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OverandOnward
Apr. 26, 2010, 02:22 PM
I'm opening this thread as NOT A PIN/COLLAPSIBLE ENGINEERING discussion. It's about the principals behind the JUMP OBSTACLE DESIGN. It's about horsemanship. It's about rider and horse safety.

There's another thread that is really a good engineering discussion and should probably continue as such. This thread can hopefully be the derail that would have happened in that one, that one can stay with engineering.

*******************
Pins and collapsibles are not the magic doorway to design where a fall is like a roller-coaster leaving the tracks on a high-speed turn --- regardless of pins or collapsibles.
*******************

I know a highway safety engineer who said that a highway barrier that saves a driver from one disaster is nonetheless useless if it re-directs car & driver into a tree - or into oncoming traffic.

Physics and engineering are equally possible and effective on what happens after, where the falling body goes. This has been proven in highway safety design. This has to become part of course and obstacle design.

It isn't just about reducing the fall -- designers must look at what horse & rider will fall on. The risks where they are likely to land.

Bounces are riskier for falls ---
A BOUNCE AT THE TOP OF A DOUBLE-DOWN ?????

Mike E-S has much 'splainin to do.

To keep my support I must see eventing understand that Fence #20 is not to be repeated, because of AFTER the fall, the LANDING.



Quoting my post from the other thread ...


Not just falls - HORSE FALLS. Rotational. THREE. ONE JUMP PROBLEM.

In that case it really does not matter that over 50 horses got over ok. And fwiw, some of those had a scary moment that righted itself, Bonnie Mosser for one. It does not matter that quite a few skipped down easy-peasey.

It goes beyond the pin.

I don't have a problem with double-downs - actually they are fun, I've only done the low ones.

But a bounce is more risky for leg-hanging. Leg-hanging is more risky for falls. A fall at a double-down is likely to be a skiing-type fall in that gravity takes the body down and down until ... What if one of those horses had rolled or slid off the second step down?

This jump problem design was stupid from the get-go. It is a magnet for disaster, regardless of the pin. Eventing has had enough of that recently.

OverandOnward
Apr. 26, 2010, 02:33 PM
Just an add ... there are plenty of very challenging obstacles and problems that I find acceptable. I would like to address design decisions that invite a catastrophic landing to a fall. That can be avoided.

Eventing can remain a challenging and even a risky sport, without self-destructing.

3 horse falls at one jump on one day - rotational - has to wake someone up.
Has it?

LexInVA
Apr. 26, 2010, 02:38 PM
Same stuff. Different day. New excuses.

*JumpIt*
Apr. 26, 2010, 02:38 PM
Atleast one of those falls would have been prevented had there not been a drop, the horse would have gotten his feet beneath him and carried on.

I doubt the other two would have happened either because both were not snappy enough with their front end. I doubt these talented, well-trained horses who were ridden near perfectly to the jump would have caught their legs had they not as the crested the jump caught sight of the drop. I feel like they were just distracted as they raised that left leg. I can't see any other reason all of those horses would have had this problem otherwise. :no:

I feel like it is an interesting question to ask the horses but the problem is that the wrong answer seems to have too much risk. Hmm.....I am interested in hearing if other people think this type of obsticle should stay. I am currently undecided.

Blugal
Apr. 26, 2010, 02:48 PM
This was from the other thread, and echoes my thoughts about what I perceive as a design problem exactly:


I was at the coffin when Dorothy and Radio Flyer fell. It was nearly the same exact thing- horse catches knee and then flips- almost identical to what was happening at the Hollow. (Although Dorothy said that she took one tug too many- so easy to do!!) I'm inclined to think that having very vertical rails as the first element of these combinations is not a good thing- the horse is coming off the ground with its front end right as it sees the next question (down bank or ditch, etc.) and that slows down their take-off or distracts them just enough so that they catch a leg. What about a "rampier" or more forgiving first element of these technical combinations?

Brandy76
Apr. 26, 2010, 03:07 PM
Again, following OVerandOnwards' excellent logic - at what point do we say, wait a minute, LET's LOOK AT THE COURSE DESIGN? After all, it is the single common denominator - yes there are others, but it seems that is the overwhelming one.

Or is it that it is now accepted - this is what eventing has become, and now as much energy will be put into cleaning up the wrecks that will inevitably be made as was once put into those hours in the saddle when it was about fitness, and bravery.

I am so discouraged with this sport. And, I have been a fan, member, loyal supporter(albeit on a small level) since the late 70's/early 80's. No, never an upper level rider, but I have watched/studied, read, and ridden, ok, only through training.

Doesn't it seem that these courses are unfair to the horses, and rider's??

Wasn't it Bruce that said he was tired of seeing purple faced riders having to kick and yank their way around?

Or is that no one or not enough will say enough is enough, and the "sport" is what it is, now. With the exception of those organizers and designers that chose to stick to the truest form of the sport, XC will henceforward be a nasty, technical, tricky themepark that attempts to trick, and ultimately undermine the confidence of that special type of horse we who love them have always admired as an event horse.


Ok, rant over.

Overandonward - great thread!

OverandOnward
Apr. 26, 2010, 03:16 PM
I am not against challenging courses. I believe these horses are powerful and able, capable of far, far more than humans will ever ask of them. I am all for frangible pins and collapsibles.

I believe that the way some of the questions have been presented have nothing to do with horse capability. They are magnets for disaster if something goes wonky. Other obstacles aren't so much.

Especially focus on ... in case of fall, where will horse & rider land?

Bounce at the top of a double-down???

Everyone involved in the design of #20 should have known better. I don't care who they are. If they have lost their judgment, they need more supervision by those who have better judgment. Doesn't matter what grand things these designers have done in the past. The bloom is off the rose. Supervision is the accountability for those demonstrably going in the wrong direction. 3 horse falls - rotational - 1 jump - 1 day

Lkramer
Apr. 26, 2010, 03:20 PM
I doubt these talented, well-trained horses who were ridden near perfectly to the jump would have caught their legs had they not as the crested the jump caught sight of the drop. I feel like they were just distracted as they raised that left leg. I can't see any other reason all of those horses would have had this problem otherwise.

I think it was poor design for an XC fence, however, they were not ridden perfectly by any means. They put in an extra stride and all got there close, with no momentum, and tried to eek over... which is sometimes the right thing to do with the one stride to bank, but it obviously didn't work out for them...

mares tails
Apr. 26, 2010, 03:22 PM
Mike E-S has much 'splainin to do.

Or he could just retire (http://equisearch.com/equiwire_news/nancy_jaffer/postcard_2010_rolex_kentucky_day_one_042210/)...

.

riderboy
Apr. 26, 2010, 03:25 PM
I do see the point and actually wondered about the same thing myself. I guess everything is pretty clear through the retrospectroscope. It seemed that the consequences of a missed approach or bad distance or whatever to the first element of the hollow carried particularly severe potential consequences, none of which, thank the Lord, materialized. By that I mean no serious injuries resulted.

*JumpIt*
Apr. 26, 2010, 03:37 PM
I think it was poor design for an XC fence, however, they were not ridden perfectly by any means. They put in an extra stride and all got there close, with no momentum, and tried to eek over... which is sometimes the right thing to do with the one stride to bank, but it obviously didn't work out for them...

eh....what do I know, hehe. What I mean by that really is they were being ridden by excellent riders.

lstevenson
Apr. 26, 2010, 03:42 PM
The type of fence involved, vertical w/a bounce distance to a drop, has been done many times before successfully. Even w/ two drops, it's a completely fair test for 4* level.

IMO the fence could have been made safer by having a more rampy profile however. In fact, I've said many times that I think true vertical faces on fences should be elimated. Especially on tables or anything w/ width, as those are approached w/ more speed, which increases the risk if the horse gets too close.

Back in the old days of eventing, there were many fences w/ true vertical faces. But because in those days riders let their horses have more responsibility for their timing and footwork....IOW trained them to think for themselves, horses generally made less major mistakes at them.

Nowadays though....w/ riders micromanaging every detail for their horses (not allowing them to think for themselves), there are bound to be misshaps at any fence w/ a true vertical face when the rider is not absolutely perfect.

So IMO the answer is to either change the way horses are trained, going back to the objective of trusting the horses natural instincts, or completely eliminate all vertical faces on fences, making them all quite rampy.

Sebastian
Apr. 26, 2010, 03:54 PM
After watching vid and looking at pics... I'm in the camp of "poor course design." In this day and age of super technical XC, there needs to be more consideration of the consequences if someone does miss. I'm also not a fan of "surprise" questions with horses... (i.e. not seeing the down banks until it's "too late.")

JMHO,
Seb :)

sch1star
Apr. 26, 2010, 04:47 PM
What has the Hollow looked like in previous years? Wofford says it's a lefthanded approach this year but that's all I found.

Wondering if that rail appeared for the first time this year?

Divine Comedy
Apr. 26, 2010, 05:00 PM
Consider that all the horse falls save The Good Witch (and I'm still unclear whether is was just Jennifer that fell or if they both fell) came at the exact same type of element. The first water, the coffin, and the hollows all had a narrow, vertical, airy rail that had very looky or surprising combinations behind them on a downhill landing or bounce down. I think it is exactly as the previous poster stated, that the horses got their first look of what was ahead AND DOWN as they brought their feet up over the vertical, and hesitated enough to catch a leg. Make the first element either less airy, or more rampy. Preferably more rampy or round (like a rolltop).

blackwly
Apr. 26, 2010, 05:10 PM
IMO the fence could have been made safer by having a more rampy profile however. In fact, I've said many times that I think true vertical faces on fences should be elimated. Especially on tables or anything w/ width, as those are approached w/ more speed, which increases the risk if the horse gets too close.

Back in the old days of eventing, there were many fences w/ true vertical faces. But because in those days riders let their horses have more responsibility for their timing and footwork....IOW trained them to think for themselves, horses generally made less major mistakes at them.

Nowadays though....w/ riders micromanaging every detail for their horses (not allowing them to think for themselves), there are bound to be misshaps at any fence w/ a true vertical face when the rider is not absolutely perfect.

So IMO the answer is to either change the way horses are trained, going back to the objective of trusting the horses natural instincts, or completely eliminate all vertical faces on fences, making them all quite rampy.

You should watch the video I posted on this thread:

http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=254516

It includes an interview with Hugh Thomas (CD of badminton) where he shows several new very airy, vertical fences on this year's course and says that he has been "asked to design more upright fences of this nature" because riders have "become used to thinking that everything can be jumped from a gallop."

Really worth watching and shows that we have some very different out there about what direction UL courses are/should be headed

bornfreenowexpensive
Apr. 26, 2010, 05:33 PM
My thoughts were that the upright face of the first fence...with a bounce to the steps was done to encourage riders to give those steps the right sort of ride....think bouncy coffin canter. This is a hard question later on course when a tired horse is perhaps pulling and more on its forehand and a rider may be more tired and not riding as effectively.....thus placing a big importance on being fit and prepared. So the fence should have helped pick the horse's eye up a little and prepare them for the drops down.

All three falls...it looked like the riders never got the horses' balance completely back on their haunches or their canter collected enough. They jumped over their shoulders a bit leaving a leg behind....and I think the steps down afterwards made that an easy mistake for the horse to make.

To me...I agree that it is an ugly result when it goes wrong. I'm not sure I would say it was an unfair question though.....I'd defer to those that rode it.

Gry2Yng
Apr. 26, 2010, 06:10 PM
So since we don't have a rider to crucify for killing his horse this year, we are going to vilify Mikey E-S, a course designer who is universally well respected? It is certainly fair to analyze the fence and ask whether we want to continue presenting this type of question, but Mikey E-S's retirement is a TERRIBLE loss to the sport. He is an amazing advocate for the horses and probably knows as well or better than many riders what will go thru the horse's brain when it sees one of his fences.

echodecker
Apr. 26, 2010, 06:25 PM
I was there at Fence 20 and watched all three falls (we happened to get there right before the first one happened). I also watched about 10 pairs make it through there just fine, some had bobbles and balance problems, but nothing that looked scary or on the verge of control.

I am on a business trip now and haven't had time to look at my video of all of those horses, but this is what I think...this is just my opinion.

First, it wasn't a totally vertical face, there was another log like the top rail in front of it with flowers, etc. So the groundline was well defined and about a foot out from the base. We walked up on the whole thing after the last horse.

Second, the riders that had trouble didn't have the canter they needed coming over the first element and then probably hesitated more when they saw what was coming. I will compare their canters with the other riders when I get home. What a previous poster said about them not having the hind end under enough and jumping over the shoulders is right on.

Third, there was an OPTION at that first element that NO ONE I watched even looked at. If there is such concern that this is an unjumpable/unfair question, why not take the lone vertical and then circle around to the steps by themselves? I think that the answer lies somewhere around the idea that neither the riders, coaches or course designer thought it was a terribly unfair questions to begin with. A question that had to be ridden correctly and carefully, but not something that was outside the realm of their abilities. Taking the option at the top was what Mike E-S gave the riders who might not feel comfortable with the whole combination or who might have less horse under them at that point in the course than they planned. But, no one even glanced at it.

I'm not sure what it all means, but I don't think we can make every obstacle foolproof and I don't know that arguing about the frangible pins is the right answer. Someone else posted that even if the fence had come down, that wouldn't have changed the fact that the horses were ridden to it in a way that didn't work out. I think this is the issue here. I saw a lot of horses on the course that looked tired. Tired horses early on, even by the head of the lake. Horses that looked like they were beat 3/4 of the way around. I think that is a huge contributing factor to all of this. And I think sometimes you just have a bad fence. Unfortunately, this is a high risk sport, and that bad fence could be unbelieveably costly, but we can't prevent every possible incident and still compete in our sport.

Just my 2 cents from what I observed. I love this sport, and I hope that it will go back to its roots, with galloping and jumping out in the open as our main premise, not this technical, tight stuff we keep seeing.

Classic Melody
Apr. 26, 2010, 07:12 PM
I did not see the falls in question. However, IMHO, this year's hollow was less terrifying to watch than last year's, when horses were jumping up the double banks to a fence on top (I believe a cabin). Horses without impulsion were flinging themselves and I became so convinced that someone was going to fall backwards down the bank that I had to stop watching that fence.

This year, going down the bank was not nearly as scary to watch. And it wasn't the bank that made people fall, remember, it was the rail.

I did see the Jump Jet refuse at the head of the lake, and was very glad to see the styrofoam log break perfectly. The horse did not even act stung. However, and just IMHO, even with a regular log I don't think this type of stop would have resulted in a rotational, as it was a true refusal and the horse made no effort to jump the fence. Without the new log he would definitely have been more banged up, though.

Overall, I thought the course was MUCH horse-friendlier than recent years. There were no open corners or open oxers. Many, many of the jumps were topped with brush.

No one is mentioning the new, max, triple table/brush element that rode beautifully with a nice forward gallop. Isn't that what people have been asking for?

EventerAJ
Apr. 26, 2010, 07:35 PM
I agree with lstevenson in that a bounce, to stairsteps down is a fair 4* question. Many horses completed the question well; some with a few bobbles, that were forgiven. And then there were the 3 that had catastrophic trouble.


I HIGHLY respect Mike E-S, and I can't ever really remember questioning his courses, such as this. But I am left scratching my head: Why so many hanging logs coming into downhill questions?

The Duck Pond: hanging log landing (downhill) into water. Michael Pollard fell.

The Coffin: skinny hanging log landing downhill to the ditch. Dorothy fell.

Head of the lake: hanging log dropping into water. Foamy-log snapped in half by the Jump Jet.

The Hollow: hanging log bouncing down the steps. We know what happened there.


I'm not saying a hanging log, landing downhill question is inappropriate...certainly it's something ALL of these horses have done before. But why was it so common on the course? Why not phrase the question differently? Why not use a big solid round log (flush to the ground) at the Hollow? Or how about a skinny rolltop? A small house?

I realize the vertical nature of the hanging log requires riders to "respect" it, but it can cause a lot of grief if the horse leaves a leg. And it isn't exactly unheard of for the horse to lower itself, or hang a knee, as it sees a drop in the air over the fence. Again, this IS a fair question of a 4-star horse...but why ask it 4 times?

At the last Radnor CCI**, there was a fat round log on the mound going into the last water. The steep downhill landing caught MANY horses off-guard, and nearly all of them left some grease, hair, or skin on that thing as they put on the brakes mid-air and *slithered* over it. It was NOT pretty, nor fun to ride, BUT it was not dangerous. Allison Springer had a fall (Arthur stopped, she didn't), but no single horse came close to rotating. (Back then, she just got back on and continued...sigh).

tx3dayeventer
Apr. 26, 2010, 08:26 PM
I was not there but have watched a few videos that showcased the three or four falls at the double down banks (Tara, Kristi, Oliver, and maybe one other). I also saw videos of other riders riding the banks (Lauren Kieffer, is one that really stuck out).

The thing that struck me was that the riders with falls did not have that "coffin canter" that I would have expected that fence needed. I have ridden around some Advanced courses, never made it to Rolex but it was in pen on my calendar. I am not an expert nor do I play one on TV ;) I thought the fence called for a powerful coffin canter. Lauren Kieffer had what I thought to be an appropriate canter and she jumped through it beautifully. Tara/Kristi/Oliver on the other hand did not look to be in a bouncy/coffin-ish canter. I dont know if the people that fell were hoping the combination itself would give them an "automatic" half-halt and set their horses back or what. I respect the riders mentioned above and think it plain sucks that they fell.

I was not there but that is just what I saw from the videos I have watched of the jump combination.

Flame suit zipped.

riderboy
Apr. 26, 2010, 08:47 PM
So since we don't have a rider to crucify for killing his horse this year, we are going to vilify Mikey E-S, a course designer who is universally well respected? It is certainly fair to analyze the fence and ask whether we want to continue presenting this type of question, but Mikey E-S's retirement is a TERRIBLE loss to the sport. He is an amazing advocate for the horses and probably knows as well or better than many riders what will go thru the horse's brain when it sees one of his fences.

I really don't think he's being crucified. This is healthy and good discussion and I don't see it as vilification at all. If the course design can be improved then all the better. Anyone can make a design error. Remember the space shuttle Challenger?

retreadeventer
Apr. 26, 2010, 09:10 PM
I think the reason for a hanging log is there is space to see thru to what is on the other side. Solid things, like a house or bigger log, would block that view. A hanging log is actually a bit safer for viewing, if you think like a horse might.

I jumped this exact question at training level last year at Fair Hill. Quite a bit smaller of course but very same sort of effort on horse's part. I know NOTHING and I knew i had to have a coffin canter for it. But of course not going 700mpm and having to throttle back for 350mpm either. Big difference.

I watched the falls and thought that the riders were very far forward for the question. The horses looked as tho they all hung legs. Unfortunate but you know an advanced rider I know said that was a green thing among the horses.

Divine Comedy
Apr. 26, 2010, 09:12 PM
I thought the fence called for a powerful coffin canter. Lauren Kieffer had what I thought to be an appropriate canter and she jumped through it beautifully. Tara/Kristi/Oliver on the other hand did not look to be in a bouncy/coffin-ish canter. I dont know if the people that fell were hoping the combination itself would give them an "automatic" half-halt and set their horses back or what. I respect the riders mentioned above and think it plain sucks that they fell.


I wouldn't say you were wrong at all. However, the horses and riders also weren't flying at it either. I really don't think the horses or riders should be punished for not quite getting back enough to a coffin canter by causing them to have a rotational fall for their mistake.

I also am sure Mike E-S had no idea that the design would cause such problems, and since no one got seriously hurt, I think that we can use this to move on in course design. Again, the question I have no problem with it. I would just like to see a slightly more forgiving fence as the first element. One that, should the riders maybe not quite get their horses back and the horse hangs a leg, would give the pair a fighting chance to stay on their feet.

Divine Comedy
Apr. 26, 2010, 09:16 PM
I think the reason for a hanging log is there is space to see thru to what is on the other side. Solid things, like a house or bigger log, would block that view. A hanging log is actually a bit safer for viewing, if you think like a horse might.

Or it might distract them from what they are currently doing (like jumping over the log itself) and cause them to make a mistake. Or they might think that with all the downhill terrain approaching that their legs should be closer to the ground.

Personally, I would always prefer a closed element to an open one. I realize its four star, but mistakes should not be consistently causing rotational falls.

Blugal
Apr. 26, 2010, 09:26 PM
Originally Posted by retreadeventer:
I think the reason for a hanging log is there is space to see thru to what is on the other side. Solid things, like a house or bigger log, would block that view. A hanging log is actually a bit safer for viewing, if you think like a horse might.

I agree with Divine Comedy on this one.

When it's airy and they can see through it, it tends to distract them or cause them to focus down instead of at the top of the rail, and hang legs.

For this reason, a hanging log has always been more of a question than a closed element.

millerra
Apr. 26, 2010, 10:51 PM
The bounce/drop question is an old x-country question.

Tthere used to be a hanging log/bounce into water at Wayne in the old days (90's). It was a big enough drop that it scared me to walk at the top (I'm a chicken, scared of heights - go figure I event!). But the hanging log was small - because horses tend to forget to focus on the log, according to R. Hill...

Anyway -schooled it w/ R Hill eons ago, and I remember he had a very specific way to ride it - and to expect horses to "forget" about the hanging log. I honestly can't remember exactly how he described to ride it but I think the message was to focus on/ get the horse over the first element and then keep kicking...

I wasn't there either - but saw the video of O.T's fall and it looked like the horse was going to take off fine and then refocused on the drop and lowered his frame...

No real point here except 1) it's an old question on Xcountry and 2) it IS a challenging fence that you must ride correctly (ok - DUH!) and 3) glad I'm not even considering riding that level ...

barnworkbeatshousework
Apr. 26, 2010, 11:31 PM
watch the videos slow-motion...all three riders that fell approached the fence from the far left of the fence. The riders that cleared were more to the center or further right. All three horses/riders that fell took off with one hind leg, and without enough locomotion to clear it. (As "LKramer" and others mentioned above). All three failed to lift their left fore, causing the rotation. It was also the last third portion of the course = tired horses and riders.

Again, watching the video slow motion, the horses see where they're going, no distraction, they know what they're doing. Nothing wrong with the fence, it was simply a combination of misfortune of not making the fence as it needed to be jumped. Plain and simple. Watch the old Badminton footage. There have been worse monster fences out there in the past that riders have been riding (and with less protective equipment) in the past. The jump was fine for the level of horses and riders. (And yes, was there this weekend to make that judgment....I agree with Classic Melody above "this year's hollow was less terrifying to watch than last year's, when horses were jumping up the double banks to a fence on top (I believe a cabin)." I've been to Rolex for the past three years and found this year's fences to be "a horse of a different color" from the last two years.

RiverBendPol
Apr. 27, 2010, 07:33 AM
How about if the log had been set back another stride? Jump-land-one-stride-drop would have given them all a chance to see the ground disappearing below them and have the split second to make the adjustment, rather than catching sight of it in "mid-air" and putting down (or not raising) their landing gear.

Divine Comedy
Apr. 27, 2010, 08:42 AM
How about if the log had been set back another stride? Jump-land-one-stride-drop would have given them all a chance to see the ground disappearing below them and have the split second to make the adjustment, rather than catching sight of it in "mid-air" and putting down (or not raising) their landing gear.

My only problem with that is that I rode that exact question at my first Intermediate a week ago. I guess by making it bounce-bounce-bounce instead of one stride-bounce-bounce, you increase the difficulty to four star level.

snoopy
Apr. 27, 2010, 08:54 AM
Or it might distract them from what they are currently doing (like jumping over the log itself) and cause them to make a mistake. Or they might think that with all the downhill terrain approaching that their legs should be closer to the ground.

Personally, I would always prefer a closed element to an open one. I realize its four star, but mistakes should not be consistently causing rotational falls.


The problem with this particular fence design and it was a problem back in the day, is that horses lower their heads/necks in order to see drops and ditches. Their sight works that they see close up from the top of the eye and distance from the bottom of the eye.
Therefor a question like this is asking them to lower their centre of gravity (and head and neck) so they can actually see where their feet are landing when there are ditches or drops. If the horse does not get its feet up and lowers its centre of gravity then we have what we saw on saturday.

whitney159
Apr. 27, 2010, 09:37 AM
Or is that no one or not enough will say enough is enough, and the "sport" is what it is, now. With the exception of those organizers and designers that chose to stick to the truest form of the sport, XC will henceforward be a nasty, technical, tricky themepark that attempts to trick, and ultimately undermine the confidence of that special type of horse we who love them have always admired as an event horse.
!


AMEN!! Tricky themepark is a good description, it's looking more and more like the TV show "wipeout". My past goal of being able to move up the levels and compete has now completely been tossed out. I have no desire to do the type of riding needed for the types of obstacles I see out there these days. I will happily stick to the lower levels.

yellowbritches
Apr. 27, 2010, 09:46 AM
I'm glad to see that there are plenty of people who feel the same as I do...the question was fair and appropriate for a 4* but required a certain ride (a "coffin canter"). The rides I saw that made it looked easy got that coffin canter and maintained it. The ones who had ugly rides either never it got it all the way, or got it then drove their horses forward the last stride or two (I would say the same at the coffin, sunken road, etc). I LIKE seeing these questions. They are old school in my book and require accuracy and adjustablity but do not ride look show jump questions. I think putting something rampy or solid would just encourage poor riding...which is what Lucinda Green has been saying for years.

LLDM
Apr. 27, 2010, 09:46 AM
I don't have enough experience to weigh in on the fence or course design here. Although it did see some other horses at #20/21ab that looked like they might over rotate, but fixed themselves somehow soon enough.

My biggest concern was that there were a lot of horse falls. I didn't see everything and the stats don't say (yet?), but there were at least 5 horse falls, if not 6. And there were few, if any, rider falls that were not horse falls too.

I thought the main focus of the safety initiative was to prevent horse falls, since they are the ones that cause the most damage to riders AND horses. With at least 10% of horses starting ending up falling, I would think this is not a happy statistic.

I will be the first to say that I don't know why. Other than fence 20, the course seemed to ride well enough and be hard enough for a 4****. So maybe the problem is else where? Other possibilities are inadequate rider prep (it was a harsh winter in the east coast), the stress of the WEG selections, cameras in very distracting positions and/or something else.

I would hope we can have these discussions without getting defensive. I think most people don't mean any disrespect to any person or group involved.

But I don't know how we can look at Oliver T's accident and not know how lucky we all were that he and his horse survived it mostly intact.

SCFarm

JAM
Apr. 27, 2010, 10:20 AM
This concerns me as well. If you look at the recent report on the FEI Eventing Risk Management Seminar, http://www.fei.org/sites/default/files/FINAL%20ERMSeminar%20Report%20Malmo%2019.02.2010.p df, which featured the participation of the eventing safety officers of 20 nations (including all the major eventing nations except, curiously, USA and NZL), it is stated that (a) from 2004 to 2008, the average number of falls at a 4* (horse or rider) was 1 in 6 starters; (b) the goal for an "acceptable" level of risk from 2009-2013 is 1 in 8 starters; and (c) the "alert level" is 1 in 4 starters. (For horse falls only, the avg. from 04 to 08 was 1 in 16 starters, the goal is 1 in 21, and the alert level is 1 in 10.) I'm curious where this year's event came out on these metrics. I am hoping that the PTB come out of this event thinking that there are still serious horse and rider safety issues at the highest levels that have not been resolved -- if you are correct that 1 in 10 starters had a horse fall, this event should be on an alert level according to the FEI report -- but unfortunately I worry that they are instead patting themselves on the back because nobody and no horse died or had a serious, highly visible catastrophe.

Incidentally, based on what I saw (including OT's fall), the combination in question looked like a legitimate, fair question for the level. It did seem, though, that a lot of riders, including the creme de la creme, did an extraordinary amount of flying between fences and abruptly pulling up and shortening at the fences. I didn't see all the rides but, of the ones I saw, not one rider maintained a steady rhythm throughout, as the best often did in the old days. I do wonder if this has something to do with the falls. I don't blame the riders for this, and I don't really blame the course designers either. I think it's a function of short vs. long format and the fact that designers need to fit in the same number of jumps over a shorter distance.


I don't have enough experience to weigh in on the fence or course design here. Although it did see some other horses at #20/21ab that looked like they might over rotate, but fixed themselves somehow soon enough.

My biggest concern was that there were a lot of horse falls. I didn't see everything and the stats don't say (yet?), but there were at least 5 horse falls, if not 6. And there were few, if any, rider falls that were not horse falls too.

I thought the main focus of the safety initiative was to prevent horse falls, since they are the ones that cause the most damage to riders AND horses. With at least 10% of horses starting ending up falling, I would think this is not a happy statistic.

I will be the first to say that I don't know why. Other than fence 20, the course seemed to ride well enough and be hard enough for a 4****. So maybe the problem is else where? Other possibilities are inadequate rider prep (it was a harsh winter in the east coast), the stress of the WEG selections, cameras in very distracting positions and/or something else.

I would hope we can have these discussions without getting defensive. I think most people don't mean any disrespect to any person or group involved.

But I don't know how we can look at Oliver T's accident and not know how lucky we all were that he and his horse survived it mostly intact.

SCFarm

archieflies
Apr. 27, 2010, 11:09 AM
They put in an extra stride and all got there close, with no momentum, and tried to eek over... which is sometimes the right thing to do with the one stride to bank, but it obviously didn't work out for them...


I don't have anything monumental to add here, but when I watched the replay with my non-horsey husband, he watched that last stride approaching and said, "Shouldn't they have had a little more speed or momentum going into that jump? Isn't that why the horse didn't make it over?" I explained that with bounces or drops (or bounces AND drops as it was here), you absolutely cannot go hauling into it or you'll faceplant. His response: "Well they faceplanted anyway, so how exactly was he supposed to have ridden it? That's stupid."

selah
Apr. 27, 2010, 11:46 AM
Third, there was an OPTION at that first element that NO ONE I watched even looked at. If there is such concern that this is an unjumpable/unfair question, why not take the lone vertical and then circle around to the steps by themselves? I think that the answer lies somewhere around the idea that neither the riders, coaches or course designer thought it was a terribly unfair questions to begin with. A question that had to be ridden correctly and carefully, but not something that was outside the realm of their abilities. Taking the option at the top was what Mike E-S gave the riders who might not feel comfortable with the whole combination or who might have less horse under them at that point in the course than they planned. But, no one even glanced at it.


Interesting point. I was not there, but from the vid clips I have seen, it would appear that the route taken by all, was the only option for The Hollow.

PhoenixFarm
Apr. 27, 2010, 12:11 PM
I walked the course and walked the question. Honestly, it wasn't the in that caught my attention, nor the attention of those I was walking with. That skinny out was the biggest mo'fo skinny I have ever seen in my life and I thought it was a hell of an accuracy question for so far in to the course. I was stunned that there was only one glance off there.

I thought the in was an old fashioned question, which I was actually sort of happy about, but other than to note it, I didn't think a thing of it.

I was blessed to be watching the various camera feeds all day, and I would add that while a coffin canter was certainly required, you needed to be coming QUITE forwards to it, in that coffin balance. If you were either too much on your forehand, or too backwards, it wasn't pretty. Phillip was probably the most text book, used the turn to collect, collect, collect, then accelerated strongly out of the turn to get the forward. Smooth and easy.

One thing I did note was that problems seemed to cluster through out the day. One fence would ride fine, then suddenly have a bunch of ugly goes and problems, then ride fine again. Don't think it was the light as we didn't have any, LOL, so maybe something with the ground.

I also think, that while there may or may not have been a problem with that fence, I saw a lot of horses missing a fifth leg on Saturday. Not saying the ones who fell did or didn't possess that skill, but I do wonder . . . It was an old fashioned question, and we don't have too many old fasioned-trained horses left.

Sebastian
Apr. 27, 2010, 02:39 PM
I also think, that while there may or may not have been a problem with that fence, I saw a lot of horses missing a fifth leg on Saturday. Not saying the ones who fell did or didn't possess that skill, but I do wonder . . . It was an old fashioned question, and we don't have too many old fashioned-trained horses left.

I think you hit the nail on the head with this, PF. I think course designers need to accept that many factors have changed now that we only run short format at the ULs. A "fair question" IS a relative term...

Seb :)

Janet
Apr. 27, 2010, 03:41 PM
I thought the in was an old fashioned question, which I was actually sort of happy about, but other than to note it, I didn't think a thing of it.


I tend to agree (about it being an old fashioned question).

So, I guess the question is: "Is old-fashioned good or bad?"

riderboy
Apr. 27, 2010, 03:53 PM
I'm glad to see that there are plenty of people who feel the same as I do...the question was fair and appropriate for a 4* but required a certain ride (a "coffin canter"). The rides I saw that made it looked easy got that coffin canter and maintained it. The ones who had ugly rides either never it got it all the way, or got it then drove their horses forward the last stride or two (I would say the same at the coffin, sunken road, etc). I LIKE seeing these questions. They are old school in my book and require accuracy and adjustablity but do not ride look show jump questions. I think putting something rampy or solid would just encourage poor riding...which is what Lucinda Green has been saying for years.
Well, you might be right. But having 3 horse falls at one fence with top riders is probably not going to go over well. We were just damn lucky no one, horse or rider , was seriously injured or killed and then as we all know there is hell to pay. Having a jump question with that type of risk/design, whether someone thinks it might encourage poor riding or not, doesn't seem smart to me in this day and age.

echodecker
Apr. 27, 2010, 05:45 PM
Quote from Selah:
Interesting point. I was not there, but from the vid clips I have seen, it would appear that the route taken by all, was the only option for The Hollow.

The option at the top was a similar, if not identical, vertical set in front of and to the left of the approach to the vertical at the top of the hill. You could jump that and then circle around to jump down the steps. You can't see it in most of the pics and videos, but you can just barely make out the flags for it in the last picture of the complex on the Rolex virtual coursewalk.

It is interesting that no one chose to take it, again not sure what if anything that means...

OverandOnward
Apr. 27, 2010, 09:46 PM
My point is that whether or not it was a fair question is irrelevant. I agree, the question itself was a fair one. I agree, many riders & horses proved that.

My point is that the consequences of a mistake were set up to be far worse than is acceptable.

Horse & rider were going forward, head first, into a double-downhill. The jump at the top is statistically one of the most dangerous for rotational horse falls. In that location a fall is not just a fall, it is like a falling while skiing down a steeper slope. Terrain does not catch the falling body, gravity takes it down and down. In this location a bad situation became so much worse, horses were not made for skiing falls.

The rotational falls that happened to more than one horse were statistically predictable -- with this design they were virtually inevitable. You don't even have to ride to figure that out, you just need a calculator.

Even had the pin worked and the jump given way, even had a horse fallen onto its side without rotating, there was still a high probability of a fallen horse falling further down those banks, squishing the rider. The bounce landing of the higher-risk fence didn't leave enough room to count on the ground catching a falling horse body from going down one or more steps.

That is my point. A fence, even a fair one, with higher statistics for falls, horse falls and rotational falls does not belong at the top edge of a double-down. The statistics calculate an exponentially higher risk of more serious falls. It's also plain common sense.

The USEA has been gathering stats for the purpose of using that data to minimize the risks of serious injury and death. Not to take out the hard questions. But to design those questions more intelligently. Fence #20 was an EPIC FAIL of the learning that should have come from that data.

Fair questions abound that don't involve consequences for a mistake out of all proportion to the mistake. The fall over the drop into the water highlighted the lowering of the risk of injury when the collapsible did its stuff. It wasn't a fun fall, it wasn't that big a deal either, thanks to the collapsible. Eventing made progress.

Eventing acknowledges itself to be a risk sport. There is no drive to eliminate all risk, nor do I think there should be. There will be some accidents and some catastrophic accidents. But the data gathering, frangible pins, collapsibles, the studies, the speeches, and on and on are intended to lower the risk of serious injury and death due to failure at fair questions. Fence #20 increased that risk, exponentially.


I'm asking those who love eventing ... please think. To keep the challenge while improving the risk means re-training ourselves to think beyond traditional ideas of fair questions. There is another thought that needs to come after that one - the statistically probable consequences of mistakes, based on obstacle design. Even and especially small mistakes. The fair question can be asked in a less risky way.

Is anyone ok with a fair question that results in 3 rotational horse falls in one day? Do you think there were other equally rigorous fair questions, questions that tested the same skills, with a far lower risk of rotational horse falls? Can we be satisfied with those, without adding the extremes that have an already documented higher percentage risk of serious injury and death?

OverandOnward
Apr. 27, 2010, 09:54 PM
And re my above post ... I'm further concerned that this mistaken design will be repeated in other events (already has been, actually,) in 3*'s, Advanced, then Intermediate, and so on down the levels ... all "preparing" horses and riders to progress to Rolex, someday. Rolex puts a turn in the water ... other events put a turn in the water. Rolex puts a statistically dangerous fence at the edge of a header-fall double-down ...

ULR's need to start riding slinkies, not horses.

fooler
Apr. 27, 2010, 10:11 PM
Incidentally, based on what I saw (including OT's fall), the combination in question looked like a legitimate, fair question for the level. It did seem, though, that a lot of riders, including the creme de la creme, did an extraordinary amount of flying between fences and abruptly pulling up and shortening at the fences. I didn't see all the rides but, of the ones I saw, not one rider maintained a steady rhythm throughout, as the best often did in the old days. I do wonder if this has something to do with the falls. I don't blame the riders for this, and I don't really blame the course designers either. I think it's a function of short vs. long format and the fact that designers need to fit in the same number of jumps over a shorter distance.

Of those I watched - only a few appeared to maintain some sense of rhythm between fences.
Again one has to wonder if this is an unattended consequence of the short format along with the increased emphasis on Dressage & SJ.

Janet
Apr. 27, 2010, 10:14 PM
The rotational falls that happened to more than one horse were statistically predictable -- with this design they were virtually inevitable. You don't even have to ride to figure that out, you just need a calculator. What exactly did you enter in your calculator that told you that more than one rotaional fall was "statistically predictable"?

What did YOU calculate, before the event, as the "expected number of rotational falls at that fence"




That is my point. A fence, even a fair one, with higher statistics for falls, horse falls and rotational falls does not belong at the top edge of a double-down. Which statistics are you referring to?


The statistics calculate an exponentially higher risk of more serious falls. It's also plain common sense.

It is mathematcially impossible to have exponential growth in probability or "risk", as probability is bounded by 0 and 1. Exponential functions are unbounded, by definition.


The USEA has been gathering stats for the purpose of using that data to minimize the risks of serious injury and death. Not to take out the hard questions. But to design those questions more intelligently. Fence #20 was an EPIC FAIL of the learning that should have come from that data.

Which data indicated IN ADVANCE that fence 20 would cause problems?



Fence #20 increased that risk, exponentially.
No it didn't. Risk CAN NOT increase exponentially.


You may have some relvant points.

But please don't muddy the waters, and destroy your own credibility, with bogus math.

OverandOnward
Apr. 27, 2010, 10:18 PM
Have you listened to or read David O'Connor's speeches on the data gathering of the risks of particular types of fences? Seen the results of the particular jumps that have proven more risky? Looked at the stats for individual fence types?

I'm not going to dither over details. They are in the eventing public space ... this is a knowledgeable crowd. It's just a derail of the real point. You can choose to face it, or side-track the discussion.

SevenDogs
Apr. 27, 2010, 10:28 PM
OverandOnward, you may have some good points but you also seem to have a big chip on your shoulder. You have been posting madly since before the show and always like your pants are on fire. Breathe for god's sake and stop yelling at us with bold/caps, etc.

Now, I don't like to see horse falls either and think we need to continuously look at ways to prevent them. However, at some point, if you keep easing up on the questions (to lessen the consequences for incorrect riding to a fence), are you starting a big downward spiral?

Frankly, most pre-event course analysis agreed that this was a big but significantly less technical course than previous years. Yes, we had a couple really close calls, but there were no serious horse or rider injuries. I think we were headed in the right direction this year and the stats speak for themselves. Are we there yet.... nope. Was this course an improvement on many that we have seen recently... yup.

OverandOnward
Apr. 27, 2010, 10:35 PM
I have not made personal remarks about anyone posting here, don't know why you would choose to do so. You can read my posts any way you choose to. I'm not going to engage personal remarks beyond this point. Are personal remarks furthering the discussion at all? Can we talk about what is to be learned from the 3 falls at Fence #20?

TyB
Apr. 27, 2010, 10:54 PM
The problem with this particular fence design and it was a problem back in the day, is that horses lower their heads/necks in order to see drops and ditches. Their sight works that they see close up from the top of the eye and distance from the bottom of the eye.
Therefor a question like this is asking them to lower their centre of gravity (and head and neck) so they can actually see where their feet are landing when there are ditches or drops. If the horse does not get its feet up and lowers its centre of gravity then we have what we saw on saturday.

Yes, I agree completely. This is the problem with ALL vertical combinations (coffins, sunken road, water and the hollow at KY). Any vertical where a horse takes a peak on the other side (ditches, water, drops etc...) risks the horse possibly leaving a leg. I've seen some really tidy jumpers with lots of experience make this mistake, especially when they get tired. Why not use the prologs on these vertical combinations, they seem to be holding up well to normal hits and only breaking under extreme force. It worked nicely at the water and it sounds like Winter/Carter actually recommended it for the Hollow and Coffin at Kentucky.
Is there something I'm missing with the prologs??

faybe
Apr. 28, 2010, 12:52 AM
OverandOnward, I think you've started an interesting thread on a topic that is worth discussing, but the foundation of your argument is nonsensical. How can a jump be both a fair question and too great a risk? You claim that you agree, The Hollow was a fair question. Yet in your next paragraph you dismantle the whole design:


"My point is that whether or not it was a fair question is irrelevant. I agree, the question itself was a fair one. I agree, many riders & horses proved that.

My point is that the consequences of a mistake were set up to be far worse than is acceptable.

Horse & rider were going forward, head first, into a double-downhill. The jump at the top is statistically one of the most dangerous for rotational horse falls. In that location a fall is not just a fall, it is like a falling while skiing down a steeper slope. Terrain does not catch the falling body, gravity takes it down and down. In this location a bad situation became so much worse, horses were not made for skiing falls."


Are you saying that simply because a horse can and will jump something doesn't mean we ought to ask him to do it? By starting this thread, are you implying that the course designers do not take statistics and safety into account when planning their courses? Please do not consider this a personal attack, I really am interested in understanding what you are arguing for (or against). That being said, if the latter question is the case I would have to strongly disagree with you, as I have seen first hand the amount of time and effort that goes into XC construction and design. NO course designer, especially not one at the 4* level who is planning such a widely publicized event, would design a single fence without considering the potential risks it created for the horse and rider. Now, they don't always get it right, but by using things like frangible pins and deformable logs, they strive to minimize the risk any design flaw or mere horse/rider error may create (please note that I do not find the pins, logs or any other safety "accessory" to be a cure-all for sloppy building, inconsiderate design or irresponsible riding. They are merely tools that attempt to improve the safety of something that is already appropriately designed, built or ridden). They also do their homework and they know the real stats- the results seen at this year's Rolex are not the whole story, they are a very small subset of data that are factored into retrospective studies of the overall efficacy of things like frangible pins, deformable logs, etc. etc... this may seem like "dithering with the details" but such nit-picky details are what generate the statistics on which future design is based.

I am not disagreeing with you in that I think we should do what we can to minimize risk, but there is a fine line that course designers and builders must walk every time they step onto a course: how do you balance the "integrity of the sport", the classic, adrenaline-pumping, challenging cross country phase that defines eventing, with the need to make sure everyone walks away unharmed? I have no idea what the answer to that question is (or if it's even a fair question to ask- obviously we WANT everyone to walk away unharmed, but by nature of the sport- is that possible 100% of the time?), but I don't think it comes from "dumbing" down design. There is inherent risk in eventing, as long as a horse is involved there's no eliminating it entirely. I'm all for improving safety but not at the risk of losing what defines the sport. Riders know the risks going in, they sign a waiver to that effect before they go to every show. We have made and will continue to make great strides in improving safety for horse and rider. But as long as we accept and respect the inevitable risk, doing so doesn't mean we have to redefine what eventing is.

1516
Apr. 28, 2010, 01:12 AM
Consider that all the horse falls save The Good Witch (and I'm still unclear whether is was just Jennifer that fell or if they both fell) came at the exact same type of element. The first water, the coffin, and the hollows all had a narrow, vertical, airy rail that had very looky or surprising combinations behind them on a downhill landing or bounce down. I think it is exactly as the previous poster stated, that the horses got their first look of what was ahead AND DOWN as they brought their feet up over the vertical, and hesitated enough to catch a leg. Make the first element either less airy, or more rampy. Preferably more rampy or round (like a rolltop).
The Good Witch didn't fall, she just chipped and hit fence #3, which popped Jen out of the tack. They are both fine.

JumpingBug
Apr. 28, 2010, 01:22 AM
Thinking that the death toll or injury toll will not improve until we as a whole stop thinking of how many horse and rider combinations showed they made it through a particular fence or fence combination and focus on the % that did not make it safely through.

I only mention this because on every thread of this nature folks always mention after all this % got through it so it must be ok. Watching the videos the riders who did not make it were not hell bent for leather and wild eyed.

riderboy
Apr. 28, 2010, 08:35 AM
Not repeating that type (fence #20, The Hollow) of fence design seems like a no-brainer to me. With that kind of track record of 3 horse falls in one show we can argue fair 4* question all day long but if they repeat that design and a horse and/or rider is seriously injured or killed, there will be hell to pay. That's the bottom line. Anyone seen the Flower Basket on course since 2008? We need to protect the sport as much as possible, I think that is what Overand Onward is saying. Nothing wrong with a little passion as long as everyone is civil and facts are right.

LLDM
Apr. 28, 2010, 09:23 AM
Riderboy has a very good point. In general, this type of fence is likely fair and had a reasonable history up until now. It could have been any one of a number of little things that made THIS question (or implementation of THIS question) over the top. But until we can say with some certainty why that would be, I think the better part of valor would be to leave off the course in the mean time.

Is there anyone at this point that sits through all the video of each fence and tries to understand why they work well or not? And if they do, in fact, end up asking the questions they were supposed to? And analyzing both the correct answers and how people got the answer wrong? I mean football players watch their own tapes for hours dissecting and analyzing both the good and bad from both sides, past games & the past games of upcoming games. Does this happen at the upper levels in any systematic way? Or by the Safety committees?

SCFarm

RiverBendPol
Apr. 28, 2010, 10:08 AM
Isn't this combination usually jumped UP? Maybe turning courses around just isn't as good an idea as it seems.

retreadeventer
Apr. 28, 2010, 11:45 AM
Speaking of passion, opinions about course design, criticism and actual experience setting up and building these things....those of you that TRULY want to go beyond tapping the keyboard can vote with your feet by attending a fantastic course design seminar I just heard about being held in June at GMHA in Vermont, taught by Eric Bull. The flyer is at this blog, http://hollihorse.wordpress.com. Why not go ... and ... here's a great concept ... learn something?

OverandOnward
Apr. 28, 2010, 12:03 PM
OverandOnward, I think you've started an interesting thread on a topic that is worth discussing, but the foundation of your argument is nonsensical. How can a jump be both a fair question and too great a risk? You claim that you agree, The Hollow was a fair question. Yet in your next paragraph you dismantle the whole design:

"My point is that whether or not it was a fair question is irrelevant. I agree, the question itself was a fair one. I agree, many riders & horses proved that.

My point is that the consequences of a mistake were set up to be far worse than is acceptable."
...

Are you saying that simply because a horse can and will jump something doesn't mean we ought to ask him to do it? By starting this thread, are you implying that the course designers do not take statistics and safety into account when planning their courses?

...That being said, if the latter question is the case I would have to strongly disagree with you, as I have seen first hand the amount of time and effort that goes into XC construction and design.

...Now, they don't always get it right, but by using things like frangible pins and deformable logs, they strive to minimize the risk any design flaw or mere horse/rider error may create ,,,

... how do you balance the "integrity of the sport", the classic, adrenaline-pumping, challenging cross country phase that defines eventing, with the need to make sure everyone walks away unharmed?

... but I don't think it comes from "dumbing" down design. There is inherent risk in eventing, as long as a horse is involved there's no eliminating it entirely.

... We have made and will continue to make great strides in improving safety for horse and rider. But as long as we accept and respect the inevitable risk, doing so doesn't mean we have to redefine what eventing is.
(trimmed your quote to what seem to me to be main points, but all of it was important in full)

I agree with much of what you say. And of course a massive effort has been dedicated to eventing safety - pins and collapsibles and design and study - I give full credit for that. Although it's probably unfair to loose so much confidence in these desgners/builders based on Fence #20 ... still I think there was a huge miss in putting that particular bounce in that particular spot. It isn't just that they fell, it's where they fell, onto what terrain - and that the element they fell on already has the statistics to make that not a surprise.

I might be mis-interpreting, but I think by "fair question" most people are saying "is this a reasonable effort?" In the abstract. Let's say that yes, well-prepared and well-ridden, horse & rider can negotiate whatever question comfortably. But we can't stop there ... we have to lift up our heads and look around at the physical layout of the jump against the stats we have for falls. If any element has higher fall statistics, then let's think further ... if there is a mistake, what does the landing look like? This is a separate question from the simple abstract fair-question / reasonable-jumping-effort. That's my point.

If a jump has higher fall stats, then the more people that jump it, the more likely the stats will hold true and the fall is coming. With the number of riders at Rolex what happened at Fence #20 was predictable.

I agree we can't take out all risk. My point is that we can't accept Fence #20 as just a bad day, because bad luck is not what caused those falls. I'll believe that no one on the design team intended to be dismissive about that possibility, but I think it is a major miss that they did not see it coming.

My point is we can keep the challenges by more effectively using all the work and data that has gone on so far. Maybe Fence #20 is a hard lesson. I know designers are very serious about safety. And those principals were applied at Rolex. I am shaken, though, by Fence #20.

Oh yes, I have passion about this, even though I am not a ULR. I want to stay on board with eventing, but Fence #20 shook my confidence profoundly. I want to know if eventing sees the problem that in my strong opinion was obvious and avoidable (without dumbing down) - how likely it is to happen again. Maybe there is a small tiny chance that saying something would help further the thinking on this matter. (Along with my letter to certain officals. ;) :) )


The posters below are saying it much better than I did ...


Thinking that the death toll or injury toll will not improve until we as a whole stop thinking of how many horse and rider combinations showed they made it through a particular fence or fence combination and focus on the % that did not make it safely through.

I only mention this because on every thread of this nature folks always mention after all this % got through it so it must be ok. Watching the videos the riders who did not make it were not hell bent for leather and wild eyed.


Not repeating that type (fence #20, The Hollow) of fence design seems like a no-brainer to me. With that kind of track record of 3 horse falls in one show we can argue fair 4* question all day long but if they repeat that design and a horse and/or rider is seriously injured or killed, there will be hell to pay. That's the bottom line. ...


Riderboy has a very good point. In general, this type of fence is likely fair and had a reasonable history up until now. It could have been any one of a number of little things that made THIS question (or implementation of THIS question) over the top. But until we can say with some certainty why that would be, I think the better part of valor would be to leave off the course in the mean time.

Janet
Apr. 28, 2010, 12:03 PM
Can be done up or down.

I saw a quite similar combination (jumped down) at Badminton about 10 years ago.

I remember thinking "that could be tricky" when I walked the course, but I don't remember it causing any serious problems (maybe a stop or two).



Isn't this combination usually jumped UP? Maybe turning courses around just isn't as good an idea as it seems.

Hannahsmom
Apr. 28, 2010, 12:11 PM
So since we don't have a rider to crucify for killing his horse this year, we are going to vilify Mikey E-S, a course designer who is universally well respected? It is certainly fair to analyze the fence and ask whether we want to continue presenting this type of question, but Mikey E-S's retirement is a TERRIBLE loss to the sport. He is an amazing advocate for the horses and probably knows as well or better than many riders what will go thru the horse's brain when it sees one of his fences.

Agreed. Let's ask the riders that rode the course and successfully answered the question their opinion.

Brandy76
Apr. 28, 2010, 12:35 PM
Yes, I agree completely. This is the problem with ALL vertical combinations (coffins, sunken road, water and the hollow at KY). Any vertical where a horse takes a peak on the other side (ditches, water, drops etc...) risks the horse possibly leaving a leg. I've seen some really tidy jumpers with lots of experience make this mistake, especially when they get tired. Why not use the prologs on these vertical combinations, they seem to be holding up well to normal hits and only breaking under extreme force. It worked nicely at the water and it sounds like Winter/Carter actually recommended it for the Hollow and Coffin at Kentucky.
Is there something I'm missing with the prologs??



I've seen some really tidy jumpers with lots of experience make this mistake, especially when they get tired.


This point that you mentioned above.

Are the ptb essentially taking the position (through course design, etc.) that the technically demanding courses are the new norm (some will be less so, some more, but all with multiple technical questions), and that if the courses are made less technical, somehow that makes them less challenging? Or as someone stated "a downward spiral"? To what? Less falls? A bunch of ties after xc?

Is this all really needed to test horses and riders? Really? Turns in the water? Each course so technically demanding?

And the possibilties for falls, while they have always been there, are much higher with more technical courses, and as has always been when horses get tired, more mistakes can happen, but with the way courses are designed now, the frequency of a horrific consequence for a mistake is higher.
Simple.

Or the handwringing and speculating and rulemaking will go on in an attempt to address the fact that we are now asking horses more, and possibly eliminating the margin for error to the point where it's unsustainable.

BarnBrat
Apr. 28, 2010, 02:06 PM
The concenus is that fence #20 was not a new, unusual, or unfair question. It has been jumped for many years, by many horses and riders, on many courses. It is true that fences such as the first element are known to 'cause' rotational falls where the horse chests the fence and then rotates up and over the top of the fence. Frangible pins were in place to reduce the risk of this type of fall. However, that is not what happened. The horses fell because they hung a knee. In the past, at this type of question that has not been a problem. Otherwise horses would have been falling over this type of question in the past. Noone is saying that nothing needs to change. When that many horses fall in the exact same way at the same fence there was obviously a reason. Maybe today's riding and/or training has changed and the riders and/or horses can no longer handle that question. Maybe the question was located later in the course and after more combinations than in the past. The problem is that we do not have the data necessary to identify what has changed and what has stayed the same. I understand that some stats are being collected regarding the type of fences that cause falls. But the data really needs to be much more in depth. Individual obstacles are influenced by many factors and we need to collect data on as many of those factors as possible.

tuppysmom
Apr. 28, 2010, 02:35 PM
On Wed evening I was at the party at Spindletop and the TV was showing the last many years of eventing. The courses that those horses and riders were jumping were way different. By that I mean that Rolex had a bounce into water where the bounce fences were solid verticles, with little to no ground lines. Many jumps were airy. Many horses skidded around sharp turns to combos. There were plenty of combos and steps down and such.

DD felt that this years course was bigger, but much less technical than the other 3 Rolex courses and the one Burghley course that she has ridden. I think that was the consenous of the majority of the riders.

I still think that the thing that has changed the most in eventing is the horses. Gone are the TBs and mostly TBs, here are the WBs and mostly WBs, and/or draught crosses.

If you get that calmness in the dressage do you loose that TB heart? That desire to get it done, to try your hardest and never give up? JUmp off one leg, grow a fifth one, scramble up and over?

When I watched the video of the past preformances in the dressage at Rolex it was very clear that the horses of old would have been waaay down the leaderboard after the first day, had they competed this past weekend instead of 10 years ago.

Go dig up some old videos and watch those horses jump around in their halts, kick up in their lead changes, jig in the walk.....not near good enough for today.

JMHO

caffeinated
Apr. 28, 2010, 02:51 PM
I still think that the thing that has changed the most in eventing is the horses. Gone are the TBs and mostly TBs, here are the WBs and mostly WBs, and/or draught crosses.


I wouldn't say they are "gone"...

TBs at Rolex (http://calabriarose.wordpress.com/2010/04/28/other-rolex-ex-racers-aka-the-ultimate-nerd-post/)

There were a couple I didn't include that were listed as TBs but I couldn't find any info on.

OK, /geekmoment.

BarnBrat
Apr. 28, 2010, 02:57 PM
I posted this back in 2008 and I will post it again here. I added a few things to make it more relevant to this topic.....

We need an in depth scientific study with hard, detailed data on EVERY possible aspect of EVERY SINGLE 'serious' fall and EVERY SINGLE course.

The study and collection of data should be permanent and ongoing. That way ten years from now if another problem begins occurring in the sport the data we need to help analyze, identify, and solve the problem will already be there.

I'm talking about going way beyond the basics that are already being recorded. When a horse fall or any serious rider injury occurs we need to collect data on things like: age of rider and horse, relevant medical history of the horse, details and a timetable of the horse and riders previous experiences individually and as a combination (Including level of experience and performance at previous competitions: falls, refusals, eliminations, etc), the type of obstacle preceding the fall, the number of fence combinations which preceded the fall and where on course they were located, any penalties received on course, the riders time on course when the incident occurred so their average speed could be calculated, slope/terrain of the obstacles’ approach and landing and overall terrain/slope of the preceding portion of the course, a rating of the footing condition at that obstacle and overall on the course, lighting conditions at the obstacle, weather conditions, EVERYTHING. Obviously as much of the data as possible should be strictly objective but general observations should be included as well. Such as statements describing: the incident itself, the general performance of the horse and rider over the preceding part of the course, and their approach to the obstacle. When video of the fall is available it should be analyzed and cataloged.

We also need stats on every XC course. For example: the number and type of obstacles, the location of each obstacle on course, the number of combinations, course length, etc. Also the number of horse/rider combinations riding each course.

Of course the exact information to be collected, at what levels the data should be collected, and how it is collected should be determined by the experts. But generally the more data we collect the more useful and diverse it will be. The extent and potential of such a study and the usefulness of the information gained by it would be limitless.

Think of the database that could be developed. We would KNOW if the percentage of serious falls was actually increasing or if there are simply more horse/rider combos going xc. If there were a certain combination of criteria of a horse and rider's performance history which increased their chances of having a 'serious' fall by X percent, that horse and rider combination could be identified beforehand. We could determine that a table whose approach is sloped over X degrees is X percent more likely to cause a rotational falll, or that after neogiating x number of combinations is it x percent more likely a fall will occur.

In this case, we would be able to look at the data and determine any number of things. Maybe we would find that in this instance this type of question was asked much later in course than in previous cases. Or maybe we would see that nothing measureable was different, and maybe the falls were caused becuase someone in the crowd had a shiny reflector on their backpack, or maybe the training of today's horses has changed and they are not capable of handling the question. At the very least we would be able to definitively rule out certain factors.

Obviously, the problem with this is that organizing a project of this magnitude will take alot of time and money. But the upper level riders who are out there getting hurt have access to money and clout and if they made it a priority I am sure it could be done.

tuppysmom
Apr. 28, 2010, 03:05 PM
OH, I know TBs are not gone from eventing, and I know it isn't because some horses are WBs, it isn't just the fences or the horses, or the tecnical aspect, or fatigue, or bad riding, or the air vest. I could go on and on.

I didn't hear any riders say they were uncomfortable with the course. I heard some discussion about "how many strides" bla bla bla, but no shreeks of dispare.

I doubt that anyone could have predicted what happened on Saturday. Even statistics people understand that there will always be outliers.

It often comes as a surprise which fence ends up being the one that causes trouble.

just sayin

Gry2Yng
Apr. 28, 2010, 04:29 PM
OH, I know TBs are not gone from eventing, and I know it isn't because some horses are WBs, it isn't just the fences or the horses, or the tecnical aspect, or fatigue, or bad riding, or the air vest. I could go on and on.

I didn't hear any riders say they were uncomfortable with the course. I heard some discussion about "how many strides" bla bla bla, but no shreeks of dispare.

I doubt that anyone could have predicted what happened on Saturday. Even statistics people understand that there will always be outliers.

It often comes as a surprise which fence ends up being the one that causes trouble.

just sayin


This. Sometime a fence just causes an uncharacteristic amount of trouble. Move on.

JER
Apr. 28, 2010, 05:58 PM
This. Sometime a fence just causes an uncharacteristic amount of trouble. Move on.

To add to that: And don't make the same mistake again.

LLDM
Apr. 28, 2010, 06:36 PM
Speaking of passion, opinions about course design, criticism and actual experience setting up and building these things....those of you that TRULY want to go beyond tapping the keyboard can vote with your feet by attending a fantastic course design seminar I just heard about being held in June at GMHA in Vermont, taught by Eric Bull. The flyer is at this blog, http://hollihorse.wordpress.com. Why not go ... and ... here's a great concept ... learn something?

Um, last time I heard Eric lecture on XC fences, he was quite clear that he was not a course designer. It was about 2 years ago, so that could have changed....

He IS fabulous about learning about building and designing the jumps themselves. He is most wonderful about talking about the questions they pose. But he (then) avoided any infringement on the course designer territory.

That said, anyone would be a fool not to go listen to him talk!


Agreed. Let's ask the riders that rode the course and successfully answered the question their opinion.

Why not ask everyone who road it? None of these riders were newbies. And many have answered a whole lot of 4 star questions successfully before. Don't we want to know why some of them got this one wrong?


The concenus is that fence #20 was not a new, unusual, or unfair question.
<SNIP> But the data really needs to be much more in depth. Individual obstacles are influenced by many factors and we need to collect data on as many of those factors as possible.

Great post! And my question is, "how much of this in depth analysis is going on now? And who is doing it?"


To add to that: And don't make the same mistake again.

So how do we do that?

Something did go wrong here with this fence. If the question it asked was the question they thought it asked, would not the frangible pin have worked as intended. And since the pin did not work, why was it put there in the first place, since it was not an effective "deformable" in this particular circumstance.

I am not trying to disrespect the course designer (or jump builder, for that matter). No one is omniscient. I am trying to figure out how we learn from these things.

SCFarm

Gry2Yng
Apr. 28, 2010, 07:03 PM
No one is omniscient. I am trying to figure out how we learn from these things.

SCFarm

Maybe sometimes the lesson is "stuff happens", and there really is no greater lesson attached. Not everything, especially when it comes to horses, can be broken down to a mathematical formula or statistical probability.

adamsmom
Apr. 28, 2010, 07:34 PM
Great post! And my question is, "how much of this in depth analysis is going on now? And who is doing it?"


USEF collects data on every fall on XC. The analysis in ongoing, but was only started less than 2 years ago. Unfortunately, data analysis takes time.
And there's the figuring out what data is significant and what is just noise.

tuppysmom
Apr. 28, 2010, 08:21 PM
There were many course designers present at Rolex. Not in the official post as CD, but there and walking around and looking at jumps.

riderboy
Apr. 28, 2010, 09:23 PM
This. Sometime a fence just causes an uncharacteristic amount of trouble. Move on.


To add to that: And don't make the same mistake again.

Yep, and here's one reason why. Anyone get the Sunday Lexington Herald Leader newspaper? Well I did and this is the front page headline from April 25, 2010. "Rocky Ride At Jumps" This is accompanied by a photo of Oli Townend at The Hollow underneath his horse on the ground. Subtitle to the headline reads "Safety takes tumble at three day event" I mean this is the LEXINGTON paper. And no one, horse or rider, was seriously injured. And on the sports page there's a picture of Phillip Dutton on Woodburn identified as Laine Ashker. That is they identified Phillip as Laine, not Woodburn as Laine although that would not have surprised me either. So much for accurate reporting.

Gry2Yng
Apr. 28, 2010, 10:22 PM
Riderboy, I am not sure I get your point. That photo is dramatic and sells newspapers (or so the editors think). It would have been on the front page if that had been the only fall at jump 20.

EventerAJ
Apr. 28, 2010, 11:44 PM
The LHL isn't known locally as the "Mis-Leader" for nothing. Especially when it comes to their sports coverage. Basically, it sucks. It's almost universally hated around here.

riderboy
Apr. 29, 2010, 07:36 AM
Riderboy, I am not sure I get your point. That photo is dramatic and sells newspapers (or so the editors think). It would have been on the front page if that had been the only fall at jump 20.

I guess I'm going back to the PR disaster that Rolex 2008 was. The very bad publicity including the ESPN show and all of the attendant negativity. If you go back and read some of the posts and threads even on COTH there are a lot of people that consider our sport way too dangerous and think it should be banned. That spawned the safety summit in Lexington that year, the one fall you're out rule etc. etc. With that recent background I'm not sure that more bad PR is what we need-ever. The newspaper headline would indicate, as they printed, that safety had "taken a tumble" accompanied by the dramatic photo of Oli. It sells newspapers but obviously implies the sport is unacceptably unsafe. That's why I think, even if everyone agrees the fence is a fair 4* fence, it doesn't matter. It now has the stigma of three horse falls and has generated negative press. So move on, re-design the fence or whatever but our sport doesn't need that kind of front page slam.

HER
Apr. 29, 2010, 10:54 AM
There is also a two page spread picture of Ollie under his horse in this week's Sports Illustrated. What terrible advertising for our sport! Because you know they will not report on the triumphs and incredible amount of athleticism shown by the other horses. Just the picture of the dramatic fall...
Helen

JAM
Apr. 29, 2010, 11:40 AM
The Washington Post also had a picture of the horse on top of Townend -- the only picture of anything that I can remember the Post (not known as the mis-leader) ever carrying. The point is that this is the image that the sport gets, and the more these kinds of things happen the more such adverse publicity the sport is going to get. Yes, newspapers sometimes sensationalize, but there's no reason we should make their jobs easier by giving them the ammunition.

As for "stuff happens" and "move on", that is what got eventing into the mess it's been in over the last 2-3 years. I don't regard 1 in 10 (or more) horses falling at an event as meriting a "move on" approach. I did think the fence looked like a legit, fair question, but given the unquestionable facts of what happened there, we do need to look at whether there was something about the design, construction, riding, etc., so as to avoid future such instances.


Riderboy, I am not sure I get your point. That photo is dramatic and sells newspapers (or so the editors think). It would have been on the front page if that had been the only fall at jump 20.

LLDM
Apr. 29, 2010, 12:11 PM
USEF collects data on every fall on XC. The analysis in ongoing, but was only started less than 2 years ago. Unfortunately, data analysis takes time.
And there's the figuring out what data is significant and what is just noise.

I would hope so, as this was pledged to us back in 2008. But to clarify my question, does anyone know how much/what type of analysis is going on? Do the videos of each fence & each rider (at least at the 4* level) get analyzed? Or is it simply an exercise in statistics (meaning the generic type is matched with the fall counts)?

And who, meaning riders/coaches/course designers at that level or just numbers people?

As far as the negative publicity goes... I worry not only for the reputation of the sport, but also about what sort of people become attracted to it. It discourages those whose respect the horse and encourages the general thrill seeker, high risk types. It worries me a lot for the future.

SCFarm

riderboy
Apr. 29, 2010, 12:24 PM
T

As for "stuff happens" and "move on", that is what got eventing into the mess it's been in over the last 2-3 years. I don't regard 1 in 10 (or more) horses falling at an event as meriting a "move on" approach. I did think the fence looked like a legit, fair question, but given the unquestionable facts of what happened there, we do need to look at whether there was something about the design, construction, riding, etc., so as to avoid future such instances.

I think the "move on" and "stuff happens" comments were meant to indicate that even though the fence looked fair and was a fair 4* question it obviously caused problems and that fence desgn should not be repeated, i.e. "move on". Not sweep it under the rug. Same for the "stuff happens" comment. At least that was my interpretation. I completely agree that it needs looking into. No question.

quietann
Apr. 29, 2010, 01:01 PM
I still think that the thing that has changed the most in eventing is the horses. Gone are the TBs and mostly TBs, here are the WBs and mostly WBs, and/or draught crosses.

JMHO

If by draught you mean "Irish Draught", I would think this is a GOOD thing. As gets pointed out over and over and over again, IDs are not the same as "Drafts." They are sport-bred and quite a different animal.

fooler
Apr. 29, 2010, 01:46 PM
I think the "move on" and "stuff happens" comments were meant to indicate that even though the fence looked fair and was a fair 4* question it obviously caused problems and that fence desgn should not be repeated, i.e. "move on". Not sweep it under the rug. Same for the "stuff happens" comment. At least that was my interpretation. I completely agree that it needs looking into. No question.

When presented with this type of situation at work, such as application works for all except 1 client, we follow these steps:
We review the client's pc environment and confirm the required settings

We walk the client thru the process to confirm the proper steps are taken

If still not resolved we offer work arounds for the client and internally we place the issue on a "watch status." Meaning we will see if additional clients experience the same or not. If after a period of time (usually 6-12 months) there are no new occurances, then the issue is closed.

Since only 3 horse/rider combinations fell at this fence, I have to view this as, in part, user error.
As 3 experienced horse/rider combinations fell at this fence, I have to review how was this fence was constructed and placement within the course.
As the remaining horse/rider combinations (with varying experience) successfully jumped this fence I have to review their approach, jumping effort and physical condition (were they were tired or not)

This will allow us to determine:
If the fence is truly fair in today's Eventing
If fair how do we build the fence to minmize injury - if applicable
If fair what info do we send to trainers to add to their skill set

If fair - what is the press release? How do we present this to a non-eventing world?

IMHO - For years we (eventing) wanted more publicity, well we finally have what we wished for. Now we need to learn to how to survive in the spotlight. Especially in this world of non-horse folks, non-eventing horse folks and animal rights groups.

As a group, I have found eventers to be resourceful, insightful and most importantly horsemen. We will end up doing what is best for our horses and I hope maintain our sport.

bornfreenowexpensive
Apr. 29, 2010, 04:12 PM
OH, I know TBs are not gone from eventing, and I know it isn't because some horses are WBs, it isn't just the fences or the horses, or the tecnical aspect, or fatigue, or bad riding, or the air vest. I could go on and on.

I didn't hear any riders say they were uncomfortable with the course. I heard some discussion about "how many strides" bla bla bla, but no shreeks of dispare.

I doubt that anyone could have predicted what happened on Saturday. Even statistics people understand that there will always be outliers.

It often comes as a surprise which fence ends up being the one that causes trouble.

just sayin

that I agree with...not sure I understand your comments on the TBs being gone earlier. In fact, several of the horses who DID fall were ALL TB. I think half if not more than half of the horses that fell were all TB. And having non-TBs eventing isn't new. There have been ISH and WB crosses at the highest levels for as long as there has been eventing.


I can believe that the training has changed. That more time is spent doing dressage and in the ring than in years past....and perhaps this is just one more factor for the issues. But I don't see where the type of horse or breed of horse has really changed.

Janet
Apr. 29, 2010, 04:48 PM
If by draught you mean "Irish Draught", I would think this is a GOOD thing. As gets pointed out over and over and over again, IDs are not the same as "Drafts." They are sport-bred and quite a different animal.

"Draught" is simply the British-English spelling on the word that is spelled "draft" in American-English. It is "draght" whether you are talking about "draught beer", an "bank draught", a "draughty house" or a "draught horse".

I will agree that an "Irish Draught" horse is quite different from a "heavy draught" horse. But it has nothing to do with whether you spell it "draught" or "draft".

retreadeventer
Apr. 29, 2010, 04:57 PM
An experienced horse, and an experienced tired horse, are two different animals. Horses aren't motorcycles. They don't stay the same from fence to fence. They get fast, slow, listen to the rider, don't listen to the rider, etc. Living creatures with a mind of their own. Anybody see the 2009 winner jump into the HOTL last year?

Just because they are experienced doesn't mean they do it perfectly every time.

Gry2Yng
Apr. 29, 2010, 07:59 PM
Agree with your post rte. That being said, I don't think any of the combinations that fell at #20 would be considered experienced at the level. R-Star and rider were doing their first ****, BP and TZ were eliminated last year. OT's horse has a sketchy record at the level if I remember correctly. Also, all falls occurred in the afternoon.

We cannot condemn the fence or the course design without looking at the horses and the riders and the influence of the sun, the footing, etc. To say "ban all uprights at double bounce banks" is as big a folly as saying "loss of the long format is the cause of all our problems". The statement is just too global.

I also think that sometimes we have to be open to the idea that "stuff happens". No one is at fault, the horses were well prepared, well ridden and the course was well designed. It JUST HAPPENED that way. There are a whole bunch of statical papers written about "cancer clusters" and the fact that they aren't "clusters". They are just random events.

It is called the belief in the Law of Small Numbers. Clusters can occur simply thru chance. After a long series of red on the roulette wheel, people assume that black is due, but RRRRRRRRR is as RANDOM as RRBRRRBBBBR.

During the WWII, a few areas of London were hit multiple times by German bombs, others were not hit at all. Citizens became convinced that German spies lived in the areas that were spared. Later statistical studies showed that the pattern was random.

It really is possible that they were just random falls and that there is no underlying pattern. Of course, sometimes the paranoid really do have some one out to get them.

ETA: I think we can save ourselves a lot of angst, if we can analyze these things and be open to the possibility that there is nothing to improve or change and there is no one to blame.

Gry2Yng
Apr. 29, 2010, 08:07 PM
The point is that this is the image that the sport gets, and the more these kinds of things happen the more such adverse publicity the sport is going to get. Yes, newspapers sometimes sensationalize, but there's no reason we should make their jobs easier by giving them the ammunition.

Agree on principle, but the fact is we will never eliminate all falls. NEVER. Just like racing will never eliminate all crashes. We just have to keep the participants as safe as possible, but we cannot make it risk free.

Ghazzu
Apr. 29, 2010, 08:47 PM
Not repeating that type (fence #20, The Hollow) of fence design seems like a no-brainer to me. With that kind of track record of 3 horse falls in one show we can argue fair 4* question all day long but if they repeat that design and a horse and/or rider is seriously injured or killed, there will be hell to pay. That's the bottom line. Anyone seen the Flower Basket on course since 2008? We need to protect the sport as much as possible, I think that is what Overand Onward is saying. Nothing wrong with a little passion as long as everyone is civil and facts are right.

I don't think that's a fair analogy.
The flower basket was not a dangerous jump. It was jumped in a dangerous manner. the reason it was withdrawn was, no doubt, for PR, and not safety, reasons.

Janet
Apr. 29, 2010, 08:47 PM
. Horses aren't motorcycles. They don't stay the same from fence to fence.
Ah, but motorcycles don't stay the same from lap to lap either.. (The center of gravity changes noticeably as the gas tank empties, and the traction of the race tires changes, first as the tires come up to temperature, and then as the tires wear.)

Hannahsmom
Apr. 29, 2010, 08:48 PM
We cannot condemn the fence or the course design without looking at the horses and the riders and the influence of the sun, the footing, etc. To say "ban all uprights at double bounce banks" is as big a folly as saying "loss of the long format is the cause of all our problems". The statement is just too global.

I also think that sometimes we have to be open to the idea that "stuff happens". No one is at fault, the horses were well prepared, well ridden and the course was well designed. It JUST HAPPENED that way. There are a whole bunch of statical papers written about "cancer clusters" and the fact that they aren't "clusters". They are just random events. If I concentrated only on the adverse events to make decisions, then we would never make any discoveries.

It is called the belief in the Law of Small Numbers. Clusters can occur simply thru chance. After a long series of red on the roulette wheel, people assume that black is due, but RRRRRRRRR is as RANDOM as RRBRRRBBBBR.

During the WWII, a few areas of London were hit multiple times by German bombs, others were not hit at all. Citizens became convinced that German spies lived in the areas that were spared. Later statistical studies showed that the pattern was random.

It really is possible that they were just random falls and that there is no underlying pattern. Of course, sometimes the paranoid really do have some one out to get them.

ETA: I think we can save ourselves a lot of angst, if we can analyze these things and be open to the possibility that there is nothing to improve or change and there is no one to blame.
Thank you for this post. Couldn't agree more. And this is why I said I would like to hear from the riders who did not have problems at well. As we all know when analyzing statistical results, you want to understand even those that ended up positive but barely. For example, were all the non-fall rides very easy for everyone else? If not, what was the pattern and the variation? Understanding all the data, both positive and negative, helps understand what is happening and whether it was the fence or some other factors.

riderboy
Apr. 29, 2010, 09:27 PM
I don't think that's a fair analogy.
The flower basket was not a dangerous jump. It was jumped in a dangerous manner. the reason it was withdrawn was, no doubt, for PR, and not safety, reasons.

Agreed, it's not completely fair, but it's the PR for both fences that worries me. Right or wrong a fence where mayhem occurs for whatever reason would seem best not repeated and of course the falls thoroughly analyzed. I can see the headlines now, "Deadly XC Fence Left On Jump Course" And as I've said, there would be hell to pay. Ridiculous of course, all XC fences are inherently dangerous and so are horses. It's definitely about PR and riding safety and presenting our sport in the safest, most responsible light possible.

JAM
Apr. 29, 2010, 10:14 PM
Yes, I totally agree with this.


Agree on principle, but the fact is we will never eliminate all falls. NEVER. Just like racing will never eliminate all crashes. We just have to keep the participants as safe as possible, but we cannot make it risk free.

RiverBendPol
Apr. 30, 2010, 01:14 PM
These Hugh Thomas Badminton fences make my point of how I think a frangible should be built-rail on the far side:

http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/galleries/main.php?g2_itemId=15684&

and this:

http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/galleries/main.php?g2_itemId=15692&

close up:
http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/galleries/main.php?g2_itemId=15694&

Zephyr
Apr. 30, 2010, 02:11 PM
These Hugh Thomas Badminton fences make my point of how I think a frangible should be built-rail on the far side:

http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/galleries/main.php?g2_itemId=15684&

and this:

http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/galleries/main.php?g2_itemId=15692&

close up:
http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/galleries/main.php?g2_itemId=15694&

Yes... I was very confuzzled as to why the Rolex jumps were built the other way - with the rail blocked from popping loose by the back posts. Interesting, thanks for the links.

fooler
Apr. 30, 2010, 05:10 PM
Agreed, it's not completely fair, but it's the PR for both fences that worries me. Right or wrong a fence where mayhem occurs for whatever reason would seem best not repeated and of course the falls thoroughly analyzed. I can see the headlines now, "Deadly XC Fence Left On Jump Course" And as I've said, there would be hell to pay. Ridiculous of course, all XC fences are inherently dangerous and so are horses. It's definitely about PR and riding safety and presenting our sport in the safest, most responsible light possible.

Actually it is about Horse and Rider safety first and foremost.
We can never explain Eventing to everyone so they will accept the sport as is. For that matter you will never be able to explain anything to everyone so that it is accepted. Given that so many people now live in urban areas with little or no interaction with horses - they are either afraid or idolize horses (all animals for that matter). So we must worry less about what everyone else thinks and stay focused on keeping the sport as safe as possible while understanding that simply being in the presence of horses is inherently dangerous. Not to mention the risks involved when one decides to mount up and take off XC!

Janet
Apr. 30, 2010, 07:07 PM
Yes... I was very confuzzled as to why the Rolex jumps were built the other way - with the rail blocked from popping loose by the back posts. Interesting, thanks for the links.
The frangile pin releases DOWNWARD, not forward. From that perspective it doesn't matter which side the post is.

One of the possible hazards with a frangible pin is that the log gets "loose" and gets tangled up with the horse's legs. The roping is supposed to prevent that, but having the post on the "landing" side does an even better job of keeping the log from tripping up the horse. So, from that perspective, it is safer.

riderboy
Apr. 30, 2010, 08:31 PM
Actually it is about Horse and Rider safety first and foremost.
We can never explain Eventing to everyone so they will accept the sport as is. For that matter you will never be able to explain anything to everyone so that it is accepted. Given that so many people now live in urban areas with little or no interaction with horses - they are either afraid or idolize horses (all animals for that matter). So we must worry less about what everyone else thinks and stay focused on keeping the sport as safe as possible while understanding that simply being in the presence of horses is inherently dangerous. Not to mention the risks involved when one decides to mount up and take off XC!
Yes, I think pretty much everyone agrees it's about horse and rider safety. The thoughts and ideas expressed about how to deal with fences that are thought to be fair and straightforward but for some reason, careless riding, sun angle, random chance or whatever become infamous for NOT being horse and rider safe need to be revised or eliminated from future competitions. If there were no concern about presenting our sport in a safe and responsible light then one might say, "leave those fences alone, they were completely fair." Unfortunately, in my opinion, that has the APPEARANCE of not giving a damn about horse and rider safety, particularly if there happens to be another wreck at that fence in the future. I think we had better be concerned not only with substantive improvements in horse and rider safety but also concerned with how we present our sport to the outside world. Which includes a lot of people who see or MIGHT see, our sport as cruel and dangerous and would really love to shut it down.

Gry2Yng
Apr. 30, 2010, 08:48 PM
I think we had better be concerned not only with substantive improvements in horse and rider safety but also concerned with how we present our sport to the outside world. Which includes a lot of people who see or MIGHT see, our sport as cruel and dangerous and would really love to shut it down.

That is where I disagree. I am going to give my horses excellent care, based on the fact that I am a good horseman. The "outside world" doesn't know any more about horsemanship than they do about rocket science or race car driving. I know that sounds like I am being blind and stupid, but I think if we circle our wagons and act responsibly, and then we face the music with a good answer for why we behave the way we do. Otherwise we just end up saying "Well, we were just trying to appease y'all who don't really know anything about horses." THAT to me is stupid. We have to stop feeling threatened by unknown factions. Rolex horses receive more in veterinary care than most people spend on their own health. We can stand up for what we believe or we can cower in the corner and apologize for the incredibly high standard of care we give these animals because we are afraid of the "outside world".

ETA: And if you are really worried about the sport being "shut down", the FEI is going to take care of that. PETA is the least of our worries.

Maybe instead of worrying out our PR over falls, we should start putting out our own PR about the great lives these horses live, how they are a part of our heart and soul, and the wonderful community that eventing is.

riderboy
Apr. 30, 2010, 09:43 PM
I'm not sure which part of that quote you are disagreeing wth.

Gry2Yng
Apr. 30, 2010, 10:09 PM
You know what, you are right, I don't disagree. We should be concerned with how we present our sport, but I think we should be on the offense rather than defensive side of the PR. What I disagree with is constantly defending ourselves and trying to appease people who wouldn't know their tush from a donkey's tush.

riderboy
Apr. 30, 2010, 10:31 PM
You know what, you are right, I don't disagree. We should be concerned with how we present our sport, but I think we should be on the offense rather than defensive side of the PR. What I disagree with is constantly defending ourselves and trying to appease people who wouldn't know their tush from a donkey's tush.

Yes, I know. My wife's clients keep cutting out Oli's picture and sending it to her. They know it's "our" sport. It always seems to put us on the defensive.

fooler
Apr. 30, 2010, 10:41 PM
Riderboy,
It is late and I am tired so here is a short version of what I want to say.

We faced 'bad PR' in 1992 after NBC showed 15 minutes of the falls and a few tired horses at the Barcelona Games. To the best of my knowledge all of the horses went home safely. However many groups decided it was time to shut down this vicious, deadly sport including most animal rights groups.
So through 2000 'we' took a hard look at ourselves and made major changes to our sport to improve safety for both horse and rider. Many changes were due to the 'heat/humidity' research done prior to the 1996 Atlanta Games. In short we looked at ourselves thru the eyes of the outside world and saw things that needed our attention.
Since 2001 additional changes were made to our sport, including the PRO event rider movement and replacing the LF with the SF. There are plenty of threads regarding the move to the SF in case you have a day or so read them.
Our PR should be:
*All rides are being reviewed with extra attention given to the 3 falls.
*The individuals involved with this competiton, organizer, ground jury, CD and Course builder have a long history of putting the safety of the horse and rider first.
*A statement should be released when research is completed.

I would not be surprised if Hannahsmom's comments are what we hear:
"ETA: I think we can save ourselves a lot of angst, if we can analyze these things and be open to the possibility that there is nothing to improve or change and there is no one to blame."

FYI - reread Gry2Yng's last 2 posts - they are spot on.

Gnep
May. 1, 2010, 12:08 AM
The thing that realy concerns me. Not that the pin did not break. Even that I think is odd, it should have, at least when OT did his thing.
But that the pin was never exchanged.
It got hit numerous ( humerous ) times with considerable force, 2 crashes, neat ones, befor OT and never ever was this very important piece of savety equipment checked or exchanged.

As long as we do not have a protocol concerning our safety equipment, how to handle it, how to deal with it.
As long as we introduce new equipment in the sport, without a reconized institution to test and certify the equipment, any so called attempt to make this sport safer ist a joke.

I do not see anything wrong with this jump, I just see a piece of equipment, that does not do the trick and that is not cared for, as it should be.

retreadeventer
May. 1, 2010, 07:51 AM
I'm with Gnep.

We need a revamp of "safety" definitions and process with regard to obstacles on cross country, especially at any level requiring fences be above about 3 feet in height.

(I've called for this in my blog. Not that that means anything. I'm a nobody.)

So-called safety fences and designs need to be tested, protocols designed, real-world testing staged for each. No more rider guinea pigs on course at a recognized event without prior testing.

So -- it really IS about the pin, because the pin's function, or lack of it, as well as Gnep's observation that it should have been replaced after the FIRST horse fell over it, reflects absolutely upon acceptable obstacle design. Part and parcel.

TxEventer81
May. 1, 2010, 04:24 PM
I'm glad to see that there are plenty of people who feel the same as I do...the question was fair and appropriate for a 4* but required a certain ride (a "coffin canter"). The rides I saw that made it looked easy got that coffin canter and maintained it. The ones who had ugly rides either never it got it all the way, or got it then drove their horses forward the last stride or two (I would say the same at the coffin, sunken road, etc). I LIKE seeing these questions. They are old school in my book and require accuracy and adjustablity but do not ride look show jump questions. I think putting something rampy or solid would just encourage poor riding...which is what Lucinda Green has been saying for years.

I went on Lucinda Green's course walk today... she had quite a bit to say on the subject of this fence and course design in general. She said she wrote an article about it in Horse and Hound. I'm going to try to find it.

Also correct me if I'm wrong and sorry for a mini-sidetrack... I know that BEF has a rule about how many days after a fall (or a fall involving a head injury) before a rider can ride (in competition?) again. BUT didn't Ollie Townend withdraw from Badminton before his fall??? I thought I read that when checking on his status on his fb page after xc at Rolex...

People at Badminton are talking as if it was his fall that was preventing him from riding. He also did an interview for their radio station where he didn't correct the interviewer when asked if he was upset that his fall prevented him from riding here this weekend. Do you thinking that possibly he would have tried to re-enter since his Rolex run didn't go well and that's what they mean? That his fall prevented him from re-entering?

nomeolvides
May. 1, 2010, 06:08 PM
Do you thinking that possibly he would have tried to re-enter since his Rolex run didn't go well and that's what they mean? That his fall prevented him from re-entering?
I'm pretty sure that once you have withdrawn, you are withdrawn and not going. There are over 100 entries and a waiting list, so I don't think that they'd re-enter a withdrawn rider and tell the now-off-the-waiting-list rider that they no longer have a place.

Zephyr
May. 3, 2010, 02:44 PM
The frangile pin releases DOWNWARD, not forward. From that perspective it doesn't matter which side the post is.

One of the possible hazards with a frangible pin is that the log gets "loose" and gets tangled up with the horse's legs. The roping is supposed to prevent that, but having the post on the "landing" side does an even better job of keeping the log from tripping up the horse. So, from that perspective, it is safer.

Yes, I know they release downward, but it would seem that with posts behind the rail, you'd have to land with 100% of the force directed straight downward for the pins to break; if the pins were behind the posts, a more oblique angle might trigger them... again, I know nothing about the engineering, just a random musing.

EventerAJ
May. 3, 2010, 06:06 PM
Yes, I know they release downward, but it would seem that with posts behind the rail, you'd have to land with 100% of the force directed straight downward for the pins to break; if the pins were behind the posts, a more oblique angle might trigger them... again, I know nothing about the engineering, just a random musing.


Zephyr, I also struggled with the visual concept of how it works. Here is the best I can wrap my brain around it:

Picture a horse galloping down to a hanging log. The horse chips in an extra stride, and rider's on the neck. Horse actually CHESTS the log, momentum continues, and he begins to rotate. (Picture a gymnast doing a handspring on the vault) Horse goes vertical over the log-- butt in air, full weight of horse on its chest/forearms, pivoting on the log. This is when the pin releases (to my understanding), when the horse is truly up-and-down at its peak. The log drops straight down, altering the horse's flipping trajectory; he'll likely land more on his head/neck now, instead of his back/butt. The rider continues on the initial trajectory, flying farther out than the horse...thus avoiding 1200lbs landing on him/her. Note that this MAY NOT be a safer fall for the horse, but it is likely to be a safer fall for the RIDER, which is the intent of the pins.

This could be entirely wrong, but that is the best explanation that made sense to me.

Apparently, this is why the pins did not break at Rolex-- no horse chested an obstacle, but rather rotated over ONE KNEE. I guess that was not enough downwards force applied to trigger the pins.


IMO, that's not good enough. Those were dangerous falls, the kind we would like to avoid. It would be nice to have some sort of safety device available to assist those falls, as well as the most severe forearm/chesting the jump.


To me, there is MUCH more research and testing to be done. I think it's great that we're heading in the direction of safety, but perhaps we are relying on the pins TOO MUCH-- they seem to ve a *very limited* safety feature, not a catch-all safety net. Building a bunch of "difficult" fences a bit casually, "but it's ok because they have pins" is not a good mindset to have. Do some more testing/tweaking on the pins and study more horse falls to see what's happening and what you WANT to happen. No one expects it to work miracles, but I think we took the pins' deployment for granted.

groom
May. 3, 2010, 08:44 PM
The thing that realy concerns me. Not that the pin did not break. Even that I think is odd, it should have, at least when OT did his thing.
But that the pin was never exchanged.
It got hit numerous ( humerous ) times with considerable force, 2 crashes, neat ones, befor OT and never ever was this very important piece of savety equipment checked or exchanged.

As long as we do not have a protocol concerning our safety equipment, how to handle it, how to deal with it.
As long as we introduce new equipment in the sport, without a reconized institution to test and certify the equipment, any so called attempt to make this sport safer ist a joke.



I do not see anything wrong with this jump, I just see a piece of equipment, that does not do the trick and that is not cared for, as it should be.

You do not know what you are talking about. I watched every horse jump this fence (yes - every single one) and also watched the repair crew and the fence judges inspect the pins every time the fence took even a slight rap. None of the 3 horses that fell brought their weight to bear on the top rail. Look at the youtube.

The pins are tested and certified, as you know, so what is your point in throwing that second statement in there, other than to double down on nonsense?




What I disagree with is constantly defending ourselves and trying to appease people who wouldn't know their tush from a donkey's tush.

PhoenixFarm
May. 4, 2010, 12:19 AM
The deal with Oli's comments about being mad about not riding at Badders is because the Brits have strict return to play rules following a head injury/concussion. I believe it's seven days, then they can take a test where their responses and response time are tested against a baseline. If they don't take or pass the test, it's a month. There was some effort on the part of the Brits to pretend that Oli's injuries did not include his head, so he could ride at Badminton. Kinda tough with that SI picture floating around, lol.

Anyway, point being, it wasn't about finishing his ride at Rolex, it was about being grounded for Badminton.

Blugal
May. 4, 2010, 12:27 AM
groom, if the pins had been defective, which is possible and may not be visible to the naked eye, then it would have been prudent to replace them after one horse fall over them.

RAyers
May. 4, 2010, 12:29 AM
You do not know what you are talking about. I watched every horse jump this fence (yes - every single one) and also watched the repair crew and the fence judges inspect the pins every time the fence took even a slight rap. None of the 3 horses that fell brought their weight to bear on the top rail. Look at the youtube.

The pins are tested and certified, as you know, so what is your point in throwing that second statement in there, other than to double down on nonsense?


As a person who has been an expert witness in device/component failure unless those guys have SEMs for eyes and a portable x-ray machine, NO visual inspection can tell you the state of the material until AFTER it fails. In other words, they could have planted themselves at that fence staring at the pins and they would not have detected anything.

What Gnep is talking about is WORK HARDENING or STRAIN HARDENING of the pins due to successive hits. The pins will actually become STRONGER if they are lightly flexed due to dislocation generation at the atomic scale (hence why no visual inspection would help). If you don't believe me, try this with a horse shoe in a vise.

My opinion is that pins should be replaced after EVERY significant hit to prevent work hardening.

As a matter of fact, I would LOVE to get a series of failed pins from as many events as possible. I could very easily tell you how and why they failed (be it the hit from the horse, fatigue, work hardening, etc.).


Reed

groom
May. 4, 2010, 03:09 AM
As a person who has been an expert witness ....


With all due respect, you missed the point of my "expert testimony" (which is supported by every video & still image of the three falls that I've seen) : none of those horses put their body mass on top of the pins.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fnItSjegJI&feature=related


What Gnep is talking about is WORK HARDENING or STRAIN HARDENING of the pins due to successive hits. The pins will actually become STRONGER if they are lightly flexed due to dislocation generation at the atomic scale (hence why no visual inspection would help).

Where is his post are you reading anything like that? I just see a lot of wild accusations.


The thing that realy concerns me. Not that the pin did not break. Even that I think is odd, it should have, at least when OT did his thing.
But that the pin was never exchanged.
It got hit numerous ( humerous ) times with considerable force, 2 crashes, neat ones, befor OT and never ever was this very important piece of savety equipment checked or exchanged.

As long as we do not have a protocol concerning our safety equipment, how to handle it, how to deal with it.
As long as we introduce new equipment in the sport, without a reconized institution to test and certify the equipment, any so called attempt to make this sport safer ist a joke.

I do not see anything wrong with this jump, I just see a piece of equipment, that does not do the trick and that is not cared for, as it should be.


The first section is where he alleges that the pins were never checked (they were), in the second he says there are no protocols for dealing with our safety equipment (there are) and that this equipment is in use without "a reconized institution to test and certify the equipment" (more bullshit).



The pins will actually become STRONGER if they are lightly flexed due to dislocation generation at the atomic scale

The other "experts" seem to disagree with you on this. http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/competitionnews/391/276154.html


You & Gunther are both taking a big piss at a lot of very hard-working, dedicated professionals (designers, officials, builders & scientists) who are doing everything they can to make an inherently unsafe activity safer. Flame on, doctor.

nomeolvides
May. 4, 2010, 05:52 AM
There was some effort on the part of the Brits to pretend that Oli's injuries did not include his head, so he could ride at Badminton. Kinda tough with that SI picture floating around, lol.
I don't agree with that because Oli wasn't going to ride at Badminton anyway, having withdrawn his horses BEFORE competing in Kentucky.

retreadeventer
May. 4, 2010, 07:35 AM
I know who Gnep is, and what he has done.
I know who RAyers is, and what he has done, and what he's trying to do.

But you, Groom, I do not know. I don't know where you have come from or what you have done, if you have ever ridden at the upper levels (as they have) or built jumps (as they have) or worked unselfishly on behalf of the sport (as they have).

No one is saying you're wrong -- just looking for your expertise beyond being able to link to reports others have written.
You said that testing protocol is "bullshit".
I have proposed that it NOT be viewed that way, and that testing protocol have an actual program for fence safety. (I made a proposal on one of my blogs a little while ago. It's in print and it's public. The people who are in charge of whatever can read it anytime they want.)
I rode a couple of times at the upper levels several decades ago and ride now at the lower levels, but my father was a 30+year test engineer for Boeing, and I have extensive experience in public relations and in organizational planning as the founder and first president of the Delaware Equine Council, 4 years as sponsorship coordinator for the Area II training three day event, 8 years as warmup steward at Fair Hill International three day event, and in real life, an accident scene investigator and photographer.

Safety is important, more important than rhetoric and opinion, and both Gnep and RAyers have demonstrated to me that they are deeply invested in the sport's safety. They have MANY posts on this forum demonstrating that.

Just sayin'....lots of folks in this sport have been in the way for a long time. Largely due to efforts of folks on this board two years ago we got the PTB to call the "Safety Summit". Sticking up for what has always been won't help us going forward. We MUST continually change, test, and try better things to help this sport.
Three horses left a leg on that jump and rotated over it. I don't care who you are or what you say, that's too many for the design. FAIL.

TxEventer81
May. 4, 2010, 07:43 AM
The deal with Oli's comments about being mad about not riding at Badders is because the Brits have strict return to play rules following a head injury/concussion. I believe it's seven days, then they can take a test where their responses and response time are tested against a baseline. If they don't take or pass the test, it's a month. There was some effort on the part of the Brits to pretend that Oli's injuries did not include his head, so he could ride at Badminton. Kinda tough with that SI picture floating around, lol.

Anyway, point being, it wasn't about finishing his ride at Rolex, it was about being grounded for Badminton.

I realize that, but my beef is with the fact that the Brits were ignoring the fact that Oli withdrew BEFORE Badminton


I don't agree with that because Oli wasn't going to ride at Badminton anyway, having withdrawn his horses BEFORE competing in Kentucky.

This is what my understanding was as well.

*If anyone is interested I was able to get a copy of Horse & Hound with Lucinda Green's article about course design including the design of Fence 20. I was also kind of ticked off at Oli saying his fall was because of his horse's mistake... Someone correct me if it truly was. As I saw the video, it appeared to me as if Oli didn't prep his horse properly before the fence. If anyone is interested in the article PM me.

RiverBendPol
May. 4, 2010, 08:04 AM
Did any of you watch the live feed from Badminton? Alex Hua Tian and his Jeans had a crash at the open corners. Those rails were on frangible pins, the rails on the far side of the posts. Alex's horse did not land on TOP of the rail but rather, did the typical move of leaving one leg behind and was CLEARLY headed for a rotational when the whole jump folded down like a box of matches. Yes, horse and rider went down, but in slow motion and both popped right up, none the worse for wear. If those rails had been on the near side, I am quite sure, having watched the fall in slo-mo, there would have been a V-E-R-Y different ending to the story.

No one here, with all your wisdom and expertise, physics and math, has satisfied my curiosity as to WHY the Rolex rails were on the near side of the posts. It just plain does not make sense.

VicariousRider
May. 4, 2010, 09:30 AM
Alex Hua Tian and his Jeans had a crash at the open corners. Those rails were on frangible pins, the rails on the far side of the posts. Alex's horse did not land on TOP of the rail but rather, did the typical move of leaving one leg behind and was CLEARLY headed for a rotational when the whole jump folded down like a box of matches.

That's fantastic (or much better than the alternative)! I hope we can confirm what made that design function better than Rolex fence 20.

Rail on far side of posts?

Corner, not vertical?

Both?

Thanks for pointing this out. It seems to me that comparing the well-functioning from the malfunctioning will be an effective way of optimizing the frangible pin system.

JAM
May. 4, 2010, 10:41 AM
What did she say on your course walk?


I went on Lucinda Green's course walk today... she had quite a bit to say on the subject of this fence and course design in general. She said she wrote an article about it in Horse and Hound. I'm going to try to find it. ....

PhoenixFarm
May. 4, 2010, 11:04 AM
I have no knowledge of when he did or didn't withdraw from Badminton. All I know is that British team officials at Rolex were less than pleased that the hospital released a statement confirming a concussion.

EasterEgg
May. 4, 2010, 11:27 AM
That's fantastic (or much better than the alternative)! I hope we can confirm what made that design function better than Rolex fence 20.

Rail on far side of posts?

Corner, not vertical?

Both?

Thanks for pointing this out. It seems to me that comparing the well-functioning from the malfunctioning will be an effective way of optimizing the frangible pin system.

I'm fairly sure both rails had frangible pins that collapsed - that's how it looked on the BBC coverage anyway.

Alex Hua Tian talks about the fall in his blog for H&H - without the pins the situation would have been very different.
http://http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/397/297581.html

Gry2Yng
May. 4, 2010, 01:31 PM
I have no knowledge of when he did or didn't withdraw from Badminton. All I know is that British team officials at Rolex were less than pleased that the hospital released a statement confirming a concussion.


I'll bet. Sucks to have to follow your own rules and put a WEG team together.




Alex Hua Tian talks about the fall in his blog for H&H - without the pins the situation would have been very different.
http://http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/397/297581.html

And we should applaud the success. We ARE improving, and we shall continue to improve.

Janet
May. 4, 2010, 01:48 PM
That's fantastic (or much better than the alternative)! I hope we can confirm what made that design function better than Rolex fence 20.

Rail on far side of posts?

Corner, not vertical?

Both? Probably the direction and magnitude of the force vector.

Also possibly something to do with the diameter, length and weight of the rail.

groom
May. 4, 2010, 02:27 PM
You said that testing protocol is "bullshit".



With all due respect, I did not. I'm sorry if my use of vernacular was slightly misleading, but I think it is clear in the context of my post that I was calling "bullshit" on Gnep's assertion that there are no protocols for safety equipment:

As long as we do not have a protocol concerning our safety equipment, how to handle it, how to deal with it.
As long as we introduce new equipment in the sport, without a reconized institution to test and certify the equipment, any so called attempt to make this sport safer ist a joke.

retreadeventer
May. 4, 2010, 02:41 PM
Gnep is right. We don't have any safety protocols on course equipment. There's no standard I'm aware of on the frangible pins. There is plenty written on how to use them and set them up, but not sure there is anything on testing, but correct me if I am in error here.

So what's your point, then? That Gnep is wrong, and you are right -- if so, what are you right about, exactly? That the pins worked correctly?
So, (Delta will appreciate this, a little doctor humor) the operation was a success -- but the patient died?

fooler
May. 4, 2010, 11:45 PM
GNEP and Reed's responses are what concern me as a non-engineer small 'r' TD.
Just for grins and tickles let's say a Prelim fence is built with a frangible pin. On XC day one or more horses 'hit' the fence, managing to stay upright. However the pin never 'breaks' and fence + pin appear to be in good working order.
But how do we know?
That is what GNEP is getting at - "we" really don't know the correct protocol for frangible pin usage in everyday life. Should the course be held while the pin is changed after every hit to the fence and what type of hit? Does it matter whether the horse hits it with the foreleg or drags their stifle? Does a hit with the front count more or less than a hit with the hind legs.
Keep in mind one must be trained and certified to install frangible pins. So while it is a great product when it works, we haven't worked out all of the kinks in the product.

FYI - Seat belts saved many lives when first installed in cars. However many children, placed the in backseat, were gravely injured or killed in car crashes when they were thrown foward while their mid-section was held in place by the seat belt. Which explains why now kids under a certain weight & height must sit in a child or booster seat.

subk
May. 5, 2010, 12:32 AM
I have no knowledge of when he did or didn't withdraw from Badminton. All I know is that British team officials at Rolex were less than pleased that the hospital released a statement confirming a concussion.
There was weird stuff going on with the vernacular being used about Olie's condition on Saturday night after XC. I had the opportunity to speak with an official who had been told the he had, and I quote, "a closed head injury." Apparently the rule that was being avoided makes specific reference to a "concussion." So by calling the injury a closed head injury instead they could skirt around things on a technicality. This medical professional was saying that the word "concussion" is not really used in specific medical termonolgy these days and it's usage in the rules was outdated.

riderboy
May. 5, 2010, 08:36 AM
The term "concussion" is confusing. I remember in medical school way back when that a concussion was defined as any head injury that resulted in loss of conciousness, even briefly. I think "closed head injury" came along after it became obvious that serious shit could happen to the brain even without loss of conciousness after head trauma. I think our resident neurosurgeon can speak to the point a bit more precisely. (Blackwkly?) A bit off topic, sorry.

RAyers
May. 5, 2010, 08:48 AM
....
That is what GNEP is getting at - "we" really don't know the correct protocol for frangible pin usage in everyday life...

fooler, thank you. That is EXACTLY what we are saying. Even though engineers and researchers at U of Bristol in collaboration with TRL etc. developed pin technology, they can not anticipate or correct for every application or contingency in everyday life. To correct this, the technology must be continually improved and studied. It is not a static thing.

At the same time, the national bodies need to establish consistent protocols to the use and replacement of the pins when subjected to hits that do not result in failure.

groom, you argue your point using the same examples without understanding of the system or methods of development, as well as inexact video. Only instrumented pins would tell you if no load was applied. I would argue that from the video approximately 25%-40% of the horse and rider mass was applied to the pin. That is enough to possible plastically deform the pin without visible effect.

Reed

frugalannie
May. 5, 2010, 09:12 AM
Just want to mention that the concise, clear explanations of complex concepts is one of the things I love about posters on this forum.

Guenther, Reed, Riderboy, JER, Blckwly, Deltawave and many others make me feel educated after reading their comments. Thanks to all of you who spend the time to unsnarl my synapses.

riderboy
May. 5, 2010, 01:49 PM
The eventing forum is often an interesting and volatile mix of passion and opinion. There are some dedicated people trying to replace opinion with science so that hopefully such discussions about safety in the future will be more fact based and less personality based. All I can do is kick in a little money to the cause to support the ongoing research that Reed and others are doing, it's just going to take a little time. We all want the same thing, a safer sport for all involved, right?

Gnep
May. 6, 2010, 11:56 PM
The savety questions in the sport lack leadership. We have rules about dogs, length of a dressage wipp and next for everything.
Every stupid and absolutely uneithersary thing has been regulated.
But when it comes to the improvement of savety and the equipment to be used, there is no regulation and no leadership.
None at all.

The good old boy net work is running the show, nothing else.

From what I have seen of the plastic log at Rolex, I would not go to a show that has those logs on the course. A safety device that failsw to work as advertised should not change the status quo, it should not become of its failure a additional hazzard.
Same for the airvests, if they do not deploy in time, what will the deployment do to a seriously injured rider.
The FEI, USEF and the USEA, allow equipment to be used that have jet to be tested by an outside source and the claims by the manufacture and theire spokes people proofen as correct.
No were in any sport or profession is that possible.

It is form me utmost iresponsible what is happening.

I guess, we need to have somebody killed or crippled by all those new devices that are now rushing into the sport to wake up those who run the sport and have in the end the responsebility.

To steel a phrase " I don't get it " so much stupidity.

Gry2Yng
May. 7, 2010, 07:18 PM
There was weird stuff going on with the vernacular being used about Olie's condition on Saturday night after XC. I had the opportunity to speak with an official who had been told the he had, and I quote, "a closed head injury." Apparently the rule that was being avoided makes specific reference to a "concussion." So by calling the injury a closed head injury instead they could skirt around things on a technicality. This medical professional was saying that the word "concussion" is not really used in specific medical termonolgy these days and it's usage in the rules was outdated.

And once again we have an example of compromising the spirit of the rule because no one wants to penalize potential "team" members. It is semantics and we shouldn't be playing a game with head injuries. I HATE the rush to add rules, but I am incensed by the idea that we pass rules in haste and then seek to avoid them when they become inconvenient. :mad:

riderboy
May. 7, 2010, 07:48 PM
I have to say, reading the Chronicle's sidebar article on the problems at this fence (20) is quite sobering. Gnep is right.

vineyridge
May. 7, 2010, 11:17 PM
It wasn't just fence 20 at Rolex, though. Seems to me that there were an unusual number of falls overall this year. Other years seem to have two or three, in my experience, and I think there were possibly 6 this year. Not that I've been to every Rolex in the last twelve years; but I've been to a bunch.

I think the total number of falls at all fences needs analysis.

Carol Ames
May. 8, 2010, 11:33 PM
This is is not a new creation from m e s:no: s;; it WAS on the old * course at Chesterland, 26 :eek:YEARS AGO!

Carol Ames
May. 12, 2010, 11:49 PM
the jump would have caught their legs had they not as the crested the jump this is an element of jumping a coffin; go, look at Morven Parks'; It has been there and used for nearly 50:eek: years;

not that I liked galloping down to it; but,:no: the problem is nothing :no:new sight of the drop. I feel like they were just

Carol Ames
May. 12, 2010, 11:57 PM
the idea that we pass rules in haste and then seek to avoid them when they become inconvenient. :mad:

Carol Ames
May. 12, 2010, 11:59 PM
go TAKE A LOOK AT THE INFAMOUS lEDYARD COFFIN:eek:

blazing saddles
May. 13, 2010, 12:06 PM
I have to say, reading the Chronicle's sidebar article on the problems at this fence (20) is quite sobering. Gnep is right.

anyone got a link to this?

pixietrix
May. 13, 2010, 09:34 PM
The savety questions in the sport lack leadership. We have rules about dogs, length of a dressage wipp and next for everything.
Every stupid and absolutely uneithersary thing has been regulated.
But when it comes to the improvement of savety and the equipment to be used, there is no regulation and no leadership.
None at all.

The good old boy net work is running the show, nothing else.

From what I have seen of the plastic log at Rolex, I would not go to a show that has those logs on the course. A safety device that failsw to work as advertised should not change the status quo, it should not become of its failure a additional hazzard.
Same for the airvests, if they do not deploy in time, what will the deployment do to a seriously injured rider.
The FEI, USEF and the USEA, allow equipment to be used that have jet to be tested by an outside source and the claims by the manufacture and theire spokes people proofen as correct.
No were in any sport or profession is that possible.

It is form me utmost iresponsible what is happening.

I guess, we need to have somebody killed or crippled by all those new devices that are now rushing into the sport to wake up those who run the sport and have in the end the responsebility.

To steel a phrase " I don't get it " so much stupidity.

I know we are all usually entertained by Gnep's postings but sometimes I wonder why he is so bitter and angry at "the powers that be" or "the good old boys".... The USEA has been nothing but supportive to Reed's work and as a scientist, he surely does not thing the pinning being used now is the final design. This is a fluid technology, barely birthed and now being implemented in a serious effort to improve safety. No, the pinning at Rolex did not prevent 3 falls, which were, by 2 of the riders' own admission, ridden badly...that said, the reverse pinning of the corner at Badminton, is brand new technology that the Brits wanted to trot out on their own turf before turning it over to the rest of us. It is, literally, still in the testing stages and Badminton was the first ever pinning of a jump designed to collapse with force exerted other than vertical.

Yes, we need to improve our use of pins ( I don't disagree with some protocal for testing them for stress each time "some" force has been loaded), but to paint the people that are working toward improving these safety mechanisms as a group that is inept, antiquated, stupid, lacking leadership and otherwise useless is really ****ing me off. We are more focused on this issue than in any time in our sport, so stop taking cheap pot shots. Not entertaining any more.

RAyers
May. 13, 2010, 11:44 PM
I know we are all usually entertained by Gnep's postings but sometimes I wonder why he is so bitter and angry at "the powers that be" or "the good old boys"....

Yes, there is a safety focus, however, what has been absolutely missing - and this is what Gnep is bringing up - is that generally before any technology is developed, protocols for validation are created. Thus, the USEF, USEA and FEI should/would have organized a process for validation of these new technologies BEFORE they were/are implemented!

This is common for any industry that requires safety equipment, processes and procedures. We create the validation documents and then integrate the new technology. Otherwise you get what have with riders who become test dummies, e.g. air vests. At least the pins were tested, BUT, there is no real guidelines for their appropriate use and application.

Reed

riderboy
May. 14, 2010, 08:28 AM
What I read in the Chronicle about this has been posted on another thread. Suffice to say the sidebar article paints a less than inspiring picture of "the powers that be" in the control complex at Rolex apparently unaware of what was happening on course, particularly at fence 20. As a result, when two, then three rotational falls occurred, all pictured side by side in the article, the fence remained open to jump and by the grace of God no one, horse or rider was seriously injured. No one in the article except perhaps Jimmy Wofford, who said the log used was too small to "load " the pins at this fence, seemed to have a clear idea of why the pins failed. If I include Dorothy's nasty rotational fall, the pins were 0-4 in doing what they were designed to do. So I can see why Gnep gets a little cranky.

subk
May. 14, 2010, 09:39 AM
...he surely does not thing the pinning being used now is the final design. This is a fluid technology, barely birthed and now being implemented in a serious effort to improve safety.
For the record the pins were first used in Britian in the 2002 season--this is the ninth year they've been used. They are not "barely birthed." Perhaps that's the frustration; they've been around a long time but we haven't made much progress in implementing and understanding them?

Carol Ames
May. 14, 2010, 11:17 AM
Does anyone know when/ where the first coffin was seen in a course?:confused:

Carol Ames
May. 14, 2010, 11:35 AM
to answer my own question:lol: I first rode one in competition in '76; and recall clearly hearing JimmyWofford/ Ralph Hill saying at this point, as the front end comes off the ground , the horse will see the ditch and put it down quickly:eek:; therefore, stay in the back seat:lol: and be prepared to slip the reins:yes:; even if that means jumping the ditch on their backs:o :winkgrin:the alternative was to come in on a very short stride, the term "coffin canter;)" had not yet been invented:sadsmile::no:

Carol Ames
May. 14, 2010, 11:41 AM
The coffin was thought to be a MAJOR Test:eek:; until :lol:riders began to figure out how to approach it from a "coffin canter":yes:, then called "collected / balanced:lol:

Carol Ames
May. 14, 2010, 11:57 AM
Does anyone remember when the head of the lake complex was first a bounce into water?:confused:not a new idea:no:, Badminton had had it for years:yes:; a friend and advanced rider who, had been shortlisted previously, stood and watched it all day ; after falls, stops and otherwise :eek:ugly attempts; just as the spectators decided it was "unjumpable:mad:; Bruce came through and made it look "like a gymnastic:cool: on level ground" and everyone thought "Wow, no wonder he was :cool:2x Worlds' Champion!"

Carol Ames
May. 14, 2010, 12:08 PM
I think what has happened is that, with the added coverage:cool:, i.e. NBC; and the hatchet :mad:job of Bryant Gumbel:o and "Inside sports":no:; We are all more sensitive:yes::o to accusations of dangerous ; indefensibly so, fence design; We are more focused on this issue than in any time in our sport, so stop taking cheap pot shots. Not entertaining any more

RAyers
May. 14, 2010, 12:39 PM
I think what has happened is that, with the added coverage:cool:, i.e. NBC; and the hatchet :mad:job of Bryant Gumbel:o and "Inside sports":no:; We are all more sensitive:yes::o to accusations of dangerous ; indefensibly so, fence design; We are more focused on this issue than in any time in our sport, so stop taking cheap pot shots. Not entertaining any more



Carol, this is not supposed to be entertaining.

I have no idea what you mean by, "pot shots." There are those who work in indutries and at jobs that are hundreds of times more dagerous than eventing. Yet a method of "Inherent Safety" (feel free to look it up) exists in those industries to at least attempt to make sure the partcipants get home every night. The USEA, USEF and FEI Could sure as hell learn a few lessons from these people but instead they blindly reinvent the wheel every year, wasting time and energy.

Reed

Carol Ames
May. 14, 2010, 05:16 PM
perhaps the engineers here:yes: could draft a letter/proposal :cool:to the TPTB:yes:

Gry2Yng
May. 14, 2010, 08:03 PM
I think the issue of riding a coffin and pins and inflatable vests are two separate discussions. As in, is this an appropriate question that a **** combo should be able to negotiate and what happens when the fallible horse and rider make a mistake.


Fence 20 rode (not in my personal experience, JMHO of course) similarly to a coffin.

RAyers
May. 14, 2010, 08:10 PM
I think the issue of riding a coffin and pins and inflatable vests are two separate discussions. ...

Yes, most definitely. Hence the need for organized and directed safety protocols established before the technology is fully incorporated. While Malcolm and others are doing their best, there needs to directed efforts in separate areas, e.g. fence design, rider equipment, horse protection,...

In the case of Fence 20, the question can be were pins appropriately used? Were riders making too many mistakes? And any other question. The vest issues come after those ideas are described in this single case.

Reed

riderboy
May. 14, 2010, 09:48 PM
And if you don't have engineering or some specific skills or knowledge to use toward improving the safety of our sport ( Reed is one who has ) then give money. Gnep lit a huge fire under my a** in his own very sweet way to do just that. I thought just belonging to the USEA and USEF was enough. He politely informed me it was not. Again, he's right.

tuppysmom
May. 14, 2010, 10:17 PM
This is a slight de-rail but, why has the EXO vest not sold at all well here in the US, (don't know about any other markets), while the Point 2 seems to be selling like I.B. Back Fudge?

I would like to have the DD sporting a more protective outfit while on XC, but I am just confused and so we have the same vest that we purchased while in the UK in '06.

As for jump 20. I dunno. I expected it to ride fine, and for the DD, and most of the other riders, it did ride fine. It is a legit question for the level. Why this particular jump had this result surprised me.

Gry2Yng
May. 14, 2010, 10:22 PM
@tuppysmom, I will look into more info about the vest my girlfriend purchased. She told me she bought one and I said "You don't buy anything with out scientific date and double blind studies!" She went with something sold thru motorcross which she says has the data and studies and is much less expensive and protects the neck and tail bone by expanding on inflation rather than hanging down around your tush. She was sold and she is no easy sale. Her husband is a race car driver and she has tried to incorporate some of the safety info from that sport into eventing.

tuppysmom
May. 14, 2010, 10:51 PM
Thanks gry2yng.

She has a Racesafe vest now. It looks like a Tipp, but is BETA tested and rated.

His Greyness
May. 14, 2010, 11:12 PM
This is a slight de-rail but, why has the EXO vest not sold at all well here in the US, (don't know about any other markets), while the Point 2 seems to be selling like I.B. Back Fudge?


Marketing and Human Psychology.

The EXO was designed to provide more protection than a regular vest in only one kind of accident - where the horse falls on the rider in a rotational fall. It has a rigid metal frame so it does not bend where you bulge. It's like carrying a coat rack around.

Riders "feel safer" when they experience the bear hug of a vest inflating. There's little data collected yet to suggest that they are safer. The vest is not rigid and can conform to different body shapes.

For both designs plausible scenarios have been suggested where the vests will make some injuries in some kinds of accidents worse than with a traditional vest. Again insufficient data has been collected to show clearly whether these concerns have been realized.

Safety Engineering is not a simple subject. It does not lend itself to emotion driven decisions. Riders want to be "safe". That is an unobtainable goal with horses. However the marketeer with the most chutzpah will capture business exploiting this feeling. For example, in another context, extended warranty contracts are almost pure profit to the sellers who exploit the fears of risk averse customers.

This why those of us with an engineering background are sceptical of the claims made.

tuppysmom
May. 14, 2010, 11:28 PM
DD did try on an EXO and said that she felt like a bobblehead doll with it on. She did not get to try it while on her horse, though. That could be a different feeling than what it felt like standing on the ground. The Point 2 vest felt like nothing. She actually prefered the EXO to some of the stiff vests where she felt trapped in their stiff hug.

At this point she prefers a good jumping, brave XC horse to either of these vests.

I am not an engineer, but I worked for engineers for many years... when I had a real job that is. Not this one where I play around with horses, as my late father described it.

Carol Ames
May. 14, 2010, 11:55 PM
Reed,

That was a direct quote :yes:fromPixietrixs' post Give me a break


Carol, this is not supposed to be entertaining.

I have no idea what you mean by, "pot shots." There are those who work in indutries and at jobs that are hundreds of times more dagerous than eventing. Yet a method of "Inherent Safety" (feel free to look it up) exists in those industries to at least attempt to make sure the partcipants get home every night. The USEA, USEF and FEI Could sure as hell learn a few lessons from these people but instead they blindly reinvent the wheel every year, wasting time and energy.

Reed

Carol Ames
May. 15, 2010, 12:04 AM
Has anyone heard
or read commentary from Jimmy/ Denny/ Ralph? I agree that it was not out of line:no: for a****There is a reason none of us ride or aspired :no:to ride at that level;;They are expected to jump fences like that:yes::eek:

RAyers
May. 15, 2010, 12:52 AM
Carol, my apologies.

Reed

riderboy
May. 15, 2010, 09:01 AM
Has anyone heard
or read commentary from Jimmy/ Denny/ Ralph? I agree that it was not out of line:no: for a****There is a reason none of us ride or aspired :no:to ride at that level;;They are expected to jump fences like that:yes::eek:

Jimmy Wofford did comment on this in The Chronicle, and the complete text can be found there in the May 7 issue. Part of that interview from The Chronicle; "After the second rotational fall [this year] they could have taken it out," he (Wofford) said, "You'll never see that situation again,ever." The context was the sidebar article specifically addressing the three rotational falls at The Hollow.

tuppysmom
May. 15, 2010, 09:57 AM
It is easy to blame the fence, but the fence was OK. The rides should also be examined. Were they good rides for the type of fence?

The log was small allowing the horses to peek at the landing, and they did. When a horse "takes a look" they slow their feet.

The rider, after establishing the proper canter, supports the canter and works to make sure that the feet keep moving. Most importantly the rider waits until the horses leaves the ground before lightening their seat.

If the rider doesn't keep the feet moving, especially the hind feet, and doesn't support to the short spot, and moves their body before the horse has left the ground, the result is often a leg left behind.

The rides need to be part of the equation when we examine what happened at fence 20.

The pins didn't break, it will happen again, nothing is foolproof. As much as we would like it to be.

just sayin'

Carol Ames
May. 15, 2010, 01:12 PM
Thank you ; it was very tactfully said :yes:with a good analysis of a plan for the rider:cool:





It is easy to blame the fence, but the fence was OK. The rides should also be examined. Were they good rides for the type of fence?

The log was small allowing the horses to peek at the landing, and they did. When a horse "takes a look" they slow their feet.

The rider, after establishing the proper canter, supports the canter and works to make sure that the feet keep moving. Most importantly the rider waits until the horses leaves the ground before lightening their seat.

If the rider doesn't keep the feet moving, especially the hind feet, and doesn't support to the short spot, and moves their body before the horse has left the ground, the result is often a leg left behind.

The rides need to be part of the equation when we examine what happened at fence 20.

The pins didn't break, it will happen again, nothing is foolproof. As much as we would like it to be.

just sayin'

Carol Ames
May. 15, 2010, 01:15 PM
Any idea what Jimmy Wofford meant by this? hesaid, "You'll never see that situation again,ever."

Carol Ames
May. 15, 2010, 01:22 PM
Gry2Yng is right!






So since we don't have a rider to crucify for killing his horse this year, we are going to vilify Mikey E-S, a course designer who is universally well respected? It is certainly fair to analyze the fence and ask whether we want to continue presenting this type of question, but Mikey E-S's retirement is a TERRIBLE loss to the sport. He is an amazing advocate for the horses and probably knows as well or better than many riders what will go thru the horse's brain when it sees one of his fences.

Carol Ames
May. 15, 2010, 01:24 PM
Is there Any CD who, would satisfy this forum?

Carol Ames
May. 15, 2010, 11:05 PM
reinvented or not; let's try to be proactive and put the knowledge on this forum to good use; Can the engineering concerns about this jump and the frangible pin issue be summarized and constructive criticism be organized in a statement; replace the vertical with a round perhaps? Would adding footing of a different color make the steps more easily read by the horse? ABOVE ALL What can be done to prevent its' happening again; this time at WEG:o:eek:?:o

Carol Ames
May. 15, 2010, 11:11 PM
Have you considered doing the CD course? They would most benefit :cool:from your thinking:yes:
Just an add ... there are plenty of very challenging obstacles and problems that I find acceptable. I would like to address design decisions that invite a catastrophic landing to a fall. That can be avoided.

Eventing can remain a challenging and even a risky sport, without self-destructing.

3 horse falls at one jump on one day - rotational - has to wake someone up.
Has it?

Carol Ames
May. 18, 2010, 02:44 PM
So

Carol Ames
May. 18, 2010, 02:53 PM
So, what do we suggest, no more bounces downhilll? Or, simply none preceded by a vertical?




or no steps downhill ?

Carol Ames
May. 18, 2010, 03:04 PM
So, what do we suggest, no more bounces downhilll? Or, simply none preceded by a vertical?




ot no steps downill

Carol Ames
May. 18, 2010, 03:24 PM
Has any One ASKED Kim S.. HOW THE HORSES read the question?

MrBob
May. 18, 2010, 03:51 PM
It is easy to blame the fence, but the fence was OK. The rides should also be examined. Were they good rides for the type of fence?

The rides need to be part of the equation when we examine what happened at fence 20.

The pins didn't break, it will happen again, nothing is foolproof. As much as we would like it to be.

just sayin'


I probably shouldn't get involved in this but. Tuppysmom has hit the nail on the head.

Besides frangible pin are a waste of time on a vertical like that, pins take vertical pressure to break, they were designed to be used on the back rail of an oxer. Not on a vertical.

All three of the verticals before the drops (duck pond, coffin, steps) needed to be ridden very defensively, esp with your upper body. Some of those who didn't paid the price. That's part of the sport, hopefully they learn from that.

Henry, the youngest and I'm pretty sure the most in-experienced horse at Rolex this year worked out the problem perfectly. BUT I gave him plenty of time to figure it out and understand the question.

Just the opinion of someone who actually jumped the jump.

subk
May. 18, 2010, 03:54 PM
I probably shouldn't get involved in this but...
Just the opinion of someone who actually jumped the jump.
I for one am very appreciative of you sticking your toe in the water! Thanks for daring to...

Gry2Yng
May. 18, 2010, 04:01 PM
I for one am very appreciative of you sticking your toe in the water! Thanks for daring to...

This. I don't blame the Rolex riders for not wanting to comment, but I wish they would.

Good to see you back in the game. YOu did farrier work on my horse Edgar years ago when I was stabled with Sonya Crampton at Green Acres. I think you were riding a chestnut at advanced. Bear or Bobby? Anyway, I was happy to see you back. Best of luck. Love the helmet cam.

ivy62
May. 18, 2010, 04:53 PM
I am not an eventer but I do like going and watching Rolex every year. This year I was not there and heard about this type of jump....This is a great thread, lots of view point and good thoughts.
As said, the type of training is different now, does that make a difference at this level?
I am a supporter of the long format for my own reasons but the training that used to take place for that make a difference with this fence?
I have seen the hollow the other direction and it was great to watch the bounces up and out over the cabin...You needed impulsion and direction but at that level I would expect the experience and knowledge along with a horse that is fit enough for this...

LLDM
May. 18, 2010, 06:40 PM
All three of the verticals before the drops (duck pond, coffin, steps) needed to be ridden very defensively, esp with your upper body. Some of those who didn't paid the price. That's part of the sport, hopefully they learn from that.


Thanks for this. It really does help people understand.

Question for you though. There has been a significant discussion around the concept of "what happens if a horse/rider combo misses?" In other words, it's one thing to test a pair, but should getting it wrong be fatal? The fear around this fence is that there were so many rotational falls - which seem to be the ones widely seen as the most dangerous/damaging to horse and rider.

If, as David O'Connor has claimed many times, that eliminating/reducing horse falls directly reduces both horse and rider fatalities, what type of fences test the same skill sets, but are not as unforgiving (i.e. cause penalties & eliminations, but not so much a horse fall or severe rider injury)?

I like down steps, but maybe they should be separate from a vertical at the top? And using coffin and duck pond type fences would still get the right questions asked with less risk to the competitors and sport's reputation?

Of course it is possible to answer the fence #20 question correctly. I think they are ALL possible to get right - even most of the time for a 4* caliber combo. But how do we keep the wrong answer from getting one a trip to the hospital? There is plenty of opportunity for that with the "freak" accidents (i.e. those that happen anytime, anywhere, anyway) isn't there?

I mean really, horses rolling down the stairs is a really bad image for anyone to see.

Again, thanks for your perspective.

SCFarm

MrBob
May. 18, 2010, 09:16 PM
Horses (almost) never miss. You can find, on U Tube, a lot of steeple chase racing in England. Watch the riderless horses, they don't fall, well unless another horse gets in their way.

Get out of your horses way and let them do the jumping. Then most importantly stay out of their way as they are jumping.

Find pictures of eventing 50-60-70 years ago, see what they are jumping. And look at where their upper bodies are.

KayBee
May. 18, 2010, 09:18 PM
uneithersary

Is this a word I've never heard of? Or a typo?

[thanks for the discussion. It's been fascinating...]

subk
May. 18, 2010, 10:23 PM
Is this a word I've never heard of? Or a typo?
Naah. Just someone for whom English is not his native tongue. Sometimes it helps to read him with a German accent in you head. :D


Horses (almost) never miss...
Get out of your horses way and let them do the jumping. Then most importantly stay out of their way as they are jumping.
Brilliant. Classic example of simple, but not easy!

Running off to send in my deposit for LAZ's camp now...

Gnep
May. 18, 2010, 10:58 PM
I know we are all usually entertained by Gnep's postings but sometimes I wonder why he is so bitter and angry at "the powers that be" or "the good old boys".... The USEA has been nothing but supportive to Reed's work and as a scientist, he surely does not thing the pinning being used now is the final design. This is a fluid technology, barely birthed and now being implemented in a serious effort to improve safety. No, the pinning at Rolex did not prevent 3 falls, which were, by 2 of the riders' own admission, ridden badly...that said, the reverse pinning of the corner at Badminton, is brand new technology that the Brits wanted to trot out on their own turf before turning it over to the rest of us. It is, literally, still in the testing stages and Badminton was the first ever pinning of a jump designed to collapse with force exerted other than vertical.

Yes, we need to improve our use of pins ( I don't disagree with some protocal for testing them for stress each time "some" force has been loaded), but to paint the people that are working toward improving these safety mechanisms as a group that is inept, antiquated, stupid, lacking leadership and otherwise useless is really ****ing me off. We are more focused on this issue than in any time in our sport, so stop taking cheap pot shots. Not entertaining any more.

They are inept, by all means, fumbling, stumbling and have no clue, none at all how to do it.
And the good old boy network is roaring ahead.
Equipment is introduced into the sport from left to right bottom to top and none of it has been properly tested.
Take that air vest, who is in the USA one of the major spokes people, sponsord.
Karen O'Conners, I give her all the benefit of the doubt, but her husband is El Presidente and the Top Touch for the FEI Savety stuff, get my drift.
Look who are the guys behind that plastic log and who endorsed it at his training camp for the Olympics and used it, get my drift.

But take a real good look at the log, when the Captains horse refused at Rolex and what happened when the horse got of the log, it will scare the living sh... out of you.

This is not a game, this is a deadly serious affair and because it is treated with such a non challant amatoerish way I am angry.
Big anouncements, big speeches, pictures taken

I was present when The Top Touch, helped develop on the fly a " savety jump " and had it built and installed at a CCI 2 star and thats how at the present everybody operates, its insane.

For your education, the pin is designed to break under a certain load and to make it work it needs a proper preload and it has been designed for one log resting on 2 pins, thats how it was tested.
In the revised manual for the pin is only a maximum weight and diameter of the log not a minimum. If you take #20 and look at the log, considering that 550lbs is maximum preload, than it is not rocket science to figure out why it did not brake.
So, acording to the recomendations, the logs should be taken down after each show and even thrown away, because a log resting on the pin of a longer period of time develops micro cracks, deformation and a pin whos log got hit multiple times during a show develops micro cracks and deformation and is not save anymore.
Still following me.
The log at #20 got hit rather hard, several times and if one reads the manual should have been replaced, at least after the 3 crashes.
But since there is no protocoll, it did not.

That is inept, stupid and what so ever. Since the manual has no minimum weight for logs, preload, what do you think I call that, be my guest.

By the way, I do not give a FF, if I am entertaining to you.

Carol Ames
May. 19, 2010, 06:39 AM
Thank you ! We needed your perspective :cool:in his du=discussion:yes:!







I probably shouldn't get involved in this but. Tuppysmom has hit the nail on the head.

Besides frangible pin are a waste of time on a vertical like that, pins take vertical pressure to break, they were designed to be used on the back rail of an oxer. Not on a vertical.

All three of the verticals before the drops (duck pond, coffin, steps) needed to be ridden very defensively, esp with your upper body. Some of those who didn't paid the price. That's part of the sport, hopefully they learn from that.

Henry, the youngest and I'm pretty sure the most in-experienced horse at Rolex this year worked out the problem perfectly. BUT I gave him plenty of time to figure it out and understand the question.

Just the opinion of someone who actually jumped the jump.

Carol Ames
May. 19, 2010, 07:55 AM
What has happened to this idea?

RAyers
May. 19, 2010, 08:46 AM
What has happened to this idea?

While a noble and true concept, it is a weak one. Yes, it would be great if every rider actually did everything in their power to improve and keep their skills but we know that does not always happen. As Mr. Bob posted, there are also times that even top riders make mistakes and pay a high price. It doesn't matter ow responsible the rider was.

Using the concept of "rider responsibility" is like saying was should keep safety improvements out of cars since drivers should be responsible or that miners should be more responsible to prevent explosions or the crews of the oil rigs should be more responsible to prevent blow-outs. In the end, responsibility is established within the framework of the governing body who dictates the rules not by those who do the work.

Reed

riderboy
May. 19, 2010, 09:53 AM
While a noble and true concept, it is a weak one. Yes, it would be great if every rider actually did everything in their power to improve and keep their skills but we know that does not always happen. As Mr. Bob posted, there are also times that even top riders make mistakes and pay a high price. It doesn't matter ow responsible the rider was.

Using the concept of "rider responsibility" is like saying was should keep safety improvements out of cars since drivers should be responsible or that miners should be more responsible to prevent explosions or the crews of the oil rigs should be more responsible to prevent blow-outs. In the end, responsibility is established within the framework of the governing body who dictates the rules not by those who do the work.

Reed

Yep. Not to say that there is NO rider responsibility, of course and I know that is not what Reed is saying, I don't mean to put those words in your mouth so correct me if I am wrong Reed. However, this is not 1970 or 1980 or 1990. People and attitudes are much different and the tolerance or intolerance of the parents, horsepeople and general public seems very different now then "back in the day". (In my opinion.) What I find most distressing is this big push for horse and rider safety publicly from our leadership, while in reality not a whole lot seems to be changing. Am I too impatient? Could be, but when I see the lauded frangible pins at 0-4 in our showcase event it kind of p*sses me off.

MrBob
May. 19, 2010, 09:53 AM
While a noble and true concept, it is a weak one. Yes, it would be great if every rider actually did everything in their power to improve and keep their skills but we know that does not always happen.

Reed


It is impossible for a jump to be designed that is safe when ridden badly. A show jump ridden badly causes falls and a number of broken necks each year.

It would be interesting to go back to the 60's, 70's and 80's and find how many rider deaths there where, growing up I NEVER heard of one, and VERY few horse deaths either. In Australia there were more broken legs from hitting a rabbit hole than hitting a jump.

Just like seat belts, they save a lot of lives. But if you are wearing one and get T Boned by a bigger vehicle they can kill you.

Riding safely, like driving, is the riders responsibility.

It is the CD's responsibility to build a safe and challenging course. Which he did.

I'm sorry but this will be my last post on this topic. Why? For the same reason I left EventersL many years ago, one gets tired of debating with, being critiqued, criticized and occasionally condemned by people who have NEVER ridden any where near the level the discussion is about.

I don't want to appear, or anyone to think, I am above anyone else by the previous paragraph. I figured many years ago, the more I ride and learn, the more I realize how little I know. Plus I have horses to work and don't have the time to sit on a computer and defend myself. :sigh:

Those who know me, know that I am very quick to help people out and I am VERY safety conscious. My training philosophy is based around safe, fun riding.

Anyway, almost an hour late riding Henry.

JER
May. 19, 2010, 12:34 PM
Just like seat belts, they save a lot of lives. But if you are wearing one and get T Boned by a bigger vehicle they can kill you.

Riding safely, like driving, is the riders responsibility.

Which brings up some interesting points.

Riding safely or driving safely may be the operator's responsibility but if we equip our vehicles, horses, courses and roadways with 'safety' features, the operator may become a victim of safety technology.

Last week, a new study into car air bags indicated that the new bags -- when coupled with seat belts -- may place drivers at greater risk of death.

New York Times (14-05-10) "Study Pokes Holes in Air Bag Standards" (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/15/business/15airbags.html?scp=1&sq=air%20bags&st=cse)

Read the whole article and you'll get a feel for the complexity of safety science. One safety element may be good but adding a second layer of 'safety' might be actually less safe. This is why these things need constant study and revision, as has been done with car air bags. No one would say they're a bad idea but all experts will agree that they have to be used properly.

Putting 'safety' materials out on course or on your body doesn't necessarily make it safer. If it's harmless, it's okay but if it's harmful, it's not okay.

persefne
May. 19, 2010, 01:26 PM
Horses (almost) never miss....Get out of your horses way and let them do the jumping. Then most importantly stay out of their way as they are jumping.


Like Subk, I also say: "brilliant." I'm going to post this in the tackroom of my trailer. In all honesty, I should probably have it tatooed on my forehead. :D Rider responsibility always seems to get lost in some of the technical, fence construction debates. It was brought up earlier in this thread, but nobody has yet said it any better than the above statement. I appreciate you, MrBob, for taking the time to read and to step in and comment.

pixietrix
May. 19, 2010, 09:25 PM
It is impossible for a jump to be designed that is safe when ridden badly. A show jump ridden badly causes falls and a number of broken necks each year.

It would be interesting to go back to the 60's, 70's and 80's and find how many rider deaths there where, growing up I NEVER heard of one, and VERY few horse deaths either. In Australia there were more broken legs from hitting a rabbit hole than hitting a jump.

Just like seat belts, they save a lot of lives. But if you are wearing one and get T Boned by a bigger vehicle they can kill you.

Riding safely, like driving, is the riders responsibility.

It is the CD's responsibility to build a safe and challenging course. Which he did.

I'm sorry but this will be my last post on this topic. Why? For the same reason I left EventersL many years ago, one gets tired of debating with, being critiqued, criticized and occasionally condemned by people who have NEVER ridden any where near the level the discussion is about.

I don't want to appear, or anyone to think, I am above anyone else by the previous paragraph. I figured many years ago, the more I ride and learn, the more I realize how little I know. Plus I have horses to work and don't have the time to sit on a computer and defend myself. :sigh:

Those who know me, know that I am very quick to help people out and I am VERY safety conscious. My training philosophy is based around safe, fun riding.

Anyway, almost an hour late riding Henry.

You are so right & I share your dismay at some of the commentary on this forum. Rider responsibilty/preparedness..what a concept...possibly as important as every safety feature we could EVER come up with??

Please don't leave, just kick the cat when some posts send you over the top....your commentary was insightful & timely.

Gnep
May. 19, 2010, 10:27 PM
Rider responsebility, it used to be the core of the sport. When I was a kid and got invited to my first 3D, my coach and my father set me down, rather hard and explained to me the realities between just running around the woods with me horsie and playing the real game, you are talking about straight talk.
They never ever waivered (did I event a nother word ) and made me responsible for every action I took with my horses, it was nothing special, everybody who ever was riding was expected to be utmost responsible. Responsible for your horse and for yourself and no, absolutely no excuses were excepted.
You crashed you was responsebale, not your horse not the jump, no excuse at all. You ran your horse out of gas, it was your faul, not the footing, or the weather or maria theresa.
If your horse droped dead, it was your fault, nobody elses, because you were on it.

What is it today, does anybody stand up and say I FU, does anybody dare to say you FU.
Nope, there is always a reason and blame to be pointed to some one else, ore something else.

I sometimes wonder how I survived the 60, 70 and 80, no vests, no savety jumps, hardly any standard how to built and design courses, going far faster, jumping far higher, far far longer, sure there was a lot of cripling and some killing. But considering what we rode, actualy very little.

The skill level on the technical side, that I even consider disputable, suposebly has gone up, we rode triple or more combination with curved lines without measured striding on ungroomed ground, real sheep pens in the forest, cattle colection staions, sunken roads which were real sunken roads, waters 3 feet and more deep with 6 feet drops to the water and so on and son, but the skill level of horse and rider comunication has gone down, thats were I have to agree with Bob.
If one looks at #20 the crashes only happened, when the rider lost the confidance in his horse to judge the proper landing and quit riding forward and rode backwards.
The riders who kept their horses forward but short had no problems, actually not that big a skill level for that type of event, just a " keep you honest " jump.

This years Rolex was rather soft and actually a nice course, like HK.

What realy worries me is WEG, I hope they stay sain.

lstevenson
May. 19, 2010, 10:57 PM
It is impossible for a jump to be designed that is safe when ridden badly. A show jump ridden badly causes falls and a number of broken necks each year.


It is the CD's responsibility to build a safe and challenging course. Which he did.


Totally agree.

There was nothing wrong with the fence. Did anyone notice on the TV last weekend how well the fence rode for everyone else? I can't speak for the other two falls as I didn't see them, but OT's fall was definitely rider error. Watch it again if you've taped it. He did not have his horse engaged and balanced on the approach, and I think he knew he was going to be in trouble. As he was frantically pulling hard all of the way to the base of the fence, riding backwards to try to acheive that balance at the last moment, which often has the outcome of burying the horse on their front end right. Those who jumped it well balanced their horses through the turn and then rode forward to the jump in that balanced canter.


I do have to say I'm not so sure about there being no deaths in the 60's, 70's, or 80's though. I think there were even more bad falls back then, if you think about the ratio of the number competing at upper levels. People just didn't hear about them. In this day and age everyone in the world hears every detail. Back then you'd only hear about it if you knew the people personally.

Snaffle81
May. 20, 2010, 12:11 AM
Totally agree.

There was nothing wrong with the fence. Did anyone notice on the TV last weekend how well the fence rode for everyone else? I can't speak for the other two falls as I didn't see them, but OT's fall was definitely rider error. Watch it again if you've taped it. He did not have his horse engaged and balanced on the approach, and I think he knew he was going to be in trouble. As he was frantically pulling hard all of the way to the base of the fence, riding backwards to try to acheive that balance at the last moment, which often has the outcome of burying the horse on their front end right. Those who jumped it well balanced their horses through the turn and then rode forward to the jump in that balanced canter.

Totally agree! And IMO, I found it to be absolutely shameful that he blamed his horse. :mad:

nomeolvides
May. 20, 2010, 07:25 AM
Totally agree! And IMO, I found it to be absolutely shameful that he blamed his horse. :mad:
Where did he do that? What did he say?
I think we all know quotes get edited and taken out of context.

riderboy
May. 20, 2010, 07:53 AM
Where did he do that? What did he say?
I think we all know quotes get edited and taken out of context.

I have to agree. I have not heard him blame his horse. Not saying that he didn't but I'd like the source quote on that as well.

LLDM
May. 20, 2010, 09:37 AM
Okay, so let me get this straight. It's a rider problem, not a fence problem or a horse problem. So how does that get fixed?

"Rider Responsibility" is apparently not enough, as it only works for truly & Consistently responsible riders. It doesn't seem to work at all for irresponsible riders, riders who think they are being responsible, but aren't really or riders who get tired or distracted in the middle of XC at the worst possible times.

And since no low level riders are not qualified to give opinions or ask questions, then either the rule makers or the ULRs themselves need to do a better job of keeping the less responsible and less talented riders off the upper level courses. Do I have that right?

I'm not trying to be an a$$, but really- what else is there? Hasn't the rest of the horse world been pretty clear that the number of tragic accidents is too high in eventing these days? And whether or not we think it is or isn't, we will end up getting tossed out of the major venues if it can't be fixed. That's what I see, hear & understand from my little corner of the world anyway. I'm guessing the insiders hear different. I dunno.

SCFarm

LLDM
May. 20, 2010, 09:39 AM
I have to agree. I have not heard him blame his horse. Not saying that he didn't but I'd like the source quote on that as well.

Gee Riderboy, I was responding, in part, to your long post. Oh well. I thought it was a good one.

SCFarm

MrBob
May. 20, 2010, 01:41 PM
Okay, so let me get this straight. It's a rider problem, not a fence problem or a horse problem. So how does that get fixed?

"Rider Responsibility" is apparently not enough, as it only works for truly & Consistently responsible riders. It doesn't seem to work at all for irresponsible riders, riders who think they are being responsible, but aren't really or riders who get tired or distracted in the middle of XC at the worst possible times.


So you are saying that Oliver Townend is not a responsible rider?




And since no low level riders are not qualified to give opinions or ask questions, then either the rule makers or the ULRs themselves need to do a better job of keeping the less responsible and less talented riders off the upper level courses. Do I have that right?



Oh, he's not talented either? Hmmm.

Didn't he actually win a couple of small events last year? Badminton and Burghley sort of come to mind?




I'm not trying to be an a$$, but really- what else is there? SCFarm

You aren't? :confused:

Jump 20 at Rolex was a perfectly safe and acceptable jump for a four star.

Eventing isn't a job, even for us professionals. It is a sport we choose to do, our horses love doing it.

If the sport gets dumbed down any more it would be like putting 35mph speed limiters on NASCAR or Formula 1 race cars. That would stop all crashes and deaths in motor racing.

RAyers
May. 20, 2010, 02:06 PM
Peter, you are now beginning to show what you don't understand about safety and the fact that it does not take someone who has competed at your level to be able to understand and develop safety equipment and devices that do NOT dumb down the sport.

Using YOUR own examples, did the engineers who built the Apollo and Space Shuttle need to be astronauts? Do the men and women who design F1, NASCAR and LeMans cars need to have driven at those levels? Do those of us who have designed weapons systems need to have been in the military? I am afraid that the answer is an emphatic NO! As a matter of fact the drivers and astronauts have only a small part in the system. (For context I have designed solid rocket boosters for the Air Force, payloads for NASA, and other components for the military and I have NEVER been in space or in a fire fight).

LLDM is simply taking the logic YOU presented in your previous post (and then quickly tried to dismiss in next paragraph) and applying it to the given situation. Are you going back on those published those comments? You present the same words put out by PRO and numerous other riders and frankly, many of us are tired of the continued condescending attitude. There is definitely a "head in the sand" perspective when it comes to many of the professionals and officials.




Riding safely, like driving, is the riders responsibility.

It is the CD's responsibility to build a safe and challenging course. Which he did.

... one gets tired of debating with, being critiqued, criticized and occasionally condemned by people who have NEVER ridden any where near the level the discussion is about.


You EXPLICITLY state that safety is all about rider responsibility so by your statement a rider who crashes and is injured is NOT a responsible rider, e.g. OT.

I am sorry but you choose to be a public figure so you will be criticized and critiqued.

Oh, am I being an arrogant bastard? Yes, I am. Why? Because I see this sport in the light of what the public sees and if it is not corrected, then there is going to be a major wake-up call when the public refuses to support it. I am trying to use my skills and knowledge to generate understanding of what happens on XC and how we can reduce the risk without making the sport any worse than it is right now.

Reed

Carol Ames
May. 20, 2010, 02:50 PM
Well:yes: said!good observation:yes::cool:!

There was nothing wrong with the fence. Did anyone notice on the TV last weekend how well the fence rode for everyone else? I can't speak for the other two falls as I didn't see them, but OT's fall was definitely rider error. Watch it again if you've taped it. He did not have his horse engaged and balanced on the approach, and I think he knew he was going to be in trouble. As he was frantically pulling hard all of the way to the base of the fence, riding backwards to try to acheive that balance at the last moment, which often has the outcome of burying the horse on their front end right. Those who jumped it well balanced their horses through the turn and then rode forward to the jump in that balanced canter.






Totally agree.

There was nothing wrong with the fence. Did anyone notice on the TV last weekend how well the fence rode for everyone else? I can't speak for the other two falls as I didn't see them, but OT's fall was definitely rider error. Watch it again if you've taped it. He did not have his horse engaged and balanced on the approach, and I think he knew he was going to be in trouble. As he was frantically pulling hard all of the way to the base of the fence, riding backwards to try to acheive that balance at the last moment, which often has the outcome of burying the horse on their front end right. Those who jumped it well balanced their horses through the turn and then rode forward to the jump in that balanced canter.


I do have to say I'm not so sure about there being no deaths in the 60's, 70's, or 80's though. I think there were even more bad falls back then, if you think about the ratio of the number competing at upper levels. People just didn't hear about them. In this day and age everyone in the world hears every detail. Back then you'd only hear about it if you knew the people personally.

Carol Ames
May. 20, 2010, 02:50 PM
Well:yes: said!good observation:yes::cool:!

There was nothing wrong with the fence. Did anyone notice on the TV last weekend how well the fence rode for everyone else? I can't speak for the other two falls as I didn't see them, but OT's fall was definitely rider error. Watch it again if you've taped it. He did not have his horse engaged and balanced on the approach, and I think he knew he was going to be in trouble. As he was frantically pulling hard all of the way to the base of the fence, riding backwards to try to acheive that balance at the last moment, which often has the outcome of burying the horse on their front end right. Those who jumped it well balanced their horses through the turn and then rode forward to the jump in that balanced canter.






Totally agree.

There was nothing wrong with the fence. Did anyone notice on the TV last weekend how well the fence rode for everyone else? I can't speak for the other two falls as I didn't see them, but OT's fall was definitely rider error. Watch it again if you've taped it. He did not have his horse engaged and balanced on the approach, and I think he knew he was going to be in trouble. As he was frantically pulling hard all of the way to the base of the fence, riding backwards to try to acheive that balance at the last moment, which often has the outcome of burying the horse on their front end right. Those who jumped it well balanced their horses through the turn and then rode forward to the jump in that balanced canter.


I do have to say I'm not so sure about there being no deaths in the 60's, 70's, or 80's though. I think there were even more bad falls back then, if you think about the ratio of the number competing at upper levels. People just didn't hear about them. In this day and age everyone in the world hears every detail. Back then you'd only hear about it if you knew the people personally.

Carol Ames
May. 20, 2010, 02:55 PM
Well:yes: said!good observation:yes::cool:!

There was nothing wrong with the fence. Did anyone notice on the TV last weekend how well the fence rode for everyone else? I can't speak for the other two falls as I didn't see them, but OT's fall was definitely rider error. Watch it again if you've taped it. He did not have his horse engaged and balanced on the approach, and I think he knew he was going to be in trouble. As he was frantically pulling hard all of the way to the base of the fence, riding backwards to try to acheive that balance at the last moment, which often has the outcome of burying the horse on their front end right. Those who jumped it well balanced their horses through the turn and then rode forward to the jump in that balanced canter.






Totally agree.

There was nothing wrong with the fence. Did anyone notice on the TV last weekend how well the fence rode for everyone else? I can't speak for the other two falls as I didn't see them, but OT's fall was definitely rider error. Watch it again if you've taped it. He did not have his horse engaged and balanced on the approach, and I think he knew he was going to be in trouble. As he was frantically pulling hard all of the way to the base of the fence, riding backwards to try to acheive that balance at the last moment, which often has the outcome of burying the horse on their front end right. Those who jumped it well balanced their horses through the turn and then rode forward to the jump in that balanced canter.


I do have to say I'm not so sure about there being no deaths in the 60's, 70's, or 80's though. I think there were even more bad falls back then, if you think about the ratio of the number competing at upper levels. People just didn't hear about them. In this day and age everyone in the world hears every detail. Back then you'd only hear about it if you knew the people personally.

riderboy
May. 20, 2010, 03:48 PM
For me, as I've said before and this is just MY opinion, the fairness or unfairness of the fence is not relevant. After two horrific rotational falls at the same fence it would have seemed prudent to me to modify it or take it off the course. That is also what Jimmy Wofford stated in The Chronicle. One should never consolidate a losing position. No, we had a third identical fall and once again Thank God no one , horse or rider was seriously hurt or killed. And the lauded safety pins failed. In all 4 rotational falls.( including Dorothy's) I also really didn't see any criticism levelled at Mr Bob, perhaps I missed it. I will say in my world, State, Federal and internal "compliance" personnel not only don't have a clue what I do at "my level" of work, they'll cut me off at the knees if I don't comply with their often arbitrary and idiotic criticisms and critiques. It's not a personal thing.

LLDM
May. 20, 2010, 04:01 PM
So you are saying that Oliver Townend is not a responsible rider?

Oh, he's not talented either? Hmmm.

Didn't he actually win a couple of small events last year? Badminton and Burghley sort of come to mind?

You aren't? :confused:

Jump 20 at Rolex was a perfectly safe and acceptable jump for a four star.

Eventing isn't a job, even for us professionals. It is a sport we choose to do, our horses love doing it.

If the sport gets dumbed down any more it would be like putting 35mph speed limiters on NASCAR or Formula 1 race cars. That would stop all crashes and deaths in motor racing.

Wow, now I am completely confused. I thought I was trying to go to the next step of the argument YOU were making. Now you're angry with me for agreeing with you and conceding your points?

If the fence was fine and the course was fine and horses don't miss,then there is only the rider left! And you were the one who said the riders' upper body positions were wrong.

But maybe I did completely misunderstand you. Is it your position that there is nothing wrong with eventing and it is as safe as it can be right now?

My concern is that there seem to be a lot of people who think that eventing (or at least upper level eventing) is not reasonably safe for riders or horses. And many of these people are in positions to relegate upper level eventing to some backwater, extremist, thrill-seeker type sport (meaning out of the Olympics, the WEG, the Pan-Ams and maybe even the FEI). And this would leave it left wide open to the animal rights activists.

Where I was going with my argument (which I have advocated for quite some time before this) is to encourage you ULRs and eventing professionals to organize and certify each other to ride at the top of the sport - since only you all know what it takes. Policing yourselves like lawyers, doctors, CPAs and many other professionals.

All I was trying to do was use your points to provide a solution to your problem that you might find acceptable.

Personally, I don't agree with a number of things you've said and would prefer a different solution myself. But what I really care about it keeping eventing safe, horses safe and riders safe - as much as is reasonable while maintaining as much of the traditional sport as possible. I don't care what works, as long as something does.

I am sorry you were offended, but I am really trying to figure out how I did so.

Oh, and BTW - NASCAR has done an amazing job of making their sport safer without dumbing themselves down. And I am pretty sure they did so with the help of more than just professional drivers.

SCFarm

riderboy
May. 20, 2010, 04:44 PM
Suggest you read Carol's profile.
My deepest apologies.

Carol Ames
May. 20, 2010, 05:18 PM
quote What realy worries me is WEG, I hope they stay sain.

persefne
May. 20, 2010, 06:19 PM
Where I was going with my argument (which I have advocated for quite some time before this) is to encourage you ULRs and eventing professionals to organize and certify each other to ride at the top of the sport - since only you all know what it takes. Policing yourselves like lawyers, doctors, CPAs and many other professionals.

LLDM, I'm really intrigued by this. Sort of similar to the sanctiond ICP program for trainers. An "approval" program for riders who can ride at three-star, or possibly only four-star, level? I'm curious about this supposition. And, I want to clarify here that I'm honestly asking legitimate questions...not "questioning" your thoughts or statements. I'm really interested.

One of the things that makes me curious is that, were the ULRs (let's say it might be Leslie Law, Phillip Dutton, Allison Springer, and Karen O'Connor who are some of these rider peers) asked about potential competitors at Rolex, I wonder if they would have been able to deem Oliver Townend or Dorothy Crowell as potential "liabilities" for a dangerous fall? I remember seeing William Fox-Pitt have a very scary rotational fall in the Head of the Lake back in 2006 or 2007, I think. Would he have been left off the list if considered whether appropriate or not at this level? Maybe I'm considering different scenarios than you were meaning in the realm of the ULR peer certifications. I am really interested to hear more what you would foresee in regards to this. IMO, something like this will have to eventually come into play...but how? I guess I'm asking what your particular "how" looks like. Tell us more...

Carol Ames
May. 20, 2010, 06:36 PM
Remember the old huge but very forward ;):cool:riding courses :yes:;)gave way to more technical :(ones because there were horse fatalities:sadsmile::eek:, as well as an occasional rider fatality thought to have resulted from too much speed:eek:; the thinking being that it as it was the big , wide jumps requiring/ boldness/ forward riding which, resulted in riders going too fast, which caused / encouraged riders to ride unsafely, and so, jumps/ courses were made more technical to require riders to take a tug, and slow down; that, increased technicality, was supposed to make eventing slower and and thus safer, and now those newer // safer courses are now called” too technical:mad::confused:” requiring the riders to imbalance the horse:yes::yes: to the particular fence
The skill level on the technical side, that I even consider disputable, supposedly has gone up, we rode triple or more









quoteThe skill level on the technical side, that I even consider disputable, supposedly has gone up, we rode triple or more

Gry2Yng
May. 20, 2010, 06:40 PM
Please let's not let this degenerate.

Carol Ames
May. 20, 2010, 06:47 PM
Remember the old huge but very forward ;):cool:riding courses :yes:;)gave way to more technical :(ones because there had been horse fatalities:sadsmile::eek:, as well as an occasional rider fatality:( thought to have resulted from too much speed:eek:; the thinking being that it as the was the big , wide jumps requiring/ boldness/ forward riding which were blamed resulted in riders going too fast, which to riders to ride unsafely, and jumps/ courses were made more technical to require riders to take a tug, and slow down; that, increased technicality, was supposed to make venting slower and and thus safer, and now those newer // safer courses are called” too technical:mad::confused:” requiring the riders to imbalance the horse:yes::yes: to the particular fence
The skill level on the technical side, that I even consider disputable, supposedly has gone up, we rode triple or more









quoteThe skill level on the technical side, that I even consider disputable, supposedly has gone up, we rode triple or more

JAM
May. 20, 2010, 07:17 PM
Actually, this is exactly the problem I am having with eventing right now, and for the past several years. We agree on pretty much everything you wrote: (1) Oliver Townend is unquestionably a supremely talented rider (so is Phillip Dutton, who has had 2 rot. falls in the relatively recent past; so is Ralph Hill, Kim Meier, Jan Bynny, etc., all of whom had catastrophic falls in the relatively recent or very recent past); (2) I agree, and stated in a post above, that there was nothing wrong with this particular fence; and (3) I agree with a point you made in one of your earlier posts, i.e., these falls seem to be happening significantly more frequently now than 20-30 yrs. ago.

And it is that last point that concerns me. The inescapable fact is that catastrophic falls are happening at an alarming rate, and they are happening to the very best, most responsible riders in the world. (That nothing worse happened to OT or his horse is amazing to me.) So the "rider responsibility" mantra for explaining these catastrophes just doesn't hold water. If the point is that even the best riders make the occasional mistake, I don't buy that either, at least as an explanation for the carnage of the last few years. No doubt the top riders of 20-30 yrs. ago also made the same mistakes, but they and their horses didn't seem to have paid as dear a price. (I'm sure people can come up with anecdotal examples of tragedies from the past, but I'm talking on a per capita basis.) My fundamental concern is that invoking "rider responsibility" is just another way of saying "$hit happens", and that attitude is nothing better than burying our heads in the sand and ensuring that the problem never gets solved.

It's counterintuitive to the theory of evolution to suggest that not only has the riding deteriorated but that it has deteriorated to the extent the "rider responsibility" advocates say it has. And if in fact the quality of riding has deteriorated that much at the 4* level, has anybody asked why and has anybody tried to fix it? The only suggestions I've seen have been to make qualification criteria tougher -- something that would not address the issue of multiple rotational falls happening to the likes of Phillip Dutton -- or David O'Connor's suggestion of having minimum dressage requirements -- something that, in my admittedly smurfish view, is more likely to exacerbate than solve the problem.

Three more points. First, while I agree wholeheartedly that #20 was a perfectly acceptable jump for 4*, the fact nevertheless remains that there were 5 or 6 falls out of about 50-60 starters at Rolex. This is 10%, which is well more than enough to put the event on "alert" status under the FEI Guidelines. Now that they have been alerted, what if anything has the FEI or any other empowered regulatory body done as a result to assess the reasons for the indisputably high number of falls? I'm not trying to assess blame on the course designer or anyone else, just trying to understand why these bad things keep happening. It seems to me these bad things have been happening on a pretty consistent basis for the last 3-4 years, and we are no closer to understanding why now than we were when they started happening. (I have my theories, but in the absence of evidence, which nobody has, they are no more valid or invalid than anyone else's.)

Second, with regard to your analogy to NASCAR and Formula 1, in fact auto racing went through this exact same crisis a while back and, unlike eventing, cleaned up its act by studying the issue and adopting effective safety measures, which I imagine were regarded by many as "dumbing down" and the deathknell of the sport. The result has been a safer sport that is still enjoyable for many (alas, not me, but I didn't watch it before either). Eventing could learn something from that experience.

Third, I confess that I have never ridden at or anywhere close to 4* and never will. But that does not mean I cannot comment, perhaps even somewhat knowledgeably, about what I see happening around me. I don't need to be a 4* rider to understand that riders and horses are crashing and burning at 4* events and that very little is being done to explain why that is happening or to address the problem.


So you are saying that Oliver Townend is not a responsible rider?



Oh, he's not talented either? Hmmm.

Didn't he actually win a couple of small events last year? Badminton and Burghley sort of come to mind?



You aren't? :confused:

Jump 20 at Rolex was a perfectly safe and acceptable jump for a four star.

Eventing isn't a job, even for us professionals. It is a sport we choose to do, our horses love doing it.

If the sport gets dumbed down any more it would be like putting 35mph speed limiters on NASCAR or Formula 1 race cars. That would stop all crashes and deaths in motor racing.

riderboy
May. 20, 2010, 07:39 PM
JAM has some good points( as do many others) I think Reed's research in the speed and motion study might have some answers in to how these very talented and capable riders are getting into trouble. As for me, I would like to see some of the tactics on the ground change. Why wasn't the president of the ground jury aware of the first two rotational falls? Is that not part of the job, ensuring course safety when conditions on course change or the unexpected happens? Again, fair fence or not, Houston we have a problem. And the utter failure of those damn frangible pins! It would be nice to know why so they don't fail AGAIN next year.

PonyGal08
May. 20, 2010, 08:41 PM
Where did he do that? What did he say?
I think we all know quotes get edited and taken out of context.

I can't speak for Snaffle, but I read it in the Rolex edition of Horse & Hound. I don't know how much I can quote of it, but here's what I think the relevant part is:

"When asked what had happened, Oliver said Ashdale Cruise Master just make a mistake.

'He was going unbelievably - I don't know him that well, but I don't believe he's going to make too many mistakes like that in his career,' he said.

'Perhaps he spotted the steps on landing, perhaps he didn't get high enough - he just made a mistake.'"

ETA: While I agree quotes can be taken out of context, I forgot to add that I heard OT say pretty much the same thing on Badminton radio.

Carol Ames
May. 20, 2010, 10:08 PM
[In this case letting the horse go and kicking:eek: on was:no: not, the way to go:yes:; as Mr. Bob indicated, he gave his horse plenty:cool: of time to look at the question"brilliant." I'm going to post this in the tackroom of my trailer. In all honesty, I should probably have it tatooed on my forehead. :D Rider responsibility always seems to get lost in some of the technical, fence construction debates. It was brought up earlier in this thread, but nobody has yet said it any better than the above statement. I appreciate you, MrBob, for taking the time to read and to step in and comment.[/quote]

JER
May. 21, 2010, 01:21 AM
Where did he do that? What did he say?
I think we all know quotes get edited and taken out of context.

How's this for you?


Describing his fall on the cross-country at Lexington, Townend said Ashdale Cruise Master was going "unbelievably well" up until the 20th obstacle. "He was giving me a real good spin. He's a top horse, and I don't think he will make many mistakes like that in his career.

source: "Oliver Townend to miss Badminton Horse Trials" (http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/news/2010/04/178.shtml)

riderboy
May. 21, 2010, 08:10 AM
Oooooo.. I hate that. I was just starting to like the guy.

EHB
May. 21, 2010, 08:42 AM
I would argue that the horse DID make a mistake. It hung a front leg. It made a mistake because of a poor ride, but there was a mistake on both parts I think.

I had a horse with a very slow front end. I competed it to a pretty high level, and had some good success with it (jumper), but if I didn't give it enough room every time to the jumps, if I made a mistake (I am human!) and got a little too deep, especially at a vertical, he would ALSO make a mistake and hang a front leg.

I had another horse with a great front end, who was less brilliant with his hind end than the other horse, but even if I made a mistake and got him a little deep he would rarely make a mistake with his front end and still jump clean.

Sometimes, we can only do so much and we can't physically pick their front legs off the ground. They have to do that part for themselves.

It doesn't seem to me that OT is laying all the blame on his horse (maybe he is, but one quote doesn't evidence that to me). The fact is, it sounds like he made a mistake because he is human, and the horse also made a mistake because of it. Maybe another horse wouldn't have made a mistake with its front end there, but that doesn't mean that Cruise Master is a bad horse. Maybe other riders didn't make that mistake at the fence, but that doesn't mean that OT is a bad rider. All it means is that he rode that ONE fence badly, and that horse jumped that ONE fence badly.

As a relative newcomer to eventing, I don't feel overly qualified to comment on the subject of the pins.

Blugal
May. 21, 2010, 10:23 AM
'He was going unbelievably - I don't know him that well, but I don't believe he's going to make too many mistakes like that in his career,' he said.

This is the part that worries me. Why are people riding a horse around a 4* that they "don't know that well"?

Oh I know someone is going to bring up Mark Todd here... but in general, it seems like a bad idea.

bornfreenowexpensive
May. 21, 2010, 10:40 AM
"When asked what had happened, Oliver said Ashdale Cruise Master just make a mistake.

'He was going unbelievably - I don't know him that well, but I don't believe he's going to make too many mistakes like that in his career,' he said.

'Perhaps he spotted the steps on landing, perhaps he didn't get high enough - he just made a mistake.'"

ETA: While I agree quotes can be taken out of context, I forgot to add that I heard OT say pretty much the same thing on Badminton radio.



Why is it so terrible that he said the horse made a mistake.....it happens. They get distracted or miss-read a fence. Some times the rider can help them out...some times the rider makes the mistake worse or causes them to make the mistake.

When training a horse...you actually want them to make a mistake at the lower levels. That's what Jimmy and so many others have been stressing. Let the green horse make the mistake and learn from it at the lower levels (when they can likely recover from the mistake) so they have the tools in their tool box....and don't make that mistake at Rolex.

I do think that the horses made mistakes at Rolex....when they fall down, that is pretty good evidence of their mistake. But the critical question is what caused the mistake.....rider error, fence design, fatigue, hole in training....or was it just an unfortunate random mistake that all horses and people can and do make from time to time (and some times they recover from them and some times not).

Gnep
May. 21, 2010, 11:21 AM
Jup horses make mistakes, but in 99% of the cases that mistake is a result of a previous rider mistake. At least that is what I have seen in the hundreds of videos of crashes I have watched.

The one thing that worries me, why did the pin not brake.
What was missed when building the jump.
Is there a flaw, maybe in the preload, the manual, design.

Is anybody looking into that.

bornfreenowexpensive
May. 21, 2010, 11:37 AM
Jup horses make mistakes, but in 99% of the cases that mistake is a result of a previous rider mistake. At least that is what I have seen in the hundreds of videos of crashes I have watched.

The one thing that worries me, why did the pin not brake.
What was missed when building the jump.
Is there a flaw, maybe in the preload, the manual, design.

Is anybody looking into that.


I do agree. That is why we need to spend a lot of time training our horse to cover our a$$es for when we DO make our mistakes.

I do know that many people are looking into these issues.

My understanding is that the pins are not designed to deal with these sorts of falls. They were not the type of rotational fall where the horse chests the fence and then rotate around the fence. Here, a leg was left behind and the rotation of the horse didn't begin until the majority of the weight of the horse was already past the fence. It is similar to the sort of rotation fall that happens in show jumping with fences that fall down (IME). So I'm not sure that any collapsable fence design is going to assist in this sort of fall....but I leave that determination to people FAR more skilled and educated in these matters than I am.

fooler
May. 21, 2010, 11:41 AM
This is the part that worries me. Why are people riding a horse around a 4* that they "don't know that well"?

Oh I know someone is going to bring up Mark Todd here... but in general, it seems like a bad idea.

Agree.
Also - I only 'know' of Mark Todd and Mike Plumb being able to successfully do a catch ride at the upper levels. And those who competed against those 2 gentlemen often speak of Todd & Plumb with awe. In other words the 'average' Uber-ULR considers Todd & Plumb to be at different level than the rest.

PonyGal08
May. 21, 2010, 11:45 AM
Jup horses make mistakes, but in 99% of the cases that mistake is a result of a previous rider mistake. At least that is what I have seen in the hundreds of videos of crashes I have watched.

The one thing that worries me, why did the pin not brake.
What was missed when building the jump.
Is there a flaw, maybe in the preload, the manual, design.

Is anybody looking into that.

Every word of this. As it was touched on earlier, a horse's mistake shouldn't cause the pair to have a rotational fall.

JER
May. 21, 2010, 11:46 AM
I do agree. That is why we need to spend a lot of time training our horse to cover our a$$es for when we DO make our mistakes.

Which brings us back to the part about not knowing the horse very well.

If you know the horse, you know he might take a look at a fence like that. So you ride accordingly. Or, as some would call it, responsibly.

Keep in mind that $350,000 was at stake. Does it make it worth the risk?

TxEventer81
May. 21, 2010, 12:01 PM
This is the part that worries me. Why are people riding a horse around a 4* that they "don't know that well"?

Oh I know someone is going to bring up Mark Todd here... but in general, it seems like a bad idea.

And this (above) is exactly what Lucinda Green discussed as a big concern of hers during her course walk at Badminton. She went on to basically described what fooler said.


Agree.
Also - I only 'know' of Mark Todd and Mike Plumb being able to successfully do a catch ride at the upper levels. And those who competed against those 2 gentlemen often speak of Todd & Plumb with awe. In other words the 'average' Uber-ULR considers Todd & Plumb to be at different level than the rest.

riderboy
May. 21, 2010, 12:30 PM
Jup horses make mistakes, but in 99% of the cases that mistake is a result of a previous rider mistake. At least that is what I have seen in the hundreds of videos of crashes I have watched.

The one thing that worries me, why did the pin not brake.
What was missed when building the jump.
Is there a flaw, maybe in the preload, the manual, design.

Is anybody looking into that.

Yes. I think ( my opinion ) that it's a poor workman that blames his tools. Sure they make mistakes, but I know when I hear riders blaming their horses that even if it might be true, it just sounds whiney and excusey. Is that a word?

nomeolvides
May. 21, 2010, 01:59 PM
So many riders apportion part of the blame to their horses though. Everyone loves Alex Hua Tian but he didn't take all of the blame for his fall on Jeans at Badminton.
I think this thread has taken a bit of a strange turn, now the fall is due to the fact OT did not know ACM well. They'd won a 3* together before going to Lexington.

Blugal
May. 21, 2010, 02:15 PM
Correction, they won a CIC***. The prep was 3 events in less than a month, one of which resulted in a horse fall/elimination.

Their spring record (http://www.britisheventing.com/asp-net/Events/Results.aspx?HorseId=67682)

RiverBendPol
May. 21, 2010, 02:51 PM
Ollie did not blame his horse the way a certain somebody-who-shall-remain-nameless blamed her horse. Ollie's ride to fence 20 was controlled, careful, accurate and precise. The horse left his leg behind, who knows why. That, I consider a mistake on the horse's part. Horses make mistakes and sometimes that needs to be acknowledged. The blaming makes me insane when it is clearly RIDER ERROR and rider blames horse for it.

The jump Jeans and Alex hit collapsed easily and safely because the rail was set on the far side of the posts. It was a truly beautiful demonstration of good construction and of a relatively new invention doing its job properly.

nomeolvides
May. 21, 2010, 02:56 PM
Correction, they won a CIC***. The prep was 3 events in less than a month, one of which resulted in a horse fall/elimination.

Their spring record (http://www.britisheventing.com/asp-net/Events/Results.aspx?HorseId=67682)
I know, I looked at his record ;) He will have been riding the horse at home before that month surely.

lstevenson
May. 21, 2010, 03:50 PM
Ollie's ride to fence 20 was controlled, careful, accurate and precise. The horse left his leg behind, who knows why.


I beg to differ. No he was coming in crazy fast out of control......but the horse was NOT balanced, engaged, focused on the jump, or accurate. Watch the video. He was frantically pulling hard the last few strides in an unsuccessful attempt to get his horse engaged and balanced at the last second. When that should have been done through the turn. His pulling to the base of the fence on a horse that was somewhat on his forehand had the effect of putting him even more on his front end, and most importantly....taking the horse's concentration off of the fence.

I think OT is a great rider, who wasn't as focused on his approach to that jump as he should have been. Perhaps he was shocked that his horse, who was otherwise listening well but may have been getting tired, didn't listen to him in his attempts to balance through that turn. Maybe this is an arguement for really getting to know your horse well before running a 4*.

riderboy
May. 21, 2010, 04:32 PM
[QUOTE=nomeolvides
I think this thread has taken a bit of a strange turn, .[/QUOTE]

This is the thread that will not die.

MrBob
May. 21, 2010, 04:39 PM
Back to the frangible jump pins/acceptable jump design. How many of you have seen a horse leave a leg on a stadium jump and carry the rail between their front legs. Have you seen the resulting crash?

Just imagine if they had pins or a system that horizontal force broke. Then (in the case of a horse leaving a leg) you would have a 2 or 300 pound log falling down on the the other leg.

The log on jump 20 (and the coffin) wasn't quite that heavy maybe, 150lbs?

Just on the horse safety side the chances of a broken leg, in my mind, would be VERY high.

They tend to go down in and ugly heap which is often worse than the rotational fall, this type of fall resulted in at least 2 broken necks in 08.

Janet
May. 21, 2010, 04:53 PM
Back to the frangible jump pins/acceptable jump design. How many of you have seen a horse leave a leg on a stadium jump and carry the rail between their front legs. Have you seen the resulting crash?
If you look at the Frangible Pin handbook- The log HAS to be roped the way it is described in the handbook EXACTLY to avoid that.

LLDM
May. 21, 2010, 05:50 PM
LLDM, I'm really intrigued by this. Sort of similar to the sanctiond ICP program for trainers. An "approval" program for riders who can ride at three-star, or possibly only four-star, level? I'm curious about this supposition. And, I want to clarify here that I'm honestly asking legitimate questions...not "questioning" your thoughts or statements. I'm really interested.

One of the things that makes me curious is that, were the ULRs (let's say it might be Leslie Law, Phillip Dutton, Allison Springer, and Karen O'Connor who are some of these rider peers) asked about potential competitors at Rolex, I wonder if they would have been able to deem Oliver Townend or Dorothy Crowell as potential "liabilities" for a dangerous fall? I remember seeing William Fox-Pitt have a very scary rotational fall in the Head of the Lake back in 2006 or 2007, I think. Would he have been left off the list if considered whether appropriate or not at this level? Maybe I'm considering different scenarios than you were meaning in the realm of the ULR peer certifications. I am really interested to hear more what you would foresee in regards to this. IMO, something like this will have to eventually come into play...but how? I guess I'm asking what your particular "how" looks like. Tell us more...

Oh no. I have no idea how they might do this, nor do I care. It is my solution to the issue they always raise when anyone else tries to make rules they'll need to live by. The issue is: "nobody understands our issues but us ULRs".

That's likely true. And it is the solution other professionals have applied in similar situations. Licensing within one's own peer group is a fairly common practice with many models from which to chose. This, to me, is part rider responsibility.

SCFarm

riderboy
May. 21, 2010, 07:30 PM
Oh no. I have no idea how they might do this, nor do I care. It is my solution to the issue they always raise when anyone else tries to make rules they'll need to live by. The issue is: "nobody understands our issues but us ULRs".

That's likely true. And it is the solution other professionals have applied in similar situations. Licensing within one's own peer group is a fairly common practice with many models from which to chose. This, to me, is part rider responsibility.

SCFarm

Oh yeah. licensing is where regulatory bodies have you by the short hairs. Compliance to standards isn't mandatory - IF you don't want to keep your license. That's why it's so strongly resisted. When I joined PRO a year ago I thought they might be a vehicle to help this happen at the ULs.

Gry2Yng
May. 21, 2010, 07:36 PM
In this country only "other people" need to be regulated and if you disagree you clearly don't understand the complexities of the situation.

JER
May. 21, 2010, 08:01 PM
Licensing is a fairly complex issue that requires all sorts of legal stuff like compliance, appeals, enforcement, etc.

The USEF, by its own admission, already does a less-than-acceptable job at enforcing the licenses it grants to various officials and technical folk.

Why add more licenses that can't/won't be enforced or administered or investigated properly?

LLDM
May. 21, 2010, 09:19 PM
Not the USEF, not the USEA, not the FEI. Professional riders governing themselves and making up the rules they deem necessary. If only they can understand the requirements, then only they can determine who is qualified to ride at the upper levels.

You don't have to call it licensing. Call it qualifying. Heck call it whatever you want. But the only way to have any sort of teeth in "rider responsibility" is to make them accountable under their own terms.

Let the ULRs go do the post mortum on fence #20 and what they think should be done to fix it - if anything. Since they seem to reject anyone else's attempts to do so.

If lawyers can manage do this sort of thing, can't anyone?

SCFarm

Gnep
May. 21, 2010, 10:32 PM
Back to the frangible jump pins/acceptable jump design. How many of you have seen a horse leave a leg on a stadium jump and carry the rail between their front legs. Have you seen the resulting crash?

Just imagine if they had pins or a system that horizontal force broke. Then (in the case of a horse leaving a leg) you would have a 2 or 300 pound log falling down on the the other leg.

The log on jump 20 (and the coffin) wasn't quite that heavy maybe, 150lbs?

Just on the horse safety side the chances of a broken leg, in my mind, would be VERY high.

They tend to go down in and ugly heap which is often worse than the rotational fall, this type of fall resulted in at least 2 broken necks in 08.

Wrong, since the log can only drop down, it will not end up between the horses legs. Since the log on a pined jump has a back rest it will not fly, can not fly away like a stadium jump's pole.
Your sugestion that the pin, because it broke and had a log flyng is quiet frankly rather stupid and shows that you, [edit] has no, absolutely no understanding how jumps are built and how jumps with pin are built. The pin will brake even if a horizontal impact happens, because a horizontal impact will very much lead to a rotation, the energy of a impact has to go somewhere.
Even if you have a pin designed for horizontal impact, it will be arrested by a rope, it moves a certain controlled distance and than dropes. This is the idear behind the plastic log, its secured but is supposed to brake.

For your education, [edit], download the revised manual concerning the pin and all the other studies concerning saver jumps.

The real killer for horse and rider is the rotational, can you give us the horses, shows and riders with the broken leg, just to make sure you are not giving us any crap.
You just proofed bejond any doubt, why jokeys should have no, absolutely no say, concerning savety.

I thank you very much for having proofen this, again.

MrBob
May. 21, 2010, 10:45 PM
You didn't read my comment did you.

I didn't say anything about the pins as they are currently designed.

They are designed to break on a downward motion, they are designed, to be placed on the back rail of an oxer.

My comment was that 'if' there was a pin designed to break with a horizontal hit and 'hopefully' stop a rotational fall at a vertical it would be more dangerous if the horse left a leg than no pin at all.

Just out of interest, why are you so angry at the world?

riderboy
May. 22, 2010, 07:31 AM
Not the USEF, not the USEA, not the FEI. Professional riders governing themselves and making up the rules they deem necessary. If only they can understand the requirements, then only they can determine who is qualified to ride at the upper levels.

You don't have to call it licensing. Call it qualifying. Heck call it whatever you want. But the only way to have any sort of teeth in "rider responsibility" is to make them accountable under their own terms.

Let the ULRs go do the post mortum on fence #20 and what they think should be done to fix it - if anything. Since they seem to reject anyone else's attempts to do so.

If lawyers can manage do this sort of thing, can't anyone?

SCFarm Makes sense to me.
I mean, I can dream can't I? If the ULRs could organize and lobby for better pay, working conditions (safety) and some sort of licensing as well as benefits, they could have some control over their lives. And maybe, instead of a ground jury that apparently had absolutely no idea what was happening at fence 20, ( according to The Chronicle ) a representative from their own organization could have addressed the problems on the ground immediately and with the authority of his/her riders organization backing it. Just a thought.

groom
May. 22, 2010, 11:30 PM
Makes sense to me.
I mean, I can dream can't I? If the ULRs could organize and lobby for better pay, working conditions (safety) and some sort of licensing as well as benefits, they could have some control over their lives. And maybe, instead of a ground jury that apparently had absolutely no idea what was happening at fence 20, ( according to The Chronicle ) a representative from their own organization could have addressed the problems on the ground immediately and with the authority of his/her riders organization backing it. Just a thought.

In this dream where your are smarter than the ground jury at Rolex, how did you "address the problem on the ground", riderboy?

ivy62
May. 23, 2010, 05:46 AM
Is it a matter of training or fence design? Why does the course have to change every year? They are difficult always so why change. It will always be a challenge in my book.....The Kentucky Derby is the same every year!
I am still a fan of the long format simply because it proves the horse and rider are fit enough, and have the dedication it takes to get there....

nomeolvides
May. 23, 2010, 06:10 AM
There's no way I would pay to attend the big events if they had the same course every year.

riderboy
May. 23, 2010, 08:00 AM
In this dream where your are smarter than the ground jury at Rolex, how did you "address the problem on the ground", riderboy?

Just reading from the Chronicle. To quote from first the Editorial in the May 7th issue regarding fence #20. "The fence rode well all morning, but in the afternoon that had changed. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries,but I was surprised that two or even three rotational falls at the same fence didn't trigger an automatic investigation before riders continued on course. Even after the third horse flipped the obstacle was cleared for the final riders to contest."
"How could this information about the rotational falls have been communicated to someone with the authority to do something? After one or two falls could someone have reviewed the videos to see if something was somehow making the question unclear to the horses?"
Now form the sidebar article I have quoted several times already. "President of the Ground Jury Marilyn Payne said she only saw Townends fall. "We were in the control cente and we did not see the other falls," she said. "We didn't get the feedback exactly of what happened. I thought that one was just a refusal and a fall. It didn't seem like an unsafe fence."
So, rather than being insulting and snide perhaps even you can read what has already been published to see that apparently no one who had authority to modify the course knew what was happening. I think the problem could be easily addressed by better communication, step one. It doesn't seem so hard to me. Also. as Gnep and others have said, no one seems to know why all the frangible pins failed in all 4 rotational falls. I would consider that a "problem" also.

FRM
May. 23, 2010, 09:46 AM
From the floor of the Trade Fair, you could watch the monitor upstairs in the Media Room in addition to the jumbotron at the other end. The Media Room monitor was set differently than the jumbotron and it showed what I would call a "steward's view". My sister saw all 3 of the rotational falls and I caught the aftermath of Townend's fall where the cameras fixed on Fence #20 until they moved him to the helicoptor.

Hard to believe that the control room wasn't alerted to Fence 20 at least by the 2nd fall, as they were pretty close together. I know that's a busy place but even 1 rotational fall should have caught someone's attention, much less a 2nd one shortly thereafter and then the 3rd.

Snaffle81
May. 23, 2010, 12:04 PM
I can't speak for Snaffle, but I read it in the Rolex edition of Horse & Hound...

Yes, that's where I read it too.


From the floor of the Trade Fair, you could watch the monitor upstairs in the Media Room in addition to the jumbotron at the other end. The Media Room monitor was set differently than the jumbotron and it showed what I would call a "steward's view". My sister saw all 3 of the rotational falls and I caught the aftermath of Townend's fall where the cameras fixed on Fence #20 until they moved him to the helicoptor.

Hard to believe that the control room wasn't alerted to Fence 20 at least by the 2nd fall, as they were pretty close together. I know that's a busy place but even 1 rotational fall should have caught someone's attention, much less a 2nd one shortly thereafter and then the 3rd.

I thought OT's fall was the only one that was a rotational? If I'm incorrect could someone explain it or point me to a post that explains it? The video that shows the three falls has been removed... Thanks!