
1 at Rolex '07- euthanized post injury
1 at Jersey Fresh '07- aneurism?
1 at FHP CCI**- fall?
1 at a BN pony club rally in '06 (not strictly in the same vein, but still a horse death)- aneurism
2 at Red Hills '08 -both cardiac?
1 at ROlex '98- fall

And there were 2 at Popular Place in March 2006 (http://www.equestriannews.com/cgi-box/csNews/csNews.cgi?database=USAEventing.db&command=viewone&id=381&op=t)

"Ann Glaus' Crestwood Michigan and Sinead Halpin's Tommy II."

StraightAccord
Mar. 17, 2008, 08:26 PM
The ones I'm aware of-
2 horses at Badminton '07 -one was impaled, the other from cardiac issues I think
1 at Rolex '07- euthanized post injury
1 at Jersey Fresh '07- aneurism?
1 at FHP CCI**- fall?
1 at a BN pony club rally in '06 (not strictly in the same vein, but still a horse death)- aneurism
2 at Red Hills '08 -both cardiac?
1 at ROlex '98- fall

The Native ridden by David O'Connor, collapsed at the Windmill pond at Red Hills on March 8, 2003....heart attack. (http://www.eventingetc.com/reports/report_red_hillls%2B03.htm)

2016 RoyalCrown KTug
Mar. 17, 2008, 09:05 PM
Kildonan Tug :cry:

Virginia Horse Trials Nov. 2006

-gillian

oreo
Mar. 17, 2008, 10:42 PM
I only skimmed through, so apologies if anyone above mentioned this, but there was the French rider Amelie Cohen who sadly passed at Fontainebleu in 2007.

It was covered extensively at the now defunct/ under redesign (?) eventing blog here:

http://eventing-blog.com/2007/03/14/amelie-cohen-eventer-and-veterinarian-tragically-lost-at-fontainbleu-france-on-march-11-2007.aspx

and they also posted some "analysis" of rotational falls and the types of falls that caused the most injuries here:

http://eventing-blog.com/2007/03/15/rotational-falls--inevitable-in-eventing.aspx

It refers to research undertaken in the UK in 1999-2000 about rotational falls (like Darren's) and how that came to develop the frangible pin. At the bottom of that post there are summaries of the FEI findings over different types of fences and links to the FEI reports. They are a bit out of date now, and I didn't check to see if the links still work. Plus, of course, it only covers FEI, but interesting nonetheless.

This is a sad topic, but one that I applaud you for addressing.

One Star
Mar. 18, 2008, 12:48 AM
The ones I'm aware of-
2 horses at Badminton '07 -one was impaled, the other from cardiac issues I think
1 at Rolex '07- euthanized post injury
1 at Jersey Fresh '07- aneurism?
1 at FHP CCI**- fall?
1 at a BN pony club rally in '06 (not strictly in the same vein, but still a horse death)- aneurism
2 at Red Hills '08 -both cardiac?
1 at ROlex '98- fall

Erik Dierks' horse, Lenamore's Dreamer, at the FHP Ocala II Winter Horse Trials in February 2007. Humanely destroyed on February 17 at the competition. It appears she sustained an injury to her pastern on the flat during the final strides before the water jump.

Kementari
Mar. 18, 2008, 03:31 AM
William Booth died competing N at Senator Bell in 2004.

annikak
Mar. 18, 2008, 07:34 AM
Retreadeventer-

I totally agree with what you said- it appears that blame is an easier emotion and run by emotion, then fixing things. In order to fix, you must approach things rationally. I have said this in other ways before, but...You done said that lot's better! ;)

IS there an actually difference? How much has Eventing increased its numbers over the past 20 years??

To me, it looks like a project that some math person could take on. In another thread, I thought creating stats on finishes, using the normal things that a show publishes even, could then create a line where a CD might get put under "probabtion" and have someone look at their courses with them to figure out the issues. Just using a normal bell curve design.

But, NOTHING that happened this past weekend, except perhaps Darrens horse, had to do with the course. However, this course seemed to fall well outside of what we would consider a nice, normal bell curve.

I think that keeping records of each horse, like I believe endurance does, might help find problems before they happen. Would I know if my prelim horse has an isse? No I don't. I don't know enough, nor is it something that I think of. BUT...Perhaps I should.

One thing eventing seems to do is kind of hide within itself. The hunter/jumper world, I am sure with a lot of public outcry both for and against, will be using thermography. As I understand it, if there appears to be a "hot" area, it's noted and the horse followed, along with rider and trainer. This is to catch "poling" and other before hidden things that might happen before a horse enters a ring.

In NO way do I think eventers would do anything like that- but, at prelim and above, what about the briefest of vet checks at the FL? Just a heart rate, not even a temp? Might it catch some horses that have issues? I can imagine those that say..No way, it cannot work. BUT...if the H/J folks have the time, shouldn't we? Would it have saved the 2 horses this weekend? No way to know. I guess a study would have to be done.... maybe it's time for that study.

IFG
Mar. 18, 2008, 08:07 AM
[QUOTE=annikak;3082448]Retreadeventer-

I totally agree with what you said- it appears that blame is an easier emotion and run by emotion, then fixing things. In order to fix, you must approach things rationally. I have said this in other ways before, but...You done said that lot's better! ;)

IS there an actually difference? How much has Eventing increased its numbers over the past 20 years??

To me, it looks like a project that some math person could take on. /QUOTE]

An epidemiologist or biostatistician. I have offered to help on past threads and when the safety committee was being formed. So far, no takers.

Thomas_1
Mar. 18, 2008, 08:16 AM
Yes, thank you. :yes: I've been researching for about 6 hours and coming up with hardly any information. The FEI safety reports, while thoroughly padded with miscellaneous content that addresses few concerns, seem to have holes in its data.


And precisely what are you doing about it?

What makes you think that superficial "research" in anonymity on a bulletin board deos anything at all to improve rider and/or horse safety?

The facts are readily available if you actually need them. But you might be gob-smacked to learn that the best way of getting them isn't trawling around on google or asking folks on a BB



And I'm asking all the same, because this has gone on long enough, and no one is doing anything about it.

Why do you think nothing has happened? Did you miss all the reviews and changes to course design, fitness inspection, etc etc etc?

Are you totally ignorant of the fact that EVERY serious accident is the subject of a thorough investigation?

IMO this thread is totally and utterly pointless and of no worth whatsoever.

FACT: Eventing is a high risk sport. Those that do it undertake it well aware of that. Some brave and competent riders have been injured and paid the ultimate penalty in losing their lives undertaking what they choose to do because they love their sport and are highly competitive.

30 riders died in the UK alone between 1993 and 2007 and there are regular major safety reviews.

Every time there's a serious accident there's a review and lessons learnt and if you honestly think that eventing hasn't changed at all because of lessons learnt, then you really need to get out more instead of trawling for facts on google and by asking on a bulletin board.

fatorangehorse
Mar. 18, 2008, 09:55 AM
I don't remember the horse, but a broken leg after a fall @ the water @ Flora Lea - left him euthanized in the field.

magnolia73
Mar. 18, 2008, 10:32 AM
If there are reviews and people learn, why still build jumps that encourage rotational falls? If we have improved fitness and vet checks, why all the heart attacks on course?

They just made a pretty big change within 5 years to the way endurance is run at the highest levels. Have they had enough time to figure out the best way to condition the horses for the new types of stress caused by the constant collecting and then galloping to make speed? Because XC changed from a test of bravery and endurance to a test of bravery and handiness.

Have they spoken to vets about the new test? Have they hooked horses up to heart monitors and run some of these courses to see how the stress has changed? Have they studied the mental fatigue riders may have from the constant set ups? Have they had physicists and safety apparel people watch videos of falls?

Yeah- documenting deaths- recording them and having them on file is one thing. But learning is another. Probably every other sport is getting safer for participants. No- it will never be 100% safe. But it does not seem to need to be this hazardous for horses and riders.

europa
Mar. 18, 2008, 10:51 AM
Hell if Nascar can change then anyone can! Remember when Earnhardt died......that prompted the HANS (Head And Neck System) to be implemented. Perhaps the eventing world needs to focus on modifying the XC to what is a bit safer more straight forward galloping type course.

annikak
Mar. 18, 2008, 01:55 PM
IFG...I just saw that on the other thread- and that's the bad thing abt the BB...things can get somewhat lost, and if no one quotes or lets the "idea" carry on, it gets lost.

So. Do you think that one could get meaningful data out of such a study? It's been a long time since stats- but...if I remember correctly, it should be able to be done.

I have said it before, and I will say it again- NASCAR- these guys, whomever they are, did something right. It's time to fix rather then just vent. AND- if we are perceived as whiny brats, then we shall get ignored. Yes, the squeaky wheel does get the grease, but what it really needs is to hit the body shop;)

So...WHAT went wrong this past weekend? As much as we are focusing on the CD, and maybe we should, it appears that only 1 jump caused serious issues- the 2 horses from what I understand, had cardiac issues.

Does anyone know what the stats are for Steeplechase horses at the end of a race? The fatalities of horses? I never hear abt them, but then again, it's not an area that I really look at. Do they have the same %- NOT incidents, but % as eventing? I would hazard to guess that that is more dangerous then XC....

IFG
Mar. 18, 2008, 03:16 PM
Annikak,

I think that it would be very useful to get statistics on the rates of accidents and horse deaths over time so that we can better understand whether the apparently high number of recent incidents is expected. That is, has the number of accidents increased because there are more competitors these days and riders compete at more events or is the number increasing over and above the increase expected due to an increased number of starts?

Several folks have argued that the larger number of rider accidents and horse deaths is due to more competitors. For example, there used to be fewer riders at Advanced, and the competition season was shorter (in the 1980's no one went south to compete in the winter). Obtaining rates per start, would answer whether this is a plausible explanation.

Whether a study could answer questions regarding specific risks (such as course design) is tougher to determine. There are a small number of accidents and deaths, so the power to answer specific questions would be limited unless there was a clear aggregation of events with one or two specific risk factors. Best analogy here is that DES (diethylstilbeterol) was linked to reproductive cancer based on 8 cases. The key was that the mothers of ALL 8 cases had used the medication.

In any case, I don't think that an analysis of the data would be very expensive, especially if volunteers were to plan the study, collect the data, and analyze it. So, I would say it is a lot of bang for the buck and very worthwhile.

TB or not TB?
Mar. 18, 2008, 04:16 PM
And precisely what are you doing about it?

What makes you think that superficial "research" in anonymity on a bulletin board deos anything at all to improve rider and/or horse safety?

The facts are readily available if you actually need them. But you might be gob-smacked to learn that the best way of getting them isn't trawling around on google or asking folks on a BB

Why do you think nothing has happened? Did you miss all the reviews and changes to course design, fitness inspection, etc etc etc?

Are you totally ignorant of the fact that EVERY serious accident is the subject of a thorough investigation?

IMO this thread is totally and utterly pointless and of no worth whatsoever.

FACT: Eventing is a high risk sport. Those that do it undertake it well aware of that. Some brave and competent riders have been injured and paid the ultimate penalty in losing their lives undertaking what they choose to do because they love their sport and are highly competitive.

30 riders died in the UK alone between 1993 and 2007 and there are regular major safety reviews.

Every time there's a serious accident there's a review and lessons learnt and if you honestly think that eventing hasn't changed at all because of lessons learnt, then you really need to get out more instead of trawling for facts on google and by asking on a bulletin board.

First, who peed in your cornflakes? :eek::eek::eek: Never did I say that eventing hasn't changed or improved over the years, and honestly, I don't understand why this thread offends you so much.

The facts actually aren't that easy to find, contrary to popular belief. FEI statistics only cover events at * level or above, and not all FEI sanctioned events even report their statistics back to the FEI, so there are holes in their data as it is.

Furthermore, while many accidents are investigated on a case-by-case basis, there are almost no studies that look at overriding trends in rider deaths. The rotational fall is a pretty basic element that has been identified, but there are so many more similarities that it's mind boggling that no one has identified them before.

And here's what I plan to do about it: use the scientific process to actually STUDY accidents and identify factors and trends that contribute. Once these are identified, I plan to create a multi-pronged approach on how to counteract some of those common factors. For instance, everyone focuses on how to prevent rotational falls; while this is admirable, I intend to look at why rotational falls are statistically more fatal now than they used to be (according to the FEI's 2006 safety report). As has been identified, the speed at which jumps is approached is often a contributing factor. I intend to calculate the physics equation that will tell us exactly what range of speeds are lethal in a rotational fall.

The final step will be creating a presentation for the USEA, USEF, and FEI, as well as publishing the findings of the experiment in notable eventing related media.

Oh, and here's why I need COTHers - because as has already been pointed out, not all the deaths are reported to the FEI and many studies use ONLY their statistics as data. When I have the deceased's name, I can find out what happened to him or her. Many of the names mentioned on this thread were not looked at by the FEI. So yeah, I think I WILL continue to utilize this forum, but thanks for your concern.

Oh, and as a last note, unlike notable members of the "Safety Committee," I don't have a dog in this fight. An impartial observer is a must in true science.

ellebeaux
Mar. 18, 2008, 04:36 PM
Amber - che brava ragazza!!!

I agree. This is basic scientific method stuff.

1. Make an observation
2. brainstorm ideas - (where we are right now)
3. develop a hypothesis
4. go to the literature, review ideas
5. refine hypothesis
6. design an experiment
7. do experiments
8. analyse results
9. write theory
10. make recommendations, take remedial action, etc.

I do believe this is beyond the scope of a BB. Full proposals need to be written, submitted to a formal competetive process subject to peer review and fully funded!

I also believe the first step is a retrospective statistical analysis encompassing course records and personal interviews needs to performed first. This information can then be used to decided where to focus future efforts.

It sounds like we have identified a number of factors (i.e. course design, jump type, training strategies, horse physiology) that all play into this. The hypotheses developed from these observations will require a number of different approaches, which we are already discussing.

As I mentioned before, I'm writing these ideas to the USEA and offering my services however I can. I do know a fair number of epidemiologists, including one who is also a stellar equine vet, and several horse physiologists. I'm going to encourage the USEA to find funding for people experienced in evaluating these issues to address this problem.

Thomas_1
Mar. 18, 2008, 05:49 PM
First, who peed in your cornflakes? :eek::eek::eek: Never did I say that eventing hasn't changed or improved over the years, .

So what does this mean in your neck of the woods?


no one is doing anything about it.


Furthermore, while many accidents are investigated on a case-by-case basis, there are almost no studies that look at overriding trends in rider deaths. So you don't know about this one then?

http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/competitionnews/article.php?aid=120205

There's been a heck of a lot of studies about rider deaths and particularly resultant from a rotational fall. Not just in eventing but also in National Hunt Jump Racing. It may well be they've not reached you over there but for sure there's been plenty.

bludini
Mar. 18, 2008, 05:54 PM
... and catastrophic falls that permanently disabled the rider or horse, and if there's any correlation between those accidents and the courses they were on.

I was thinking the same thing.

Outfox
Mar. 18, 2008, 06:02 PM
Hell if Nascar can change then anyone can! Remember when Earnhardt died......that prompted the HANS (Head And Neck System) to be implemented. Perhaps the eventing world needs to focus on modifying the XC to what is a bit safer more straight forward galloping type course.

Exactly what I was thinking.:lol:

TB or not TB?
Mar. 18, 2008, 06:19 PM
So you don't know about this one then?

http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/competitionnews/article.php?aid=120205

Trust me, I know ALL about that one. :no: Did you read the actual report they produced? "Let's look at water level. That'll have some impact."

lbennet6
Mar. 18, 2008, 06:24 PM
Jon William's horse died in 2003 at Fox Hall I think from a heart attack...I can't remember the horses name...and I think another horse died at that event also...

ponygrl
Mar. 18, 2008, 07:32 PM
already covered.

BarbB
Mar. 18, 2008, 09:09 PM
A horse died at Rolex the year of the downpour. Titleist?

pwynnnorman
Mar. 19, 2008, 09:04 PM
Would there be any way to find out the ages of the horses involved in tragic incidents? Any chance the under-10-11-12s are more in the rotational fall category while the over-10-11-12s are cardiac issues or something like that? I'm no catalog on it all, but I don't recall any upper level older horses being involved in rotational falls.

olympicdreams04
Mar. 19, 2008, 09:10 PM
More horse deaths:
The inaugural year of the FL Horse Park, a horse broke its leg after disloging it's rider. At Poplar, '05 maybe, a horse died of a heart attack or aneurysm jumping the last fence. Southern Pines Spring '04 or '05, two or three horse deaths. I know there was atleast one rotational fall and on broken neck.

goodymar1188
Mar. 19, 2008, 09:28 PM
A good friend of mine, Forrest el-Effendi, lost her horse Paradigm (aka: Kiwi) at the Maui Jim HT in 2007. She was in her CIC** dressage test when Kiwi reared up and fell down and never got up. It was believed he died of an aneurysm.

Jealoushe
Mar. 20, 2008, 11:26 AM
Firstly, thank you for doing this work...its appreciated

Secondly, is there any way you can also include the breed of the horse. As I posted in another thread I am curious whether the non-thoroughbred breeds are having more falls/heart problems.

and finally, there was a death at Foxhill horsetrials in Ontario I think in 2003, maybe 2004. A lady had a heartattack and died while gallopingat Training level. Not fence related so not sure if you want to include it in your study.

vali
Mar. 20, 2008, 12:09 PM
I was at an event in 2000 (or 2001?) at Ram Tap in October where a horse broke her neck after flipping in the Intermediate division. David Adamo was the rider and was uninjured. I thought she was a full TB from seeing her at clinics, but I'm not sure.

TB or not TB?
Mar. 20, 2008, 03:27 PM
Thank you everyone, this is very helpful. I'm working hard to research the leads you're providing. I am still in the compiling stage and will make another post soon listing the equine fatalities we have so far.

I will include breed an age as categories, too. I'm in dialogue with a few vets at this point about heart issues. It seems that the vast majority of deaths are caused by heart related issues and not injuries. Coincidentally, only in a fraction of the rider deaths/rotational falls did the horse actually die. Most went on to compete again with a new rider.

Jealoushe
Mar. 20, 2008, 03:36 PM
I forget if they were mentioned but there were these 2 at Badminton 2007

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0NGPHak9As

austin
Mar. 20, 2008, 03:39 PM
rolex downpour horse was "the tempest" ??? I think he had thrown all his shoes.

2016 RoyalCrown KTug
Mar. 20, 2008, 04:03 PM
TB or not TB?: PM sent

Hope it all helps, and thank you for putting all this time into the research you are doing... and thank you to everyone else too! :winkgrin:

Gillian

Blinky
Mar. 21, 2008, 01:02 PM
This may have been posted earlier. But I belive the USEF reported rider fatalities for 2007 at their annual meeting. Think I remember seeing it in the USEF magazine and no I don't recall the numbers.

Thanks.

SR Rider
Mar. 21, 2008, 10:35 PM
I agree about the breed of horse might have some impact...we have seen more
warmbloods in recent years.

EventingSafety John
Jan. 6, 2011, 03:57 AM
Hi Guys

I can't believe this is the first time I have actually posted here, but I need some help and know the COTH Forum Team will be able to help.

I am researching a story for my blog on deaths in our sport and have a couple of names that have only turned up here, I can find any corroborating evidence elsewhere.

Basically, what I would like to find is the missing details and confirmation that the reports are correct.

The first two names are

Roberta Scoccia (or Scioscia) died in 1998 apparently on a XC course? All I can find is her death notice in the NYTimes.

Linda Riddle was riding Bobbie Socks at Trojan in 1998 and died?

Any further details on these incidents would be appreciated.

Finally, mentioned here is the name Ken Machette also at Trojan in the 2000's? Can anyone provide any further details or evidence?

Thanks HEAPS

EventingSafety John

RAyers
Jan. 6, 2011, 08:58 AM
H

Finally, mentioned here is the name Ken Machette also at Trojan in the 2000's? Can anyone provide any further details or evidence?

Thanks HEAPS

EventingSafety John



Ken was a friend of mine. He was a great supporter of the sport in Colorado and the west. Yes, he died on course at Trojan Horse. He attempted to jump a preliminary fence from a standstill and the horse flipped, folding Ken in half (broken spine, something a air vest would not have helped). His crash was the reason the rule preventing jumping from a standstill was instituted.

My old trainer was with Linda Riddle when she crashed. He was holding her head in place afterwards. From what I remember, her helmet was crushed into pieces. I do not remember the details of the cause of the incident though.

Reed

xcjumper
Jan. 6, 2011, 03:41 PM
I was unlucky enough to witness and be apart of the medical team for both Linda and Ken's falls at Trojan. I believe they were one year apart. Both falls were rotational. Linda's at a bounce and Ken's at the water complex. It was awful...almost quit riding after watching Ken's fall.. :(

RAyers
Jan. 6, 2011, 03:53 PM
xcjumper, you are right. They were 1 year apart. Was Linda's at the little up hill bounce behind the water park? You had to be pretty accurate there since there was an offset to it.

Andrew removed the entire water complex where Ken died. It was a simple down bank from then on.

Reed

JER
Jan. 6, 2011, 03:54 PM
ESJ, the Chronicle magazine reported on all of these incidents and have the details in their archives. I'd email them if you don't get what you need from the common rabble here.

While I don't remember the specifics of Roberta Scioscia's accident other than it was at Prelim somewhere in North Carolina, one thing I do remember is that she was at the event by herself and the medical card in her armband provided the only information they had on her.

Riders are often lazy/incomplete in filling out or updating their medical info, and it's easy to think that no one really pays attention to what's in there. But this was one occasion when it was very useful to the medical team and organizers.

xcjumper
Jan. 6, 2011, 04:03 PM
Hi Reed
Yes it was the bounce behind that other water jump further up. Not the one that Ken died at. That was a hanging log drop into water when Ken tried to jump it. It was an ugly thing...

Gnep
Jan. 6, 2011, 04:12 PM
Ken was a friend of mine. He was a great supporter of the sport in Colorado and the west. Yes, he died on course at Trojan Horse. He attempted to jump a preliminary fence from a standstill and the horse flipped, folding Ken in half (broken spine, something a air vest would not have helped). His crash was the reason the rule preventing jumping from a standstill was instituted.

My old trainer was with Linda Riddle when she crashed. He was holding her head in place afterwards. From what I remember, her helmet was crushed into pieces. I do not remember the details of the cause of the incident though.

Reed

Ken died in March of 1997. Since I was in the warm up, geting ready and than the long hold and the jump taken out I took a real serious look at the tracks.
His horse had a very distinct left rear foot print.
I was able to track it back 3 jumps. Big Bench typ table, sunken road, large waldens wall, turn left up a small hill, 3 steps down hanging log with a huge drop into the water.
Their was already trouble brewing at the bench, slide mark befor take of, same at the drop into the sunken road, the slide mark in front of the walden wall was pretty much 3 feed long. there was a short gallop to the turn, around 100 feet as I recall and one could see that Ken goosed it, deep hind prints and very large stride. Judging by the tracks and the slide marks and how the hind steped out, they must have had a very rough go down the steps to the hanging log ( that was a jump scarry as hell and it needed a very confident and forward approach ).
Than as Reed all ready explained they got to a standstill at the edge of the drop and than jumped, rotated and the horse landed on the rider.

Trojan Prelim to Advanced were very tough courses, time was next to impossible, very narrow and confusing trails, deep sandy footing, some times 3 water, down hill bounce, lots of corners, hanging logs and other goodies.

fooler
Jan. 6, 2011, 06:44 PM
ESJ, the Chronicle magazine reported on all of these incidents and have the details in their archives. I'd email them if you don't get what you need from the common rabble here.

While I don't remember the specifics of Roberta Scioscia's accident other than it was at Prelim somewhere in North Carolina, one thing I do remember is that she was at the event by herself and the medical card in her armband provided the only information they had on her.

Riders are often lazy/incomplete in filling out or updating their medical info, and it's easy to think that no one really pays attention to what's in there. But this was one occasion when it was very useful to the medical team and organizers.

If I have the correct individual, I believe Roberta Scioscia was the competitor who fell at the FENCE cross country course. 2 organizations host events at this site, FENCE HT and Tryon HT, twice a year.
It was the 3rd fence on course going up the long hill. It was an inviting fence that normally only caused run-outs, so (if memory is correct) her fall was researched rather thoroughly.

three_dayer
Jan. 6, 2011, 07:09 PM
I remember Linda's fall, I wasn't at that particular fence, but I was at the water two fences before that bounce. Through the water she was having a very sticky go, it looked like her horse didn't really want to play. One of my freinds was in the warm-up with Linda, and Linda said before she went, he isn't feeling right, I wonder what is going on? My friend says that she regrets not saying to Linda perhaps this isn't your day, come back next weekend for another try.
What a depressing conversation....

Gnep
Jan. 6, 2011, 08:06 PM
I remember Linda's fall, I wasn't at that particular fence, but I was at the water two fences before that bounce. Through the water she was having a very sticky go, it looked like her horse didn't really want to play. One of my freinds was in the warm-up with Linda, and Linda said before she went, he isn't feeling right, I wonder what is going on? My friend says that she regrets not saying to Linda perhaps this isn't your day, come back next weekend for another try.
What a depressing conversation....

Stuff like this does not surprise me. The investigations are rather on the surface and do not teach anything.
Accidents of that magnitude have a story that leads to the accident. I have looked at hundreds of videos that show the mechanics of the accident, but the explanation, how could this happen shows up in the jumps before or by those little bits of private info, did not feel well, was scared, to confident, non chalant, lost shoes, did not know when to call it a day, bad stud choise, pushed horse or rider, coaching, etc.

LLDM
Jan. 6, 2011, 10:42 PM
Stuff like this does not surprise me. The investigations are rather on the surface and do not teach anything.
Accidents of that magnitude have a story that leads to the accident. I have looked at hundreds of videos that show the mechanics of the accident, but the explanation, how could this happen shows up in the jumps before or by those little bits of private info, did not feel well, was scared, to confident, non chalant, lost shoes, did not know when to call it a day, bad stud choise, pushed horse or rider, coaching, etc.

I sure wish this was the type of education the safety committees were pushing. How to tell when to call it a day. Why you should listen to the little things that are NQR with your horse. Techniques that have more to do with recognizing reality than the power of positive thinking.

SCFarm

HappyRiding
Jan. 6, 2011, 11:40 PM
I sure wish this was the type of education the safety committees were pushing. How to tell when to call it a day. Why you should listen to the little things that are NQR with your horse. Techniques that have more to do with recognizing reality than the power of positive thinking.

SCFarm


I wish trainers were pushing this more. I was pressured into riding at one show by my old trainer and had the most terrifying cross country experience in my life. I'm typically a brave rider but in the warmup I knew that if I went on course something would go wrong. I told my trainer what I was feeling and she put it up to riding a younger horse. Five fences in I was about to cry and saying to myself that if the next jump was bad I would call it a day. The next fence was fine so I decided to keep going only to later get stuck on a fence that could have easily been a rotation instead. I retired and went off the course crying and was met by an angry trainer yelling at me for not continuing the course. I was never able to ride that horse again and it took me a year before I was comfortable out cross country.

I was very lucky in my circumstance that it did not turn into a rotation but I cannot say other people I know have had the same luck. I have heard many riders saying that they are nervous or something is off before a course and then later hear that they were for some reason or another not able to finish the course. In most of those cases I did not feel I had the right to even suggest for the person not to run the course. How can we get to a point where it is not considered 'out of our rights' to suggest someone not to run and potentially avoid an injury? How can we educate riders not to think that it's 'just one bad jump,' 'That slip around the turn was just from mud', or 'I must be imagining it'? Maybe we could have educated spectators pulling unsafe riders during the course, but then I can see the problem of someone complaining that they are being pulled when they were safe.

Unfortunately, no matter how safe eventing becomes there will always be those accidents that could have been avoided. Every death should be examined including the riders attitude up to but not limited to an hour before the ride. Each fatal accident should be looked at as a way to improve awareness so that while their is a great loss something has been gained. Until that happens we need to keep asking questions to improve our system.

jcdill
Jan. 7, 2011, 12:36 AM
I sure wish this was the type of education the safety committees were pushing. How to tell when to call it a day. Why you should listen to the little things that are NQR with your horse. Techniques that have more to do with recognizing reality than the power of positive thinking.

I clearly remember 2 incidents on the same day almost 3 years ago. I was taking photos. For the Intermediate XC I was at one of the water obstacles (a pond with no banked edges, just beach into the water on all sides) which had a 1-stride (log to log-into-water, no drop) - this was about jump 8 on the Intermediate course. A rider came thru and her horse jumped in nicely and then stopped at the out. She regrouped, got up to a good gallop and came again. Her horse again jumped in nicely, stopped at the out. Instead of trying a 3rd time, she patted her horse on the neck and nodded at the jump judge, and retired.

An hour later I was taking photos at a different water complex during the Advanced XC. The jump into the water was a straight-forward log jump about 3' high, with about 3 feet of drop on the landing into the water (which was about 1' deep), and it was ~5 strides in the water before the next obstacle - this is not the type of jump you expect to cause problems for an Advanced horse. This was jump 14A on the course and IIRC they had already jumped in water earlier on in the course (at the pond, where I was for the first horse above). As this rider came thru, her horse started balking from several strides out, coming to a halt at the base of the jump with his neck over the log, looking at the water. She took him around, got her gallop going, and brought him on again, and he started balking several strides out (again), and stopped at the base of the jump again, with his neck over the jump. She took him around and got the gallop on again, he started balking again, and she stuffed him over as he tried to stop the 3rd time. He only got part way off the ground, hung one of his forelegs, and had a dramatic rotational fall into the water, and appeared to partially land on the rider. Fortunately, that foot of water apparently helped cushion the fall and they both got up and walked off on their own power, wet and winded but not seriously hurt.

My thoughts on this: If you are riding an experienced (upper level) horse, and it refuses twice at the same obstacle, it's probably not a very good idea to make a 3rd try.

For lower level horses 3 tries make sense because the stops may be due to rider errors and riders may need more chances to figure out what they are doing wrong and present the horse correctly. But when you have an ULR on a BTDT horse who has seen pretty much everything on XC, if this horse stops twice he's trying to tell you something IMPORTANT about how he feels about this jump on this day. (A first stop can be due to confusion, due to not quite seeing the question clearly, etc. But after that first stop both the horse and rider have had time to figure out how to approach it correctly the second time.) Consider being more like the first rider and listening to your horse and saying "OK, today is not our day" and retiring, rather than thinking that you can change your horse's mind as he tries to stop for the 3rd time and that somehow (over fences of this size!) things will magically work out OK.

I took a look at some detailed scores for recent UL events. It was *very* unusual to see a horse score 60 at a jump, more common to see 60-E (or 60-RF). At the lower levels you see 60 more, along with 20 and 60-E and 20-RF and 60-RF etc. But at the upper levels, if you get that second stop it's not likely to turn out very well to try again.

I don't know if we should have a rule change limiting upper level riders to 1 stop per obstacle or not. But I do know that riders should think very carefully if they get a second stop about if it's a good idea to try again, or accept your horse's thought that today is not the day to jump that jump.

Blugal
Jan. 7, 2011, 02:15 AM
My thoughts on this: If you are riding an experienced (upper level) horse, and it refuses twice at the same obstacle, it's probably not a very good idea to make a 3rd try.


Pre-2006 I had not thought this way or thought this through. It was the old-school mentality of "get over, under or through".

I was competing at Galway 2006 when Mia Eriksson died. It was tragic and sobering. My coach, another of her students and I made a pact that Saturday night that one stop or run-out can happen for various reasons; but if we have a second problem we will retire - it is obviously not our day that day.

LLDM
Jan. 7, 2011, 08:46 AM
My thoughts on this: If you are riding an experienced (upper level) horse, and it refuses twice at the same obstacle, it's probably not a very good idea to make a 3rd try.
...
I don't know if we should have a rule change limiting upper level riders to 1 stop per obstacle or not. But I do know that riders should think very carefully if they get a second stop about if it's a good idea to try again, or accept your horse's thought that today is not the day to jump that jump.

You know, that is a very interesting idea. The higher the level, the less likely it is for a second refusal puts you in any sort of position to place.

Also, if you only get one opportunity to re-present to a fence, you might do a better job of regrouping (i.e. take a few more seconds to ensure you get it right).

Interesting thought!

SCFarm

EventingSafety John
Jan. 7, 2011, 09:18 PM
Thank you everyone, what an awesome response. This is a very sobering area for us all, but talking about it, like adults, understanding the risks and knowing when to call it a day are vital.

I would appreciate any copies of stories on these or any other fatalities that have been reported in COTH or any other location. The stuff doesn't appear on the net is really important to filling the blanks.

JER and others my email address is eventingsafety at gmail.com

I have just written something on this topic and am planning more. check it out here http://eventingsafety.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/a-turning-point-i-hope/

Thanks again



John

Gnep
Jan. 10, 2011, 12:40 AM
Any statisic one does has to start with short format. It changed the game.
One can not compare the courses.
One can not compare the course design
One can not compare what TD except.
One can not compare the riders
One cn not compare how horses are preped
One can not compare the type of horses.
One can not compare the riders attitude

Its Apple and Oranges

Its a completly differant game now.

Andrews or Chrises courses would be today unaceptable, dinosors of a time long gone.

EventingSafety John
Jan. 10, 2011, 02:41 AM
Gnep, yes it is a different game.

But what surprised me is that the number of deaths hasn't really changed since the short format came into play in 2004. Considering the are way more people (more starts at least) eventing today than there were in the early 2000's, in real terms the number of fatalities seems to have gone down.

RAyers
Jan. 10, 2011, 09:20 AM
John,

Are you just looking at rider deaths? I think that is an incomplete assessment. Just looking at rider deaths as a measure of safety would be a false measure and tend to possibly lead to a incorrect belief of the state of the sport. If you really are about safety you need to examine the complete range of injury for both horse and rider. Only then can you do a accurate measure of safety.


Thus, these question MUST be addressed as well:

What about horse deaths?
What about severity of injury in horse or rider?
Equipment changes over time?
Rule changes over time? What is your baseline time comparison (e.g. are you using the change to short format as the separator?)?
Is there commonality of the venues or regions?

There are plenty more questions but only after data is gathered and analyzed can they be asked or considered.

Reed

IFG
Jan. 10, 2011, 09:50 AM
John,

Are you just looking at rider deaths? I think that is an incomplete assessment. Just looking at rider deaths as a measure of safety would be a false measure and tend to possibly lead to a incorrect belief of the state of the sport. If you really are about safety you need to examine the complete range of injury for both horse and rider. Only then can you do a accurate measure of safety.


Thus, these question MUST be addressed as well:

What about horse deaths?
What about severity of injury in horse or rider?
Equipment changes over time?
Rule changes over time? What is your baseline time comparison (e.g. are you using the change to short format as the separator?)?
Is there commonality of the venues or regions?

There are plenty more questions but only after data is gathered and analyzed can they be asked or considered.

Reed

I completely agree with Reed. Whether someone dies versus survives is as often a function of the medical care available as of the accident itself.

frugalannie
Jan. 10, 2011, 10:41 AM
And then there's the pesky "n", the number of starters. Reed, you mentioned that the number of starters is increasing, but Eventing Nation recently posted numbers of starters by division for some well-known venues, and there's been a sharp decrease.

Safety John, thanks for looking at this, and IFG, she one's smart lady who would be a great assset to your investigations. (As well as many others who post here: Reed, JER, Gnep, etc.).

katie+tru
Jan. 10, 2011, 10:57 AM
Would it be possible to also find out which horses that died of heart attacks where on various supplements? By supplements I mean anything other than grass, water, hay, and basic commercial grain. Like herbals and special vitamins. I cannot be the only person that thinks many of these sudden heart attacks are linked to something people are putting in these horses.

Janet
Jan. 10, 2011, 11:01 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcdill http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?p=5336922#post5336922)
My thoughts on this: If you are riding an experienced (upper level) horse, and it refuses twice at the same obstacle, it's probably not a very good idea to make a 3rd try.
...
I don't know if we should have a rule change limiting upper level riders to 1 stop per obstacle or not. But I do know that riders should think very carefully if they get a second stop about if it's a good idea to try again, or accept your horse's thought that today is not the day to jump that jump.


That is already happening, as a side effect of the "established qualification" rule (Prelim and above).

If you get Eliminated for jumping penalies on cross country twice within a time period, you have to drop down a level. But retirements (becuse they could be for many different reasons) don't affect the "established qualification".

So MANY upper level riders are chosing to retire after two refusals, in order to maintain the horse's qualification.

IFG
Jan. 10, 2011, 11:04 AM
Safety John, thanks for looking at this, and IFG, she one's smart lady who would be a great assset to your investigations. (As well as many others who post here: Reed, JER, Gnep, etc.).

Annie, I am blushing. I am more than happy to review any research proposals. Though I am afraid that until the summer, I am too over-extended to do any analyses myself.

Ranger
Jan. 10, 2011, 01:58 PM
I would also include catastrophic accidents even if the rider was not killed. Christopher Reeve's accident occurred on cross country.

I am 40ish and did eventing in my high school years (called Combined Training at the lower levels back then). I now have 2 children, and last year between them they incurred 3 concussions in 6 months. My son had one in baseball (hit in head with a hard thrown ball), then my daughter incurred one in soccer (head to head contact at high speed), and then my son incurred another one in football. Needless to say, he is done with football, lacrosse, wrestling, etc. Only baseball for him now, and with extreme care for possible injuries.

These events thrust me into the topic of head injuries and concussions. I urge anyone in sports or with children in sports to utilize the IMPACT program to be prepared for assessing a concussion. www.impacttest.com Despite an improvement of physical symptoms, cognitive functioning usually takes much longer and yet must be resolved before one can function capably at school or work - and certainly before risking a second impact in sports. Impact testing is a wonderful tool, but prevention is the best thing of all. THERE is NO such thing as a concussion proof helmet in ANY sport!! And please spread the word, one does NOT need to lose consciousness to suffer a concussion. "Having your bell rung", with new understanding of this injury and new paradigms of concussion diagnosis and managment, is not ok and is serious.

I would LOVE to return to riding if I win the lottery, but I would do so with SUCH care and attention to head protection at all times (Courtney King Dye's injury should have woken up everyone to this issue - even while working around hind legs where a kick to the head could be devastating). I say this because I only wore a helmet for jumping, and it was a mere velvet covered shell with a single elastic throat band. The ones I wore in events were much better (harness), except for the dressage helmet with no strap for appearances sake.

Having read Change Your Brain, Change Your Body, I learned that your brain is somewhere between jello and egg whites in consistency.

Do not misunderstand me - I LOVE eventing! I am just trying to add to the efforts to "Paul Revere" the evening community as to the seriousness of this topic. The Evening Nation summary of this weekend's head safety seminar is fabulous!

Lastly, when I was 12 I was thrown from a horse while in the indoor ring, and apparently hit the wall head first. I have no idea if I was wearing a helmet or if it did any good. I have a blank spot in my memory for 4+ hours - everything before the event, the accident itself, and the 2-3 hours afterward. I was awake and talking all throughout apparently. I now have memory issues that the above book has me REALLY believing are attributable to what was a severe head injury. I would do anything to take back my concussion or those of my children. If you suffer from migraines, be especially careful - a concussion is much harder, longer, and difficult to recover from....

We all need to value, treasure, and protect our brains and those of our children.

JER
Jan. 10, 2011, 02:20 PM
I would also include catastrophic accidents even if the rider was not killed. Christopher Reeve's accident occurred on cross country.

Chris Reeve died from complications of his injuries from the XC accident.

This is also true of Debbie Atkinson, who died in October 2008, two years after sustaining a serious C-2 injury on an Intermediate course in KY. More here (http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/news/2008/10/072.shtml).

breakthru
Jan. 10, 2011, 02:29 PM
Roberta Scioscia was competing prelim at FENCE- she was a few riders ahead of me, and a friend. I believe her horse refused and she was thrown into the fence, but I might be wrong.

Calamber
Jan. 10, 2011, 02:46 PM
First, who peed in your cornflakes? :eek::eek::eek: Never did I say that eventing hasn't changed or improved over the years, and honestly, I don't understand why this thread offends you so much.

The facts actually aren't that easy to find, contrary to popular belief. FEI statistics only cover events at * level or above, and not all FEI sanctioned events even report their statistics back to the FEI, so there are holes in their data as it is.

Furthermore, while many accidents are investigated on a case-by-case basis, there are almost no studies that look at overriding trends in rider deaths. The rotational fall is a pretty basic element that has been identified, but there are so many more similarities that it's mind boggling that no one has identified them before.

And here's what I plan to do about it: use the scientific process to actually STUDY accidents and identify factors and trends that contribute. Once these are identified, I plan to create a multi-pronged approach on how to counteract some of those common factors. For instance, everyone focuses on how to prevent rotational falls; while this is admirable, I intend to look at why rotational falls are statistically more fatal now than they used to be (according to the FEI's 2006 safety report). As has been identified, the speed at which jumps is approached is often a contributing factor. I intend to calculate the physics equation that will tell us exactly what range of speeds are lethal in a rotational fall.

The final step will be creating a presentation for the USEA, USEF, and FEI, as well as publishing the findings of the experiment in notable eventing related media.

Oh, and here's why I need COTHers - because as has already been pointed out, not all the deaths are reported to the FEI and many studies use ONLY their statistics as data. When I have the deceased's name, I can find out what happened to him or her. Many of the names mentioned on this thread were not looked at by the FEI. So yeah, I think I WILL continue to utilize this forum, but thanks for your concern.

Oh, and as a last note, unlike notable members of the "Safety Committee," I don't have a dog in this fight. An impartial observer is a must in true science.

Additionally, there are no reported statistics for the injuries. That category could be limited to career ending. It seems that it would skew things a bit to report all injuries, unless there is a scale for types/recovery length or something to distinguish it from the garden variety type of injury that will heal quickly and is non career ending for horse and rider. Both have to be taken into account. Issues with horse injuries could be used as a red flag marker before it involved the rider if you understand my meaning.

I also think that anytime someone thinks they can no longer ask questions or a discussion/investigation is squelched or foreshortened so as to only collect superficial data, that the needed changes will never come. Everyone should be open to the full scope of the story, from the nagging doubts of the rider who subsequently fell or was injured, to the conditioning programs. If the intent is not to allow full disclosure then surely something is not being addressed. Hence the need for this kind of discussion as sad as it may become to some. Look at it from the standpoint of saving your loved ones and yourself from unnecessary harm. This is a very appropriate and well needed discourse. Thank you to the OP for opening up "the can of worms".

Gnep
Jan. 10, 2011, 03:06 PM
Gnep, yes it is a different game.

But what surprised me is that the number of deaths hasn't really changed since the short format came into play in 2004. Considering the are way more people (more starts at least) eventing today than there were in the early 2000's, in real terms the number of fatalities seems to have gone down.

John, the jump and course design have changed.
In the US, you will not find anymore the rough and tumble footing, terrain features are smoothed out or designed, even at the lowest level.
Jump design overall takes the survivability into account, the majority of the jumps are designed and built with a possible accident in mind. That is a development of the last 10 years.
Yes there are examtions, Red Hill for example.

I bet you a case of beer, that if one makes a statistic about crashes, befor short format and past short format based on entries you will find more crashes past but less dead riders.
Than you can not compare US with UK, France, Germany and so on, because the standards on the national level are so differant.

gldprimr
Jan. 10, 2011, 09:22 PM
Collection of the data is itself a challenge. Once collected, do you look at accidents by severity, level, type of fence, long format vs short format, footing conditions,etc.?

If the number of severe accidents/accident rate is essentially unchanged from the period before changing jump construction & format - are the right questions being asked as to what leads to the accident?

I am not a statistician nor anything but the lowest level weekend rider however I wonder if each member of the USEA should, as a condition of membership (honor system here) read the results of such an analysis (if completed) so as to have a better understanding of not just the risks, but the factors that contribute to these significant life ending/changing accidents.

I realize this post will probably seem naive however working in industry I routinely have to read about accidents & near misses and analysis of the causes as as to prevent or minimize recurrence.

I'll probably get run off this thread for my questions which are unfortunately not answers or solutions but my thoughts, FWIW.

fooler
Jan. 10, 2011, 09:40 PM
Thoughtful post gldprimr.
I had a temp office job at a plant where a worker lost his life. The company shut down the line, kept everyone in the plant until the grief counselors arrived, and brought in investigators.

The plant remained closed until the investigation was completed some 2-4 days later. Then everyone and I mean everyone was escorted into the plant for a full explanation of how the machinery worked, what the individual job required, what they understood to have happened, what safety steps they believed the individual ignored and the steps they were implementing to avoid this happening again.

Of course do not expect a 'personal' response such as this, BUT a written explanation could be helpful. Also include, if applicable, lessons learned for the organizer, course designer, fence builder, officials, Rider and/or trainer.

RAyers
Jan. 10, 2011, 10:30 PM
C

I realize this post will probably seem naive however working in industry I routinely have to read about accidents & near misses and analysis of the causes as as to prevent or minimize recurrence.

I'll probably get run off this thread for my questions which are unfortunately not answers or solutions but my thoughts, FWIW.



Not by a long shot. Many of us here are researchers, scientist so we advocate exactly what you are saying! I am a member of the Colorado School of Mines Safety Committee as well as out departmental safety committee. There are some great accidents we investigate (leave it to grad students and newbie undergrads to come up with new ways to destroy, injure etc.).

Reed