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MeghanDACVA
Jan. 7, 2011, 09:05 PM
This has bothered me for some time now. And after what I saw at a show near the end of the season, it has sort of been eating at me.

IMHO, the rule is stupid. But I know all the arguements for it so we won't go there. What bothers me is the hippocracy of the rule.

Why is head trauma from falling off BETWEEN fences different than head trauma from falling off associated with a fence? I am assuming here that you did not hit your head on the fence. Ie, why when I fall on my butt at fence so different than my landing on my butt in the field? The bruise sure looks the same.

Why is falling off in warm up different than falling off on course?

Why is falling off at home the day before the show different than falling off on course? If you need to be cleared by USEA to be able to compete again after a fall on course, why do you not need to be cleared if you fell off at home when a show would be in that same time window of needing to be cleared if it happened at a show?

Why can an EMT clear you as being ok to ride again that show when one of the supposed big concerns about the head trauma is the damage that shows up LATER?

I guess I am just confused, or stupid.

Janet
Jan. 7, 2011, 09:26 PM
Two different things.

If it is a fall in which you are "apparently injured", you have to be cleared by the EMTs. It doesn't matter if it was in the parking lot, the warm up, ata fence, or on course away from the fences.

If you fall but are NOT "apparently injured", then only falls at fences cause elimination.

This part is really no different from the other jumping discilines. In both hunters and jumpers, if you fall off in warmup, there is no penalty. If you fall off on course, you are eliminated.

MeghanDACVA
Jan. 7, 2011, 09:48 PM
Define "apparantly injured". 2 things that I saw this fall were, IMHO, apparantly inured.
One was a fall in warm up where the rider hit her head and even with the helmet she loss consciousness.
The other was one where the saddle slipped, rider came off under horse, got galloped over, horse of course took off all over the place with saddle underneath it, caused alot of excitment. KID got back on and competed.

If those weren't "apparantly injured" what is?

And, if you aren't "apparantly injured" when you fall at a fence why are you eliminated if that same thing had happened 6 strides earlier and you still weren't "apparantly injured".

Janet
Jan. 7, 2011, 10:28 PM
The first definitely counts as "apparently injured". Under GR 1317 (applies to ALL disciplines) -

If a rider "in schooling or competition areas" is "apparently unconscious or
concussed" then "he/she is precluded from competing until evaluated by qualified medical personnel as defined in GR1211.5. If the competitor refuses to be evaluated, he is disqualified from the competition."

Second one (if no concussion) is covered by Eventing rules


EV113 Medical Requirements.
1. ACCIDENTS INVOLVING COMPETITORS
a. In the event of an accident in which a competitor is apparently injured or concussed,
they must be examined by designated medical personnel to determine if they may take
part in another test, ride another horse or if they are capable of leaving the grounds.
Refusal to be examined shall be penalized by a fine of $100 (Payable to the Organizing
Committee) at the discretion of the Ground Jury.
b. Competitors who fail or refuse to follow the advice of the medical personnel regarding
treatment following such a fall may be subject to disqualification at the discretion of
the Ground Jury.

If the officials didn't enforce this, you should write it up in your event evaluation, and/or in the "evaluation of officials" form.

As for the third one (difference between "Fall with no injury" at a fence vs not at a fence), it is just like all the other faults.

Circle after presenting to the fence- penalty.
Circle nowhere near a fence - no penalty.

Halt after presenting to the fence- penalty.
Halt nowhere near a fence - no penalty.

Fall after presenting to the fence- penalty.
Fall no where near a fence - no penalty.

gottagrey
Jan. 8, 2011, 12:35 AM
Why is falling off at home the day before the show different than falling off on course? If you need to be cleared by USEA to be able to compete again after a fall on course, why do you not need to be cleared if you fell off at home when a show would be in that same time window of needing to be cleared if it happened at a show?.

Do you really want that kind of a nanny state? Let's face there are falls and then there are falls... Fortunately the majority of falls the rider pops right back into the saddle with only a bruised ego...

RiverBendPol
Jan. 8, 2011, 08:21 AM
Meghan, for the record, I agree with you. The rule is idiotic. :cool:

MeghanDACVA
Jan. 8, 2011, 08:40 AM
Do you really want that kind of a nanny state? Let's face there are falls and then there are falls... Fortunately the majority of falls the rider pops right back into the saddle with only a bruised ego...

No, I don't. But with the issue of head trauma signs (including death) occuring even several days out, I am kinda surprised that we are not required to sign a waiver or statement to the effect that if we have suffered a fall or any other apparantly head trauma in so many days prior to a competition we will not hold any party associated with the event liable. And that the EMT's on grounds know that I have suffered a head injury in the very recent past. If not for safety reasons but for legal/liabiliy reasons.

From "Trauma Management: An Emergency Medical Approach" by Ferrera/Colucciello/Marx/Verdile/Gibbs. Chapter 11--Traumatic Brain Injury by Zink and Lanter: The classical scenerio of epidural hematoma (bleeding around the brain) is initial loss of consciousness followed by a "lucid interval" in which consiousness is regained, with subsequent lethargy. Deterioration can occur rapidly. Subdural hematoma (bleeding immediately adjacent to brain tissue) is 6 times more common than epidural hematoma and has a higher mortality rate. Acute subdural hematomas usually results from acceleration/deceleration injuries. The initial injury may have occurred days or weeks prior and may be forgotten by the patient. Cerebral contussions (concussions) occur with rapid decleration injuries such as falls. Concussions are manifested by at least one of the following: 1) any loss of consciousness 2) any loss of memory of events immediately before or after the accident 3) any alteraion in mental state at the time of the accident (ie feeling dazed, disoriented or confused) or 4) after 30 minutes a Glascow Coma Scale of less than 13-15 (you will can google Glascow Coma Scale to see how this is done).

Ok, so I am a nerd. But I think as you read that above you saw several things that are very common with falls from horses.

I am not trying to be argumentative here. I have very strong medical background in trauma/brains/etc, albeit veterinary (I am a boarded veterinary anesthesiologist and am residency trained in critical care. And am not "wet behind the ears"; ie 30 yrs of doing this.) If I have a patient that has head trauma from smacking its head on the asphalt from being hit by a car its degree of head trauma is not different from that of a patient that smacked its head on asphalt from falling off a balcony or out of the back of a pick up truck.

A fall is a fall is a fall. Hitting one's head on the ground at a competition is the same no matter where on the grounds it happens. Actually, it might be SAFER out on course since many courses are aerated and that ground is "softer" than that that has been pounded by hooves over and over and over, ie warm up areas.

What defines "apparantly injured"? Did it not used to be that EMT's were to evaluate the rider at the fence for signs of head trauma? There was a list of questions and tasks they did to decide if it was safe for the fallen rider to continue (based on the Glasgow Coma Scale).

If one is not "apparantly inured" after a fall somewhere not associated with a fence and is not "apparantly injured" after a fall associated with a fence, what is the medical difference?

Landing on some body part other than one's head can also result in head trauma via the coup/contrecoup effect (similar to shaken baby effect).

So, if there is some medical evidence that fall on course or on grounds IS medically and physiologically different than a fall at a fence (assuming one did not hit the fence with their head), then the one fall rule makes perfect sense. If there is NOT medical evidence that the 2 are different, then the rule needs to be seriously re-examined. Rules intended to protect riders, or horses, should be based on medical or scientific fact. Not by knee jerk emotional anecdotal reactions.

Again, not trying to be argumentative, just trying to understand what the REAL story is behind the one fall rule.

And sorry for the long ramble.

Highflyer
Jan. 8, 2011, 09:33 AM
Well, I thought it had less to do with head trauma specifically, and more to do with the fact that if you have a fall at a fence, you are presumably not having the best of goes and should probably quit before you or the horse ARE seriously injured. Sure, there are exceptions to this, especially at the lower levels (the green horse spook and stop) but I think it's valid at the upper levels, personally.

MeghanDACVA
Jan. 8, 2011, 10:47 AM
Well, I thought it had less to do with head trauma specifically, and more to do with the fact that if you have a fall at a fence, you are presumably not having the best of goes and should probably quit before you or the horse ARE seriously injured. Sure, there are exceptions to this, especially at the lower levels (the green horse spook and stop) but I think it's valid at the upper levels, personally.

Regarding the first part: If my mare spooks at something totally unrelated to her fence, ie while we are "galloping" between fences at blazing BN/N speed, and I fall off--which has happened--one can say the same thing.

IMHO, and based on my tremendous amount of experience ;-), it would seem better for younger horses and/or riders to get a second chance to get over the fence even if they hit the ground. And are still ok physically to continue.

And just to be clear: For me getting back on to continue is seldom an option so the rule doesn't really affect me. My mare is 17.2 and I am 5'2". Getting back on in the field is NOT going to happen. And to make matters worse she high tails it back to the barn and greater than steeplechase speed. Only once did she get caught and I was able to get back on after she dumped me on course.

For the second part regarding the upper levels, I whole heartedly agree. At those speeds and supposedly level of experience by both rider and horse, falls should not be happening.

mg
Jan. 8, 2011, 01:04 PM
Not going to comment on the rest of the rule, but I do think it's pretty silly that a fall between fences is not penalized like a fall at a fence is. I understand the point Janet made, but it still seems like a fall between fences is much different from a circle, halt, etc. TBH, I'd much rather see a person fall because of something related to a fence than fall off just galloping around. If someone can't even stay on their horse when it's just running, I'd hate to see them attempt to address an obstacle.

Fillabeana
Jan. 8, 2011, 01:34 PM
At first, I agreed that a fall at a fence means you have training problems, and are possibly/probably overfaced, and so should be eliminated...while a fall on course, elsewhere, did not have to do with the fence.

But really, if you fall off on course anywhere, there is a problem with your control of the horse out in the open. Part of the X-C test is that you can rate your speed, ride over uneven terrain, and jump fences at your level...I don't think any of the original eventing competitors, by the time they got to 'training' (or even prelim) which was the original entry level, had trouble riding their horses in the open...but nowadays it is essentially part of the X-C test that you can control your horse outside an enclosed ring. So, perhaps it would be appropriate to check riders in officially for X-C (at warm-up, perhaps, or a specified amount of time before the ride time) and any falls before crossing the finish flags would be grounds for elimination.
They do still flag warm-up fences, don't they? When I competed, you could get eliminated by jumping a warm up fence the wrong way.

Janet
Jan. 8, 2011, 01:41 PM
Meghan, for the record, I agree with you. The rule is idiotic. :cool:
Which one?

The one about "1st fall at afence =E"?
-I do not think it is "idiotic", but I wouldn't object to seeing it change.

Or the ones about concussion and apparent injury?
-I think they are good, and I also support the proposed rule change which will make it even stronger for concussions.

Janet
Jan. 8, 2011, 02:09 PM
No, I don't. But with the issue of head trauma signs (including death) occuring even several days out, I am kinda surprised that we are not required to sign a waiver or statement to the effect that if we have suffered a fall or any other apparantly head trauma in so many days prior to a competition we will not hold any party associated with the event liable. And that the EMT's on grounds know that I have suffered a head injury in the very recent past. If not for safety reasons but for legal/liabiliy reasons.


Sounds good on paper BUT
1- It has already been well established that the USEF can not regulate what happens away from an recognized/endorsed competition, whether you are talking about poling jumpers with tack rails, a "suspended person" training horses and riders, or falling off your horse. The one big exception, of course, is the drug rules, which are enforced by random tests at competition. I suppose they could institute "random concussion tests", but that doesn't seem very practical to me.

2. The vast majority of "falls" do NOT involve any injury at all, let alone head injury.

3.The entry form you sign already covers the following points

I AGREE that I choose to participate voluntarily in the Competition with my horse, as a rider, driver, handler, vaulter, longeur, lessee, owner, agent, coach, trainer,
or as parent or guardian of a junior exhibitor. I am fully aware and acknowledge that horse sports and the Competition involve inherent dangerous risks of accident, loss, and
serious bodily injury including broken bones, head injuries, trauma, pain, suffering, or death (“Harm”).

I AGREE to hold harmless and release the Federation and the Competition from all claims for money damages or otherwise for any Harm to me or my horse and
for any Harm of any nature caused by me or my horse to others, even if the Harm arises or results, directly or indirectly, from the negligence of the Federation or the
Competition.

I AGREE to expressly assume all risks of Harm to me or my horse, including Harm resulting from the negligence of the Federation or the Competition.

I have read the Federation Rules about protective equipment, including GR801 and, if applicable, EV114 and I understand that I am entitled to wear protective
equipment without penalty, and I acknowledge that the Federation strongly encourages me to do so while WARNING that no protective equipment can guard against all
injuries.

I represent that I have the requisite training, coaching and abilities to safely compete in this competition.

I AGREE that if I am injured at this competition, the medical personnel treating my injuries may provide information on my injury and treatment to the Federation
on the official USEF accident/injury report form.

Janet
Jan. 8, 2011, 02:29 PM
A fall is a fall is a fall. Hitting one's head on the ground at a competition is the same no matter where on the grounds it happens. Actually, it might be SAFER out on course since many courses are aerated and that ground is "softer" than that that has been pounded by hooves over and over and over, ie warm up areas.


I agree a fall is a fall.

And "hitting your head" is "hitting your head".

But the VAST majority of falls at a horse trial do NOT involve "hitting your head", and it does not make sense to treat every "horse stopped-rider didn't- landed on feet then fell on side" as a "hitting your head"- whether in conjunction with a fence or not.

None the less, at MOST of the events I have been to in the last couple of years, any rider who fell (whether at a fence or not, and even if not "apparently injured") has had to be cleared by the EMT before going on to ride a second horse.

Janet
Jan. 8, 2011, 02:32 PM
What defines "apparantly injured"? Did it not used to be that EMT's were to evaluate the rider at the fence for signs of head trauma? There was a list of questions and tasks they did to decide if it was safe for the fallen rider to continue (based on the Glasgow Coma Scale).

That is a good question, and it would be good if there were an official definition of "apparently injured".

WRT the evaluation at the fence, I thought so too, but was told otherwise by the officials. So no, it was never an official policy, just a "suggestion".

Janet
Jan. 8, 2011, 02:45 PM
If one is not "apparantly inured" after a fall somewhere not associated with a fence and is not "apparantly injured" after a fall associated with a fence, what is the medical difference?

No medical difference, and no difference in the "return to play" rules.





Landing on some body part other than one's head can also result in head trauma via the coup/contrecoup effect (similar to shaken baby effect).


So, if there is some medical evidence that fall on course or on grounds IS medically and physiologically different than a fall at a fence (assuming one did not hit the fence with their head), then the one fall rule makes perfect sense. If there is NOT medical evidence that the 2 are different, then the rule needs to be seriously re-examined. Rules intended to protect riders, or horses, should be based on medical or scientific fact. Not by knee jerk emotional anecdotal reactions.

The "return to play" rules are the SAME for both cases (at, vs not at, a fence), and are the ones "intended to protect riders or horses."

Whatever the original motivation, the "First fall at a fence = E" is does no more (and no less) "to protect riders or horses" than "3 refusals at one fence = E."

It (1 fall =E) is, in fact, being officially readdressed by a USEA or USEF committee.

Janet
Jan. 8, 2011, 02:53 PM
IMHO, and based on my tremendous amount of experience ;-), it would seem better for younger horses and/or riders to get a second chance to get over the fence even if they hit the ground. And are still ok physically to continue.
The same could be said (and HAS been said) about "3R @ 1 fence = E" and "4R on course = E".

In fact, it was said a LOT when the rule was changed from "5 R on course" to "4 R on course".

Around here, we are lucky to have a lot of unrecognized events. Some of them run strictly by the official rules, but others are more liberal about letting you continue with a green horse after official E. I am glad we have both kinds.

Janet
Jan. 8, 2011, 03:02 PM
Not going to comment on the rest of the rule, but I do think it's pretty silly that a fall between fences is not penalized like a fall at a fence is. I understand the point Janet made, but it still seems like a fall between fences is much different from a circle, halt, etc. TBH, I'd much rather see a person fall because of something related to a fence than fall off just galloping around. If someone can't even stay on their horse when it's just running, I'd hate to see them attempt to address an obstacle.

Two things.

First (pure logistics), lots of XC courses run through the woods, and there are lots of places the rider can't be seen by any jump judges. If the rules counted every fall not-at-a-fence, you would have to have "spotters" every 100 feet through the woods.

Second, if a rider falls off ANYWHERE (and somebody sees it) because he/she "can't even stay on their horse when it's just running", then he/she can (and should) come under the "Dangerous Riding" rule.

But sometimes a horse just loses its footing on a turn, or trips in a rut, and even the competent rider comes off.

Janet
Jan. 8, 2011, 03:04 PM
They do still flag warm-up fences, don't they? When I competed, you could get eliminated by jumping a warm up fence the wrong way.
Yes and yes.

Janet
Jan. 8, 2011, 03:08 PM
...but nowadays it is essentially part of the X-C test that you can control your horse outside an enclosed ring. So, perhaps it would be appropriate to check riders in officially for X-C (at warm-up, perhaps, or a specified amount of time before the ride time) and any falls before crossing the finish flags would be grounds for elimination.
If you "can't control your horse outside an enclosed ring", we already have a Dangerous Riding rule- whether or not you fall off.

Janet
Jan. 8, 2011, 03:15 PM
Again, not trying to be argumentative, just trying to understand what the REAL story is behind the one fall rule.


Just to clarify, I am not trying to be argumentative either.

When you ask "what is the reason for X?" my answer is based on the various meetings on rules changes that I have attended. I, personally, may or may not agree with the reasonimg.

MeghanDACVA
Jan. 8, 2011, 03:20 PM
No medical difference, and no difference in the "return to play" rules.

...

The "return to play" rules are the SAME for both cases (at, vs not at, a fence), and are the ones "intended to protect riders or horses."

...
It (1 fall =E) is, in fact, being officially readdressed by a USEA or USEF committee.

I guess I don't follow you in the first part. If the return to play rules are the same for at fence/not at fence then are you or aren't you eliminated if you fall not associated with a fence? Or are you talking just about whether or not you can ride a second horse? I am talking about riding one horse, finishing one course, after one fall.

And I am glad to see the rule is being readdressed. Not that it will do me any good since I still won't be able to get back on!

"But sometimes a horse just loses its footing on a turn, or trips in a rut, and even the competent rider comes off."

And gets killed as a result.

"Second, if a rider falls off ANYWHERE (and somebody sees it) because he/she "can't even stay on their horse when it's just running", then he/she can (and should) come under the "Dangerous Riding" rule."

If only that rule were actually enforced. I spent a good share of last season quaking in my boots watching training level and prelim riders/horses go. Kids with no control, adults with no control. And no body says a thing as the rider is water skiing trying to get the horse to slow down when going break neck speed to a fence. But by George, slide down your horse's shoulder as he canters up to a fence and changes his mind, and you get eliminated.

MeghanDACVA
Jan. 8, 2011, 03:22 PM
Just to clarify, I am not trying to be argumentative either.

When you ask "what is the reason for X?" my answer is based on the various meetings on rules changes that I have attended. I, personally, may or may not agree with the reasonimg.

I know. I just wanted to be sure everybody knew I wasn't being argumentative, since that seems to the way alot of discussions are interpretted. And esp since I knew I was going to be coming back with lots more questions and comments. Your answers have been perfect and I hope you are not taking offense at my questions and comments back. If you are, just say so.

Janet
Jan. 8, 2011, 03:39 PM
I guess I don't follow you in the first part. If the return to play rules are the same for at fence/not at fence then are you or aren't you eliminated if you fall not associated with a fence? Or are you talking just about whether or not you can ride a second horse? I am talking about riding one horse, finishing one course, after one fall.
The term "return to play" applies (only) to anyone who is "apparently injured".

The "1 fall @ fence =E" is, at least officially, related to "did you successfully negotiate the obstacle?" NOT "are you safe to continue?"

Though obviously "safety" was something people talked about when changing the rule.

Janet
Jan. 8, 2011, 03:52 PM
"Second, if a rider falls off ANYWHERE (and somebody sees it) because he/she "can't even stay on their horse when it's just running", then he/she can (and should) come under the "Dangerous Riding" rule."

If only that rule were actually enforced. I spent a good share of last season quaking in my boots watching training level and prelim riders/horses go. Kids with no control, adults with no control. And no body says a thing as the rider is water skiing trying to get the horse to slow down when going break neck speed to a fence. But by George, slide down your horse's shoulder as he canters up to a fence and changes his mind, and you get eliminated.

Agree. In 2010, according to the presentation at the annual meeting, the Dangerous Riding rule was only invoked 26 times.

Everyone agreed that it needs to be applied MUCH more often.

But in the other hand, one rider (who had apparently been eliminated for DR, but she thought it was un-justified) was very vocal at the annual meeting about "how to give negative feedback on an official and have it taken seriously by USEF/USEA".

That has to make an official think twice about giving a DR penalty.

But I agree we need stronger guidelines for DR so officials don't feel they are "sticking their neck out" every time they give out a DR.

retreadeventer
Jan. 8, 2011, 03:58 PM
I guess the good thing about the one fall rule is it may have, since being implemented, stopped bad things from going on and becoming disastrous things.
But other than that, the one fall rule sucks. JMHO. :)

PuraVidaEventing
Jan. 8, 2011, 04:05 PM
I don't really have any major opinions on this subject, but I just wanted to add 2 stories of friends of mine falling at competitions!
One friend fell off her 6 year old in warm up. She is a FANTASTIC upper level rider but her horse was being quite spicy in warm up, stopped, she fell off. He took off but she immediately jumped up and caught him, got back on, and went out on xc. They went around amazingly, she rode him perfectly and there was never one moment of control issues, and they ended up winning. It was one moment in warm up, so I do think that warm up falls should stay the way they are-not mattering unless the rider is hurt.
Another friend was riding her horse Novice. She fell off completely unrelated to the fences in between 2 jumps. The jump judges told her she had to leave, she walked off course, then was told "OH WAIT you actually can keep going". She got back on and went around totally fine just VERY fast. She was going Novice, so the speed was pretty slow, but she still managed to not get any time faults even though she fell off, walked off course, got back on, and continued. Even she says she's surprised she didn't get a dangerous riding penalty. After that I started thinking maybe it should be that you can't have a fall on course at all and keep going...

smokey1428
Jan. 8, 2011, 05:11 PM
From the view of the EMT, It is hard to say if someone has a head injury or not. Some are very obvious, others like has been stated take time to brew. It is difficult in the field to give a full diagnosis. We only have our eyes, hands, and what we know from expierence. I will agree most of the falls the rider pops of of their tack and is back on. The only thing hurt is their ego.
It's difficult to say if someone is ok to get back on, or say, I am sorry your day is done. I know done both. Everyone is differant, everyone's body reacts differantly to trauma, yes a fall is a trauma even if you land of your feet. This protects the rider and organizer for at least that ride. Now for those that have multiple horses, they need clearance which is not easy to do in my eyes, I am putting my license on the line to say someone is ok to continue. If something happens to them it comes back to me or whomever may be the one on site to clear them.
It's a tough spot for all, competitors pay a lot to show, The EMTs can lose a lot if they make the wrong judgement call.

fooler
Jan. 8, 2011, 08:59 PM
From the view of the EMT, It is hard to say if someone has a head injury or not. Some are very obvious, others like has been stated take time to brew. It is difficult in the field to give a full diagnosis. We only have our eyes, hands, and what we know from expierence. I will agree most of the falls the rider pops of of their tack and is back on. The only thing hurt is their ego.
It's difficult to say if someone is ok to get back on, or say, I am sorry your day is done. I know done both. Everyone is differant, everyone's body reacts differantly to trauma, yes a fall is a trauma even if you land of your feet. This protects the rider and organizer for at least that ride. Now for those that have multiple horses, they need clearance which is not easy to do in my eyes, I am putting my license on the line to say someone is ok to continue. If something happens to them it comes back to me or whomever may be the one on site to clear them.
It's a tough spot for all, competitors pay a lot to show, The EMTs can lose a lot if they make the wrong judgement call.

This - how to accurately confirm whether a rider is OK to continue while protecting everyone involved. Everyone is putting their life and/or their lively-hood on the line and usually under time restraints, especially when the rider has multiple horses.
Such as:
1) EMT pulls a rider who has to scratch multiple horses and it turns out the rider is OK.
2) EMT clears rider who is not OK and rider has a fall at the same competition on another horse resulting in injury to rider and/or horse
The rider, sponsors and organizer all lose and what is to stop the rider or their backers from suing the EMT individual or group?

Good idea - but the devil is in the details - ie how to implement sensibly across all events?

lecoeurtriste
Jan. 8, 2011, 09:23 PM
And just to be clear: For me getting back on to continue is seldom an option so the rule doesn't really affect me. My mare is 17.2 and I am 5'2". Getting back on in the field is NOT going to happen.

Just slightly off-topic...but we had a rider come off several years ago (before the zero tolerance rule) who used a prelim trakehener as a mounting block to climb back up and continue. Her trainer made her practice ground mounting for a month afterwards! ;)

But on topic: Last fall at an event, a rider was bucked off while schooling in a ring the night before dressage. She was not unconscious, but her proverbial bell had been rung. She was neither wearing an armband, helmet, nor bridle tag--it was several (too long) minutes before she was able to tell us who she was. I reported the incident to the officials, who (rightfully) had the medics re-examine her in the morning before mounting for dressage. But if one of the other riders schooling in the same ring hadn't come to get me out of the office, she may have run the entire competition without any officials being the wiser of her fall.

The rider in my example above seemed to be ok for the remainder of the competition, but I would argue that her fall was much more serious than the majority of BN-T riders who pop off a green or nappy pony and land on their feet or rump. In all seriousness, though, as a sports medicine professional, I've personally seen/treated too many seemingly innocuous head injuries (not equine-related) that show a lucid period before spiraling down to either significant injury or death.

IMHO, if there is going to be zero tolerance for falls on course, it should be zero tolerance at the entire show (warmup, between jumps, at jumps, etc.).

gardenie
Jan. 8, 2011, 09:40 PM
I still think the one fall rule below prelim is not a good one. But that's just me.

wookie
Jan. 9, 2011, 12:48 AM
not being confrontational but.....just because one falls off in front of a jump, over it, after it, or between fences does not mean they are overfaced. one thing is guaranteed in riding...eventually your arse will meet the ground no matter what your level of riding is. careful how you phrase things.

as for the rule...it is odd. but honestly...it is a pain in the proverbial behind when you pop off a greenie in sj and are all done. greenie learns all work ends when you lose your rider.
show over.

LisaB
Jan. 9, 2011, 08:47 AM
This was a really big and long discussion at the town hall meeting. Interestingly, they didn't post the video feed of it that I know of. There were a lot of really educated people piping in on this subject.
And hey, my horse decided to spook at a fence 1 from home, not near any of my jumps and dumped me at training level. I fell well (meaning I rolled like a person should) and after much discussing with a jj that I could find and calling it in, I could continue. I couldn't remember the rule because it keot changing that year!
I think below prelim, it should be revoked. If a person had a nasty fall, then yes, retire them, just like we used to do. But the LL is a learning opportunity and if a horse decides that he gets to go home if he dumps his rider, then guess what, he's going to continue to do so. Also, for a green rider, then need to get back on the horse!

Atigirl
Jan. 9, 2011, 10:04 AM
I think the rule is trying to cover as much as possible without being out of control. I rounded the corner of my gooseneck horse trailer a little to quick once and being a bit "spacially disoriented" ran head first into the hitch. Yes I rang my bell, no I wasn't wearing a helmet. This was at home and not at a show, but I am sure at shows there are plenty of "barn (non riding) related" accidents that may leave the individual questionable to ride. But I don't think that I want a "safety" chaperone that follows me everywhere making sure that I don't have a slip and fall coming out of the port a potty.:D

gottagrey
Jan. 9, 2011, 01:35 PM
There is also that a rider can make some decisions for themselves w/o management or EMT intervention. Chances are at this point in my life if I took a hit to the ground - whether I was apparently injured or not, I'm probably going to be calling it a day... If MeghanDACVA is concerned about injury - she's already said if she falls XC she wouldn't be able to get on anyway... so there is that that many a rider may opt to call it a day even if the only thing injured is ego.. A couple of the worst looking falls I've ever seen - both times thinking certainly a broken neck at the best - resulted in both riders walking right out of the ER w/o even an overnight stay...no concussion...

and thanks Janet because you explained the rule and reasoning behind it very nicely

JER
Jan. 9, 2011, 01:58 PM
An EMT doesn't diagnose.

An EMT doesn't 'clear.'

An EMT cannot share or divulge any information about a patient's condition other than 'yes, we saw a female/male, approximate age.'

If the PGoJ approaches an EMT to discuss the condition of a person with whom the EMT had professional contact, the EMT cannot discuss details. This is all per HIPAA.

An individual who is oriented to person, place and time (meaning they know who they are, where they are and what day it is) has the right to refuse any and all medical treatment.

If an individual refuses treatment and/or signs a waiver, the EMT can't discuss that either.

An EMT is licensed by their county or state and is bound by the rules and protocols of their license. USEF rules are meaningless.

Highflyer
Jan. 9, 2011, 02:22 PM
But I don't think that I want a "safety" chaperone that follows me everywhere making sure that I don't have a slip and fall coming out of the port a potty.:D

...I could probably use one, though! I mean, I haven't slipped and fallen coming out of the port a potty, YET, but now that I read this and my subconscious is aware of the possibility I probably will. If only they would design an airbag vest that works even when you're not on a horse.

Hilary
Jan. 9, 2011, 02:55 PM
Meghan I'm sort of confused about what you think is appropriate - you say you think the rule is idiodic, but in the next sentence that it's the hypocracy of the rule not being applied to all falls. Do you want ALL falls to = elimination?

I don't. And I feel very strongly that this rule is bad for horse training at lower levels.


You can absolutely fall off your horse (or get bucked off, or otherwise unloaded) and be totally fine to continue with whatever you were doing.

The one fall and E rule means you can no longer get back on and finish the job. No matter how fine you are and how naughty your horse was. To expand the rule to all falls on competition grounds will only make things worse.

THAT is not good horsemanship in my book. Plus it takes away from the grit and determination that you need to have to be a good eventer (that's my "learned to ride before vests and helmets" side coming out).

I think undoing the rule is going to be messy because now they will have to think about what kind of falls are OK to continue from and what kind should = E. Who gets to decide - rider? Fence judge? Hold up the competition until the EMTS check them out? JER points out EMTs really don't have that sort of authority.


I wish they had not passed it in the first place and do hope they undo it.

JER
Jan. 9, 2011, 05:38 PM
The only one-fall rule that makes sense -- in terms of rationality and internal consistency -- is a rule that says that if you fall off your horse anywhere on the showgrounds, you're off your mounts for the day.

This would mean if you fall off in the warm-up area or in stabling, you're done for the day. No more rides, no other horses.

A rule like this would be very black and white. It wouldn't require any subjective judgments or asking licensed health care providers to do things that lie outside their scope of practice or that violate HIPAA.

I wouldn't support that kind of rule any more than I support the one we have now.

Fillabeana
Jan. 9, 2011, 07:15 PM
response to wookie:

not being confrontational but.....just because one falls off in front of a jump, over it, after it, or between fences does not mean they are overfaced. one thing is guaranteed in riding...eventually your arse will meet the ground no matter what your level of riding is.

You're right, wookie, I didn't explain what I meant very well.

Maybe I should have said, that if you fall off at a jump that could be interpreted as, this X-C question (including footing, weather, other-horses-galloping-and-bucking-nearby...etc) overfaced the competitor at that moment.

I am defining overfaced differently than you are-there are definitely riders, overhorsed or underexperienced, out on course at levels they shouldn't be riding, and that is not what I meant.
Obviously, there are riders competent at their current level, and even above, that have falls, refusals, etc.

I was being 'binary' with the answer to the X-C question- either the horse/rider goes over the jump ('yes') or does not ('no').

So, by 'overfaced' I simply mean that the answer to the question on paper is 'no', not that an excellent, competent and capable rider won't fall on a BN course sometime in their life.

retreadeventer
Jan. 9, 2011, 07:20 PM
A rare time I totally agree with JER.


The only one-fall rule that makes sense -- in terms of rationality and internal consistency -- is a rule that says that if you fall off your horse anywhere on the showgrounds, you're off your mounts for the day.

This would mean if you fall off in the warm-up area or in stabling, you're done for the day. No more rides, no other horses.

A rule like this would be very black and white. It wouldn't require any subjective judgments or asking licensed health care providers to do things that lie outside their scope of practice or that violate HIPAA.

I wouldn't support that kind of rule any more than I support the one we have now.

Fillabeana
Jan. 9, 2011, 07:26 PM
And as a mollifying gesture towards someone who falls (or is even eliminated) at an event, what if you could buy 'E insurance', where if you paid an extra $25 you could get your entry fees (or even entries + stabling) back if you got eliminated?

You would have to have a high enough percentage of people buying 'E insurance' for it to work.

But it might take the sting out of an E for falling.

smokey1428
Jan. 10, 2011, 05:11 PM
To follow up with what JER has said, Their is no release that the rider signs that they have been evaluted and on their own judgement are capable of returning to ride. This would put the liability back on the rider. In the EMS world whether it's a car crash or a fall, the person has the right to refuse treatment and transport. Currently their is nothing like this for an event. I will if I feel they should seek treatment by a doctor and they do no desire to have them sign one of our forms. It's a lot more paperwork for me but I am covering my butt.
Every rider fall on course gets a fall form filled out. Somewhere on that form in my opinion should be a place for a rider to sign as a release. That would cover the EMT event staff and organizers if the rider has multiple rides.
I hate to say it, but not sure if their is one right answer for this.

LarkspurCO
Jan. 10, 2011, 11:56 PM
This has bothered me for some time now. And after what I saw at a show near the end of the season, it has sort of been eating at me.

IMHO, the rule is stupid. But I know all the arguements for it so we won't go there. What bothers me is the hippocracy of the rule.




Hippocracy
hip·po·cra·cy
1. : a government run by hippopotami

Hypocrisy
hy·poc·ri·sy
1. : a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; especially : the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion

:)

Janet
Jan. 11, 2011, 12:07 AM
Hippocracy
hip·po·cra·cy
1. : a government run by hippopotami
:)

I think that hippocracy is really "rule by HORSES"!

tulkas
Jan. 11, 2011, 12:20 AM
1. Most here seem to stress that falls which do not involve head impact do not pose the danger of concussion. That is not true. You can suffer a concussion without hitting your head. This is not open to argument unless you are a neurologist. I have talked with 5 neurologists who specialize in sports injuries and they agree.
2. The only remotely safe way to determine that a rider who falls without hitting their head has not had a concussion is to administer a neurocognative test (assuming the rider has taken one to establish a baseline). So should we have a time-out to make this determination? How many days do you want the cross-country phase to take?
3. If the qualified medical personnel cannot (under law) tell the officials if the rider may have had a concussion, then the officials have no way to determine if the rider can continue safely. So what the heck, let's just let everybody get back on and see if they live. Or would it be better to err on the side of trying to save someone's life? Remember they don't have to fall off again to have a second concussion. The damage can be done hours later if they trip going to their hotel room.
4. A fall in competition is penalized by elimination. That determination is made by officials. Guess what? Fence judges are officials. If you are going to eliminate a rider for any fall then you must have enough officials that any fall, anywhere can be seen by an official. Got enough volunteers for that? The same is true for falls between fences. If it isn't seen, did it happen. Do you eliminate someone whose fall is witnessed but allow the rider who falls out of sight to continue? Is that a level playing field?

tulkas

nomeolvides
Jan. 11, 2011, 05:19 AM
And as a mollifying gesture towards someone who falls (or is even eliminated) at an event, what if you could buy 'E insurance', where if you paid an extra $25 you could get your entry fees (or even entries + stabling) back if you got eliminated?

You would have to have a high enough percentage of people buying 'E insurance' for it to work.

But it might take the sting out of an E for falling.
Not sure about that! It would be very open to abuse.
For example, after a bad dressage, a couple of poles SJ and well down the order before XC... the rider could then decide that they're not going to get placed XC and eliminate themselves in order to get some money back, or eliminate themselves if they get refusals XC. It's the same reason that British Eventing got rid of "technical elimination" on horse and rider records.

1516
Jan. 11, 2011, 11:06 AM
In my opinion, if you can't stay on your horse you should be eliminated.