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beeblebrox
Nov. 4, 2006, 11:15 PM
One of my friends called to say the young rider at ** had 4 stops and was being flagged down because she was eliminated when she continued on to water jump were horse flipped on her. Stopped her heart but they got it going and then died at hospital...

How tragic.....

She had a bad fall at Ram Tap not to long before this ;-( My prayers are with her family

JAGold
Nov. 4, 2006, 11:26 PM
What a tragedy.

bbelbrox, can you please PT me with the rider name? Thanks -- I'm a bit worried, as my old trainer's daughter is a YR doing the two star... --Jess

adamsmom
Nov. 4, 2006, 11:29 PM
Christ, that's awful.
Thoughts and prayers to her family.

mcm7780
Nov. 4, 2006, 11:58 PM
Horrible news. My thoughts are with the family.

Mariequi
Nov. 5, 2006, 12:12 AM
Scaring me too and I'm at the USDF Region 9 Regional Championships in TX and won't be back to KY for a while. Would like to know if you can share.

RAyers
Nov. 5, 2006, 02:02 AM
Which water did this happen? Galway is a monster course. It will eat you alive if you are not ready. Out of 50 horses in the OI and 2-star (we all did the same course) in March of this year only 7 went clean.

I am very sorry for the rider and her family.

Reed

MissFit
Nov. 5, 2006, 02:05 AM
Oh no. How horrible. What a tragic thing to happen.

TBpalsx3
Nov. 5, 2006, 02:17 AM
This is really upsetting news. I am so sad for the family and all those at the event. It is also very anxiety provoking not to know who the rider is. I know at least 5 young riders in the ** and a couple of adults. Too late for me to call anyone. My heart is heavy! Please anyone know anything that can be shared? I keep hoping that this information is wrong and a miscommunication.

Painted Wings
Nov. 5, 2006, 08:12 AM
Here's the website:

http://www.galwaydowns.com/

There are no press releases at the time I looked.

The results show eleven riders that were either eliminated or retired. It would be one of those but I have no idea.

http://www.galwaydowns.com/ResultsNOV06/CCI2STAR.pdf

Xctrygirl
Nov. 5, 2006, 09:03 AM
I did a little research, of results at Galway and Ram Tap. There looks to only be one possibility but if the scorers at Galway goofed and listed the rider as withdrawn, then there could be two. I don't feel its my place being far removed from these people and this event, to name who the rider could be. But simple research between the results that are out there online, could lead you to the answer.


Galway Results: http://www.galwaydowns.com/ResultsNOV06/CCI2STAR.pdf

Ram Tap Results: http://www.ramtap1.com/pdfDocuments/RTHTOct2006Results.htm

And just a side note and not to be cruel, but if there is anything to take away from this its to remember to learn the rules of the sport. This tragedy could have been avoided if she had known down pat that after stop #4, you are required to leave the xc course. I am not faulting her, God only knows how much adrenaline you have to think around at a three day! I am just trying to remind us all that we can avoid any unnecessary injuries, falls etc by knowing the rules really well.

That said I feel for her family and hope that they will come through this tragedy.


~Emily

Gnep
Nov. 5, 2006, 09:15 AM
Reed
I would say second water.

annikak
Nov. 5, 2006, 10:17 AM
from what I can tell, and from what the COTH says, its not who it appears to be at first.
In any event, how horrible- just tragic....
I feel for her family, and for those that were tying to flag her down- what a horrible feeling that must have been.

Xctrygirl
Nov. 5, 2006, 10:20 AM
Damn subscription ran out. Ok so what does the COTH coverage say?

~Emily

Risk-Averse Rider
Nov. 5, 2006, 10:42 AM
And just a side note and not to be cruel, but if there is anything to take away from this its to remember to learn the rules of the sport. This tragedy could have been avoided if she had known down pat that after stop #4, you are required to leave the xc course.So the USEA rules & the FEI rules are different? <RAR demonstrates that *SHE* does not know the rules of the sport...>

EventerAJ
Nov. 5, 2006, 10:47 AM
So the USEA rules & the FEI rules are different? <RAR demonstrates that *SHE* does not know the rules of the sport...>


Yes, the FEI rules are not always the same as USEF rules.

FEI- 4 xc stops (throughout the course) is elimination.
2 sj stops is elimination.

In both USEF and FEI, three stops at the same XC fence is elimination.

Clear as mud.

The FEI is responsible for some of our dumber rule changes (for the sake of congruity), like in SJ, a rail is 4 penalties, a stop is 4 penalties, and a fall is 8 (I think) penalties. :rolleyes:

Xctrygirl
Nov. 5, 2006, 10:49 AM
Ok I just spoke to the secretary from Galway who also handles the press, here's what I know:

1.) There is a press release, but it's going to be distributed among the local and equine press, it's not going to be posted on the website

2.) The release (which was read to me over the phone) is simple and to the point. (Paraphrasing: Fatal accident on xc, full paramedic team there on the site within instance, went to hospital, later pronounced dead. All people, organizers, owners and connected to Galway Downs send their sincerest condolences)

3.) The 1 person I said that lined up between the 2 events is the person who died. (Still not comfortable giving the name, but it should hit the press pretty surely by noon pacific time)


Many condolences for all involved,

~Emily

Painted Wings
Nov. 5, 2006, 10:49 AM
Here is the COTH coverage, the only mention of any rider problems.

"Competition was halted for about 30 minutes after Mia Eriksson suffered a serious fall late in the division when her horse, Koryography, fell on her after clipping the fence with his front legs. The 7-year-old horse was treated by veterinarians on site and was able to walk back to his stable. Eriksson was transported to the Hospital. Her condition was still unknown at the end of competition on Saturday."

La Gringa
Nov. 5, 2006, 10:54 AM
How old was the girl? This is horrible news. My condolences to the family. :(

Risk-Averse Rider
Nov. 5, 2006, 11:03 AM
Yes, the FEI rules are not always the same as USEF rules.

FEI- 4 xc stops (throughout the course) is elimination.
2 sj stops is elimination.

In both USEF and FEI, three stops at the same sj fence is elimination.

Clear as mud.

The FEI is responsible for some of our dumber rule changes (for the sake of congruity), like in SJ, a rail is 4 penalties, a stop is 4 penalties, and a fall is 8 (I think) penalties. :rolleyes:Thanks. But you mean three stops at the same xc fence is elimination - THAT rule I know *eyeroll* having been there, done that, worn that t-shirt with Prozac Pony at two consecutive Copper Meadows...

EventerAJ
Nov. 5, 2006, 11:08 AM
Thanks. But you mean three stops at the same xc fence is elimination - THAT rule I know *eyeroll* having been there, done that, worn that t-shirt with Prozac Pony at two consecutive Copper Meadows...


How did I write "SJ" there??? I meant xc... oops! Thanks for the correction.

tuppysmom
Nov. 5, 2006, 11:23 AM
I believe that Mia was 18.

TBpalsx3
Nov. 5, 2006, 11:30 AM
Press Release from The Californian News and Topix.com


TEMECULA ---- Rancho Springs Medical Center reported a young rider was killed Saturday when she was crushed by a horse during an equestrian event, the Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner's office stated in a press release.

Mia Eriksson, 17, of Tahoe City, was identified as the rider. She was riding at the three-day horse trials at Galway Downs in Temecula.

No other details were available late Saturday.

I did not know this young rider. Those riders I knew that were riding are safe and completed the course. This is so heartbreaking. My thoughts and prayers go out to all involved especially Mia's family and close friends. This is never easy news to hear.

retreadeventer
Nov. 5, 2006, 12:27 PM
Jingles to the family, to Galway, to the fellow competitors there at the event. This is the most horrible thing anyone can go through. Many, many jingles!

Reynard Ridge
Nov. 5, 2006, 01:03 PM
Prayers to her family.

Risk-Averse Rider
Nov. 5, 2006, 01:45 PM
Sending strength to her family and friends to help them through this.

JER
Nov. 5, 2006, 01:50 PM
The rider may not have known that she had four stops. Some stops are obvious -- your horse slams to a stop in front of the fence -- but some are not so clear, like a step back at a drop. The rulebook tries to define these things, but while on course, the rider doesn't always feel it the way the jump judge sees it and sometimes the jump judge has to call in with a question.

If a rider doesn't know they've been called out for four stops, it can be difficult to get their attention to pull them up.

The second water at Galway is on the other side of the berm. You really can't hear the announcer there. Yesterday, during the CCI*, there was really no one over there, just the jump judge and a handful of spectators. I left when the CCI** began and did not see the accident. There was an AMR ambulance on site (although at the other end of the course) and would have been at the scene almost immediately.

This is very sad.

Platinum Equestrian
Nov. 5, 2006, 01:52 PM
How tragic, poor girl. Sending our thoughts and prayers.

Petalstorm
Nov. 5, 2006, 02:27 PM
I have chills as I am reading this thread.
I have two young daughters and I have often hoped that they will share the passion that I have for eventing.
Today I just don't know what the he** I'm thinking.
My heart is breaking for the family...

eventer15
Nov. 5, 2006, 02:51 PM
I am praying for the family, they must be heartbroken:cry:

beeblebrox
Nov. 5, 2006, 04:33 PM
Did not feel right using her name until it was published by news source.

I understand she was not breathing and her heart had stopped. The team at Galway was awesome and were able to get her heart started and she was at one point talking (edited to add another poster stated she never woke up). Apparently her heart failed again at hospital and they lost her :-( There were attempts to pull her up after stop four but sometimes your going and well it happens

To make this tragedy DOUBLE the harshness one of the ladies told me Mia's sister had been killed in a freak accident while at the University in Fresno when she and her horse fell on pavement and she was killed.

I can not imagine what this poor family is going through and I grimace at thinking of the holidays coming with two daughter having been killed ;-( Also am thinking about her trainer who must as we (trainers) all feel so upset when a client is injured or god forbid dies under our teaching ;-(


HOLY COW JUST FOUND THIS:
Sept. 27, 2003

FRESNO, Calif. - Shana Virginia Eriksson, the Fresno State student-athlete injured in a horseback riding accident late Wednesday afternoon, has died from her injuries.

University Police were notified of her death today (Sept. 27) shortly after 2 p.m. by the Fresno County Coroner's Office.

Miss Eriksson, 18 of Tahoe City, Calif., died at University Medical Center in Fresno where she had been in critical condition since the accident on the campus farm.

The university will observe a moment of silence for Shana at tonight's football game against Portland State at 7 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium.

The university also will lower flags to half mast across the campus on Monday.

The University Police Department and University officials are continuing their official review to determine the cause of the accident.

Shana was trailriding with two other students at about 5:15 p.m. Wednesday when Eriksson's horse fell, University Police reported. One of the other students was slightly injured when she jumped from her horse. The third student was not injured.

All three are members of Fresno State's equestrian team. On Wednesday afternoon, the team met to hear details of the accident as well as receive assistance from university counselors.

The team will dedicate the upcoming season to Shana.

JAGold
Nov. 5, 2006, 04:43 PM
Yes, Shana Eriksson was killed in an accident at the beginning of her freshman year of college. As I recall, she was riding her own horse along the road near the school's equestrian facilities.

bebblebrox, I appreciate that you didn't want to post a name until things were officially concerned, but for those of us who know kids who were riding in that division, it was very worrying to see the post and not be able to reach friends immediately to know they were ok. I'm not criticizing or blaming you for anything -- it's one of the curses of nearly instantaneous information. I would have appreciated a PT with the name but understand why you didn't want to say anything. You used your best judgement, which is all any of us can do.

My heart breaks for the Eriksson family, their friends, and the Area VI community. --Jess

beeblebrox
Nov. 5, 2006, 04:54 PM
"bebblebrox, I appreciate that you didn't want to post a name until things were officially concerned, but for those of us who know kids who were riding in that division, it was very worrying to see the post and not be able to reach friends immediately to know they were ok. I'm not criticizing or blaming you for anything -- it's one of the curses of nearly instantaneous information. I would have appreciated a PT with the name but understand why you didn't want to say anything. You used your best judgement, which is all any of us can do. "

WOW I am so sorry. I posted and then went off to do barn chores and teach. I was afraid to post a name as I thought what if a barn mate not at show or friend of family or family member reading it from a stranger before it was "news". I am very sorry if anyone worried about their friends and I have been out of my house since 6AM. ;-(

Longspot
Nov. 5, 2006, 05:07 PM
Oh, that poor family.

I remember when the first accident happened. I can't believe another happened to the same people. What a tragedy. I hope they can heal as well as possible, given the circumstances.

JAGold
Nov. 5, 2006, 05:08 PM
beeblebrox -- really, I'm not aiming for the subtle guilt trip! I'd posted right after your first message asking about who had been killed, but I really and truly understand that you didn't want to be the one breaking the news to thousands of strangers before it was officially announced! Instant, mass communication with thousands of strangers is a double edged sword...and the real sorrow here is for Mia's friends and family. --Jess

maxxtrot
Nov. 5, 2006, 07:04 PM
i am sending prayers to this family and friends as well as her coach. i cannot even imagine the grief these people are going thru. i am so sorry:(

Platinum Equestrian
Nov. 5, 2006, 08:24 PM
I can't believe her sister was killed on a horse too. How tragic for the family. I hope they're comforted by the idea that at least they died doing something they love... I can't imagine the pain they must be in...:no:

Pocket Pony
Nov. 5, 2006, 08:24 PM
Wow. I remember the death of the first daughter a few years ago. How tragic that the family should lose a second daughter. I cannot even imagine.

Speaking of condolences to her trainer, who is her trainer - is there a barn in Tahoe City?

CookiePony
Nov. 5, 2006, 08:40 PM
I lit a candle for Mia at church today-- now I learn that her parents also lost her sister. My heart goes out to them.

YoungFilly
Nov. 5, 2006, 11:50 PM
I cannot believe this tragedy. How one family looses one, let alone two, is practically impossible. :(

Sebastian
Nov. 6, 2006, 12:46 AM
Judi and I were at Galway this weekend. She ran Rainier Training and I groomed for her.

It is all very sad and tragic. I was sitting down by the tower while watching the **, so I did not see the fall. Judi (unfortunately) was just coming over to watch after hacking her horse (we were stabled at Kingsway) and saw the whole thing unfold. It is as meventer described... It's one of those things that should NEVER have happened.

Please, everyone, if no other good comes from this, remember to take care of yourself and your horse out there. There just isn't that kind of margin for error out there -- especially at that level. KNOW and ACCEPT when it's just not your day...

Seb :cry:

flutie1
Nov. 6, 2006, 11:08 AM
"Please, everyone, if no other good comes from this, remember to take care of yourself and your horse out there. There just isn't that kind of margin for error out there -- especially at that level. KNOW and ACCEPT when it's just not your day..."

Very well said.

sunnycher
Nov. 6, 2006, 11:18 AM
The family owned the barn/facility in Truckee, ca. THey recently built a beautiful indoor arena there for the girls. I know it is a very busy, nice facility with a h/j trainer. I don't know who Mia rode with for her eventing. How very sad.

hey101
Nov. 6, 2006, 11:51 AM
Condolences and sympathy to all involved, especially the friends and family.

To those who were there- was there something inherently unsafe about the fence approach and/or construction, or was it just incredibly bad luck that two horses flipped over it, and even more awful that one of the falls resulted in a fatality?

IN NO WAY do I want to imply a negativity toward the rider who died, but if she'd had four stops already, was she perhaps in over her head at the level? What about the other rider who flipped?

Please understand, I'm asking to understand so that this kind of horrible tragedy can be prevented in the future- do course builders need to go back and think about that fence and make it safer or perhaps not even put it on course, or do riders, coaches, and competition officials need to be more vigilant about pulling riders off course if it seems they are not safe on course (or better yet, not even letting them start)- BEFORE a fatality occurs?

Again, my deepest sympathy and sadness to the Erikksons. :(

RAyers
Nov. 6, 2006, 12:05 PM
Was this the fence that in March was on the *** course? It was a skinny that was pretty wide and had a little moat in front of it.

Reed

TBpalsx3
Nov. 6, 2006, 12:32 PM
Maybe a bit of misinformation in the article about the number of fatalites in the sport in the last year or two. However considering the risk of the sport and the number of competitors worldwide in eventing at all levels the numbers are small. However one death is one too many and examining all aspects of the accident from a safety standard is important in prevention of future injuries and deaths. The family must be sincere equestrain lovers after losing two daughters to riding accidents and still giving their support to the sport. As much as the sport sometimes unnerves me I assume I would feel the same way. A love or a passion for something like a horse or riding has a lot of influence in how we think,feel and react. My heart and prayers goes out to the Erikssons and to all Mia's friends and to the volunteers at Galaway.



Girl killed loved riding horses
JUMPING: Her family still supports equestrian events such as the one in which she died.

10:00 PM PST on Sunday, November 5, 2006

By JOE VARGO
The Press-Enterprise


The 17-year-old Northern California girl killed when a horse fell on her during an equestrian competition in Temecula was remembered Sunday by her parents as a rider who "died while doing what she loved doing."

Mia Eriksson was killed when she was thrown from her horse while executing a jump during the Galway Downs International Three-Day Event, which featured 120 riders from six countries.

The Tahoe City rider was about halfway through the three-mile cross-country course when the accident occurred. The Riverside County Coroner's office said in a statement that Mia attempted to complete a jump when she fell. The horse landed on top of her.

Horses that take part in "Eventing," as the sport is known, typically weigh about 1,200 pounds.

Mia's parents, Karen and Stan Eriksson, were attending the competition when the accident took place about 2:10 p.m. Saturday. Paramedics arrived within minutes, but Mia died at 3:25 p.m. Saturday at Rancho Springs Medical Center in Murrieta.

On Sunday, when the competition wrapped up, announcer Malcom Hook read a statement in which the family expressed its support for equestrian competitions.

"Eventing is the family's life," the statement said. "We support Eventing 100 percent."

The statement said that the horse involved in the accident, a 7-year-old gelding named Koryography, was not injured.

Don McAuliffe, a spokesman for the event, said deaths in the sport are extremely rare. None were reported last year. Two riders were killed in 2004. The organizer of the Temecula show, Paso Robles-based Del Mar Eventing Inc., has sponsored shows for 11 years that included performances by 12,000 riders without serious incident, McAuliffe said.

"Everybody connected with the show, from officials to riders to spectators, was heartbroken," he said. "It was a very hard thing to deal with."

McAuliffe said Mia was remembered with a moment of silence during the awards ceremony Sunday afternoon.

Reach Joe Vargo at 951-567-2407 or jvargo@PE.com

Sebastian
Nov. 6, 2006, 01:45 PM
Was this the fence that in March was on the *** course? It was a skinny that was pretty wide and had a little moat in front of it.

Reed

Yes it was. Apparently there were a number of elements from the CIC *** on the course. And, a number of CIC ** elements on the CCI *. It was definitely a TOUGH course.

Seb

RAyers
Nov. 6, 2006, 02:03 PM
That same fence caught plenty of horses in March. The way it was set then, it would appear to the horse as a vertical coming off of the turn (almost like jumping an offset oxer backwards). That was why horses were hanging up on it; and with the ground dropping away on the back-side it was NOT a ** question. It was an Advanced/*** question.

Reed

Judi
Nov. 6, 2006, 02:55 PM
As Seb said... I unfortunately saw the whole thing happen. The rider was having a sticky round... Had a stop in the bounce at the first water... somehow got through but the horse was just really really sticky off the ground. She had her fourth stop at the fence right before the skinny out and I was a little relieved that they would retire as I hate watching unconfident rounds at this level (especially over these *** fences). When she circled to jump the fence she had refused at those of us on the hill were asking each other.. Isn't FEI only 4 stops... shouldn't she be eliminated? But before we could answer her horse got hung up just as Reed said on that skinny.

The horse got right back up but we all knew it was very serous. Jen Johnson was on her way to the bounce at the first water and was given a very hard hold up on course. She had to wait 45 minutes before continuing on right at that bounce element... needless to say she had a very tough round... The hardest part about all of this is if she had stopped when she should have...

We happened to be stabling next to Hawley Bennet at Kingsway and she broke the news to us later that afternoon that Mia didn't make it... We were all destroyed by the news...

The * star and ** star courses were VERY difficult. The one star had some ** star questions and the ** star had *** star questions from last year. The one star had an Intermediate coffin that got one of our riders who actually won the one star last year. I think they were really trying to beef up the course to International FEI level... and it just seemed to catch some of the horses off-guard... Some riders were AWESOME and you could tell they were prepared and they rode the questions beautifully... but some just didn't have the answers to the questions being asked...

I'm just so sad for her family... her trainer... her friends...

eks
Nov. 6, 2006, 03:12 PM
There are no words to describe how terrible this is. I am praying for all her family and friends.

RAyers
Nov. 6, 2006, 03:26 PM
Knowing the fence and the question it asked; it just tears my heart out. I am so sorry for Mia and her family. It was an accident and like all accidents it was the culmination of numerous little mistakes that unto themsleves would never have resulted in tragedy.

I literally wonder what I will be thinking if it is on the course in March next year (We are planning a return). I know Andrew at Trojan completely destroyed the fence where Ken Matchett was killed in 2000.

Reed

Judi
Nov. 6, 2006, 03:34 PM
Knowing the fence and the question it asked; it just tears my heart out. I am so sorry for Mia and her family. It was an accident and like all accidents it was the culmination of numerous little mistakes that unto themsleves would never have resulted in tragedy.

I literally wonder what I will be thinking if it is on the course in March next year (We are planning a return). I know Andrew at Trojan completely destroyed the fence where Ken Matchett was killed in 2000.

Reed

I heard they usually take out those fences as a matter of policy? I sure hope they do...

NeverTime
Nov. 6, 2006, 04:01 PM
How unbelievably tragic, to lose two 18-year-old daughters in riding accidents. My heart aches for the family and everyone who was there and felt the pall of that horrible accident.
We all know that such things are a real possibility in our sport; no one ever thinks they will actually be the victim. Especially not at such a young age.
Hug your horse, tell your family you love them. Life is precious and fleeting.

McVillesMom
Nov. 6, 2006, 04:49 PM
I heard they usually take out those fences as a matter of policy? I sure hope they do...

I'm not sure, but I do know the fence that Debbie Atkinson fell at has been dismantled.

GotSpots
Nov. 6, 2006, 05:47 PM
I would be stunned if the fence is not dismantled or destroyed. Regardless of how it is described (once you get lawyers and fears of liability involved, it may become "time for the question to be retired"), but folks will end up doing the right thing.

So awful ... so heartbreaking an accident. Our sympathies and condolences to all.

3dayeventing
Nov. 6, 2006, 05:55 PM
The riders name is: Mia Eriksson. She was 17 years old from Lake Tahoe. It was an awful accident! Things were very quiet on sunday. The CCI** was tough, however nothing that was out of the ordinary for a 2star. The horse chested the fence and landed on her. The fence was in the second water complex and over a skinny going back into the water. She rode the fence well, it appears the horse took a last studder step at the base. I witnessed the entire accident in full detail. I feel sooooo sorry for the family and for the poor young girl who lost her life. :cry:



This is really upsetting news. I am so sad for the family and all those at the event. It is also very anxiety provoking not to know who the rider is. I know at least 5 young riders in the ** and a couple of adults. Too late for me to call anyone. My heart is heavy! Please anyone know anything that can be shared? I keep hoping that this information is wrong and a miscommunication.

Sebastian
Nov. 6, 2006, 06:02 PM
Knowing the fence and the question it asked; it just tears my heart out. I am so sorry for Mia and her family. It was an accident and like all accidents it was the culmination of numerous little mistakes that unto themsleves would never have resulted in tragedy.

I literally wonder what I will be thinking if it is on the course in March next year (We are planning a return). I know Andrew at Trojan completely destroyed the fence where Ken Matchett was killed in 2000.

Reed

I believe it was removed from the course for the rest of the riders on Saturday, and I will be SHOCKED if Robert does not destroy the fence completely. It would not be like them to keep it...

Seb

kookicat
Nov. 6, 2006, 06:25 PM
How awful. So, so sorry to hear this. My most heartfelt condolences to her family and friends. :(

carrie_girl
Nov. 6, 2006, 06:36 PM
I was a jump jugde on Sat. and had not yet heard this news. I am so sad for the family...I will be praying for them.

denny
Nov. 6, 2006, 06:44 PM
I have two sons, now in their 30s, and as a parent I cannot even imagine the heartbreak that Mia`s parents are having to endure. For whatever consolation it can bring, they must know that they are in all our hearts and prayers.
I think we all somehow know that every time we head out on cross country, it could be our time. We have to live in some form of denial that it could actually happen to us, else we wouldn`t be able to go there, but for the past 45 years that I`ve been eventing, it would be dishonest of me to say that the knowledge of the risk was always there, maybe a little below the surface, but always there.
I recently read a quotation by Chuck Yeager about courage, something to the effect that courage was when you were afraid, but were able to function anyway. That`s the thing that is so great about all the wonderful kids in eventing, that they are brave.
I know that Mia was brave, too, and I know would have admired her courage, had I been privileged to have known her.

Risk-Averse Rider
Nov. 6, 2006, 07:29 PM
This quote, from his autobiography?

I was always afraid of dying. Always. It was my fear that made me learn everything I could about my airplane and my emergency equipment, and kept me flying respectful of my machine and always alert in the cockpit.
--General Chuck Yeager, "Yeager, An Autobiography"
Even if it wasn't, substitute horse for machine and saddle for cockpit, and it's darn good advice for eventers.

Risk-Averse Rider
Nov. 6, 2006, 07:45 PM
I can't find another Yeager quote that's closer to what denny mentioned, but I found references to an unattributed definition of courage that sounds like what he was talking about.

Courage isn't about not being afraid; it's about being afraid and doing it anyway.

And isn't that what so many eventers do? Those of us at the lower levels look at the "big dogs" and think, "Wow... they're so brave! They must never be afraid of anything." And then we read one of those "What do you think when you're in the startbox?" threads, and we realize that the big dogs want to barf when they're in the startbox just like we do! But they still go out and do it.

IfWishesWereHorses
Nov. 6, 2006, 08:07 PM
the big dogs want to barf when they're in the startbox just like we do! But they still go out and do it.


I was watching Badminton one year, and Matt Ryan was in the 10minute box throwing up.... nerves....apparantly he did that before every XC round!!!

anita m
Nov. 6, 2006, 08:48 PM
One thing that I fear is a bit too prevalent--especially among the younger riders who may lack the experience and judgement of some of the more seasoned riders, not to mention that youthful sense of immortality--and isn't being taught ENOUGH these days--is that you have GOT to be able to assess your horse and put his well being first, even if that means withdrawing from a major competition. TOUGHT decisions! Without this sounding too callous, I think if she had listened to her horse better (and I think her horse was having a very difficult round according to what I read here) she should have retired him after the THIRD refusal. I CANNOT beleive she was trying for a fifth. I thought three was the max in any jumping competition. Tragic loss, and so terribly unnecessary.

subk
Nov. 6, 2006, 09:08 PM
The statement said that the horse involved in the accident, a 7-year-old gelding named Koryography, was not injured.
Is this correct?

We have a 17 year old young woman and a 7 year old horse at a two star that was jumping many of the former three star elements of the year before? That's a lot of youthful inexperience of both sides.

With the significant increase in technicality on course across the board perhaps there needs to be some review of the age requirements?

Prayer and sympathy to the family. I cannot begin to imagine...

La Gringa
Nov. 6, 2006, 09:14 PM
I don't think it's necessary to keep criticizing the girl. Obviously it was a mistake, a fatal one. I think the best thing to do is just remember her and learn from the mistake. Hopefully some other young rider will learn from this tragedy and another one is prevented.

In any horse sport, even those that don't involve jumping involve risk. I have seen nasty accidents with horses just walking back to the barn with a rider not paying attention. Horse gets caught on something, freaks, falls, and the unthinkable happens... kills or paralyzes the rider, a bystander or does some fatal injury to itself.

I think this is just a tragic thing, and out of respect to her friends and family... don't keep re-hashing the faults that may have caused this. In the end it was just a horrible accident. We all make mistakes. I am just sad that this had to happen to someone so young and to a family that has already suffered great loss.

I lost a brother a few years ago. I know how this feels.

Caroline Weber
Nov. 6, 2006, 09:17 PM
Is this correct?

We have a 17 year old young woman and a 7 year old horse at a two star that was jumping many of the former three star elements of the year before? That's a lot of youthful inexperience of both sides.

With the significant increase in technicality on course across the board perhaps there needs to be some review of the age requirements?

Prayer and sympathy to the family. I cannot begin to imagine...

Yes, this is correct. I looked up Koryography's record on the USEA website. Koryography was foaled in 1999 and his record shows that he has done 3 intermediates to date (although I suspect there is another event or two in there for which results have not yet been posted). The horse did his first intermediate with Mia on July 20, 2006 - so he is still very green at intermediate.

What a tragedy. I hope that her family and friends will eventually find some peace.

Gnep
Nov. 6, 2006, 10:38 PM
hind sight is always so smart, so disgusting in a moment like this, the keyborad quarter backing makes me puke.

Rules, background, tabloid crap.

A young live was lost and that is so increadable sad. The loss should be treated with dignity and the atmost respect and not with tabloidtism.

I tip my head to a nother lost comrad.

courage knows fear


Reed that jump will not be there in the spring, we got unfinished business to take care of.

Caroline Weber
Nov. 6, 2006, 10:47 PM
hind sight is always so smart, so disgusting in a moment like this, the keyborad quarter backing makes me puke.

Rules, background, tabloid crap.

A young live was lost and that is so increadable sad. The loss should be treated with dignity and the atmost respect and not with tabloidtism.


I certainly hope that this is in no way directed at me, although I suspect that it is just a general comment.

My view on this tragedy: although I didn't know Mia, I'm sure that if she knew that she or her horse was in danger, she would stop. There isn't much of a way to predict accidents, which is why they are "accidents". If she hadn't felt prepared at the level, she wouldn't have entered the **.

Again, it is a true shame that she did not get to live and enjoy her life longer. Having had friends die at a young age, I know something of what her friends and family are going through. God bless Mia.

WindyIsles
Nov. 6, 2006, 11:10 PM
:( How tragic - my thoughts go out to the family. What a complete and utter tragedy.

JAGold
Nov. 6, 2006, 11:31 PM
To be honest, I'm having trouble being rational about this accident. It struck very close to home: I didn't know Mia, but I am very close to several other young riders who were competing in the two star last weekend. It was terrifying to worry if someone I love had been the victim of this horrible accident -- and then deeply painful to acknowledge that in my gratitude that my friends were safe, there was another young girl dead.

Because I know my reaction right now is more emotional than intellectual, I have stayed clear of much of the discussion. However, I have a few thoughts to contribute. First and foremost -- for all of us, every time we get on a horse -- there but for the grace of God go I.

Second, a tragedy isn't always an obvious outcome that could have been averted. Sometimes, it is just a tragedy. If Mia had won this event, we would all be excited about a young rider who brought her own horse up through the ranks, about her potential and future. And despite this tragedy, we should still celebrate those things in Mia.

I strongly believe that an inherent aspect of our sport is managing and accepting risk -- at a personal as well as an organizational level. We would all be safer if we never jumped another XC fence in our lives. And our lives would be that much blander for the loss of something we love. We all have to determine for ourselves what level of risk is tolerable. The sport is constantly evolving; we are constantly learning what changes can help keep horses and riders safe. I believe in the systems that are in place and the changes that have been adopted. And eventing is no less safe today than it was on Friday, though it is sadder and a little emptier for having lost one of its own.

It is always worth discussing ways that we can make the sport safer and better and stronger. Any idea is worth considering. But I hope we can avoid knee jerk reactions or recriminations, especially since we don't know the whole story. There is no rule that will keep every rider or every horse safe every time. --Jess

MissFit
Nov. 6, 2006, 11:35 PM
Thank you, JAGold, for a truly insightful and heartfelt post. The entire eventing community is touched by tragedies like this one. Mia's death touches us all, and we should all strive to learn from it, meditate on it, and remember that what we say affects those around us. After all, John Donne said it best so long ago:
No man is an island, entire of itself...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.


Jingles for Mia's family during such a difficult time. And *hugs* all around the eventing community that, with the wonderful sense of togetherness which sustains us at all times, feels the pain as well.

Caroline Weber
Nov. 6, 2006, 11:49 PM
[QUOTE=MissFit;1980227]Thank you, JAGold, for a truly insightful and heartfelt post. QUOTE]

I agree. Thank you, Jess - I think you said what I couldn't articulate. Yours is the best (if that's the word) reaction to this tragedy and to this discussion.

Pocket Pony
Nov. 6, 2006, 11:53 PM
Well said, JA Gold. I honestly don't believe that anyone on this topic is intentionally trying to point the finger or find blame with anyone involved. I think everyone has their own way of trying to rationalize such a tragedy and find a way to deal with it. If we can keep in the back of our minds the rules or a "warning sign" of sorts, or a reminder to know when to say when, then maybe we can keep ourselves just a little bit safer when we're out there doing that which brings us such joy.

Mr. PoPo also says that "bravery is being afraid of something and doing it anyways".

I know it is still a very raw tragedy, but does anyond know if there's been talk of doing something in Mia's name to celebrate her spirit?

EventingRed
Nov. 6, 2006, 11:54 PM
JA Gold, thank you for your wonderful post, it brought tears to my eyes. Because I knew her this has hit a little closer to home. She was a beautiful young rider, I know she will be sorely missed in our eventing community.

Gnep
Nov. 6, 2006, 11:58 PM
I don't know what you guys did when you were 17 or 18. But I think none of you were of the breed and class that had the sheer will, dedication, bravery and sheer guts to be at that level. when I was 18 when I rod my fitsr A and you could have dumped me on any horse and told me to jump that 6 feed wall and all I would have asked, from which side.
And thats what it takes

I bow my head to a nother lost comrad

Risk-Averse Rider
Nov. 7, 2006, 12:03 AM
And eventing is no less safe today than it was on Friday, though it is sadder and a little emptier for having lost one of its own.I think this is a very important point. I know that whenever I hear of a bad accident, it makes me a little more worried about riding - even though intellectually, I know that - as JAGold points out - the level of safety hasn't changed.

But maybe what we can take away from tragedies like this is a heightened awareness not only of the importance of safety but also of the ephemeral nature of life. Appreciate what you have while you have it.

Risk-Averse Rider
Nov. 7, 2006, 12:05 AM
I don't know what you guys did when you were 17 or 18. But I think none of you were of the breed and class that had the sheer will, dedication, bravery and sheer guts to be at that level. when I was 18 when I rod my fitsr A and you could have dumped me on any horse and told me to jump that 6 feed wall and all I would have asked, from which side.
From what I've seen of you and your Wild Woman, you're not far off that mark now!

ThreeHorseNight
Nov. 7, 2006, 12:50 AM
My condolences to her family and friends. I don't even have children, but if I lost two children to riding accidents, I don't know that I'd want to have anything to do with horses, let alone competitions. They must have quite a love for this sport and/or the people in it.

TBpalsx3
Nov. 7, 2006, 01:17 AM
JaGold and Denny thank you for your post. JaGold I laid awake for hours Sunday AM as I had read the first post on this thread at 1:15 AM and I had no idea who the young rider was that died. I too knew several young riders at the event and the not knowing was very scary. I felt like I had a concrete block laying on my chest. I too was thankful no one I knew was hurt at the event. However this has really affected me as I am the mother of a young rider. I cannot imagine the pain experienced by Mia's parents. No matter the reasons for the daughter's death they still are without someone they love. Like Denny I admire the young woman's courage in even attempting to event. We have no idea why she made the choices she made on course. We all know that the slightest error can be costly. However we all are human and even knowing mistakes can be dangerous we go ahead and do the thing we love, ride. All I know is all the speculation changes nothing about the dreadful outcome. At this time we should support this family to the best of our eventers' abilities as I am sure as their grief progresses if like most people they will do enough questioning on their own. Recently I wrote a letter to my child's college counselor about the qualities I admire in her. I gave the usual, smart, respectful, talented etc but the one quality I wrote the most about was her courage and used eventing as the example. I am not brave but she is one of the most couragous people I know. In fact I fret and worry everytime she heads to the start box and do not feel any relief until she crosses the finish line. I asked a couple of 4 star parents how they feel about this and learned they fret and worry also. All I know is I am allowing my young rider to do something she has a passion to do and if that makes me a scared and fretful mother so be it! Trust me I have had noneventing parents question my judgment about this. Hats off to Mia's parents for their comments about giving 100% to eventing despite their tremendous loss. I admire them for having the courage to let Mia do something she loved knowing the risks. Let's all use this situation to work toward improving the safety for all riders instead of second guessing her judgement. I know I have already learned something and that is the next time my child retires on course saying "something just did not feel right" even though all looked great from my prospective as a spectator I will keep my big mouth shut, trust her decision and say "let's try for another day!" And a quote about courage:
"Courage is being scared to death — and saddling up anyway."
— John Wayne (Marion Morrison), American actor (1907-1979)

Sabine
Nov. 7, 2006, 01:51 AM
what a horrible accident- it takes me back to 1979- when my step dad, german champion died after a CCI in Axelschwang- when he tried to school his horse over the fence that he refused and the horse got caught with the fore on the fence - summersaulted and landed on top of him- he died after a week in a trauma hospital- it was a very sad time and it showed that the enormous adrenaline of this sport sometimes clouds the judgement of the rider....

on another note- my 18 yr old daughter lost a very good friend last year to a car accident- two years earlier this friends brother had died from leukemia...much less abrupt but nonetheless devastating... a big prayer to all those families that have lost their teenage children to accidents, illness or other sad events...in moments like these I can only turn to the Lord and pray that there is wisdom and reason in all this suffering. My prayers go out to the Eriksson Family.!

annikak
Nov. 7, 2006, 07:51 AM
Thanks, Jess....

hey101
Nov. 7, 2006, 10:15 AM
JAGold, That was a great post and you are dead on about each individual accepting the level of risk that makes riding and specifically eventing, worth it to them. I have to admit, I've lost a little bravado since I broke my collarbone this summer and spent two months doing nothing- the risk of that happening again, and not being able to do anything, has made me think twice where before I would point and shoot. I haven't been jumping as high, or galloping as fast, as I was previously. I"m getting back there, but it's taking a while. But I definitely know that my life with horses is so much more fulfiling than a life without them, that I'm going to keep expanding my comfort zone again. And I"m happy to compete at a lower level for awhile until I'm sure I"m 100% physically AND mentally back in the game. It's only fair to me, and to my horse.

Does no one else but me feel a sense of... anger... frustration... (not sure what emotion I'm going for here)... at course designers/ TD's/ officials who approved a course that by all accounts, had questions on it that significantly exceeded the level? if not just one, but two horses flipped at the same fence, and they subsequently pulled the fence from the course, doesn't that mean it should not have been there in the first place? I do not mean that the officials bear individual responsibility for the death of a rider, but they certainly bear responsibility for putting elements on a course that ask questions beyond the level of competition that riders were entered for.

Another example that springs to mind is the water jump at Jersey Fresh last year, where the first three or four? riders had significant problems and they immediately pulled it, and riders commenting it was a 4-star question in the first place. To what gain is this trend of making courses harder and harder and harder and harder and still calling it the same level? It's almost false advertising- look at all the threads asking about good move-up courses, no one knows what they can expect when they show up at a competition, whether they or their horse will be prepared if the course is true for the level, or extremely hard and bordering on the next level up- or even sharing questions with the next level up, that are true to the higher level, not the level the rider is entered at.

I find it disheartening to read on a daily basis about competitions asking questions beyond the level, and all the subsequent problems on course- 20% or less of horses finishing clean seems awfully low and indicative of either riders not being prepared, OR course designers asking too much. For whatever the reasons- to help pros prepare to compete on an international level- to add difficulty to what was taken away in endurance in the switch from long to short format- US eventing seems to be in the process of re-calibrating what each level actually entails, and that Training is now the old Prelim, and PRelim is now the old Intermediate etc.

I can't stop thinking about the senseless loss of Mia's life, or the tragic accident Debbie Atkinson suffered. It sounds like both were just that- accidents. But they are two too many, and if this discussion can help generate ideas to make eventing EVEN SAFER (not just as safe as it was on Friday), then their death or accident will not have been quite as senseless. I don't think anyone on here is criticizing Mia - quite the contrary, I feel that everyone is extremely saddened and trying to find ways to make sure this never happens again- even one more time is too much.

Just my thoughts. :cry:

subk
Nov. 7, 2006, 10:52 AM
I can't stop thinking about the senseless loss of Mia's life, or the tragic accident Debbie Atkinson suffered. It sounds like both were just that- accidents. But they are two too many, and if this discussion can help generate ideas to make eventing EVEN SAFER (not just as safe as it was on Friday), then their death or accident will not have been quite as senseless. I don't think anyone on here is criticizing Mia - quite the contrary, I feel that everyone is extremely saddened and trying to find ways to make sure this never happens again- even one more time is too much.
Thank you very much Hey100. I took my first lesson with Debbie over a decade ago and boarded and trained with her for the last two years. She has been instrumental in helping me start my current horse. We do a tremendous disservice to these riders, their families and their friends by saying we shouldn't look at the incidents and try to understand them and their possible causes, then discuss if and how the same thing could be prevented in the future. I am insulted an hurt by those of you who think that by having those discussions we are in some way dishonoring Debbie and Mia. Quite the opposite.


I don't know what you guys did when you were 17 or 18. But I think none of you were of the breed and class that had the sheer will, dedication, bravery and sheer guts to be at that level.
And Gnep, since you admit you don't know what I was doing at 17 I would appreciate if you would not make assumptions about either my character or my abilities.

JER
Nov. 7, 2006, 10:53 AM
Several years ago, frangible pin technology was developed to prevent a slow rotational fall of the horse as this type of fall is particularly lethal to the rider.

There's a current rule change proposal encouraging the use of these pins: EV140.8 Cross Country Obstacles (http://www.usef.org/documents/ruleChanges/571-06.pdf).

These pins save lives. The pin gives, the fence collapses under the weight of the horse and the horse doesn't rotate over onto the rider.

RAyers
Nov. 7, 2006, 04:17 PM
Several years ago, frangible pin technology was developed to prevent a slow rotational fall of the horse as this type of fall is particularly lethal to the rider.

There's a current rule change proposal encouraging the use of these pins: EV140.8 Cross Country Obstacles (http://www.usef.org/documents/ruleChanges/571-06.pdf).

These pins save lives. The pin gives, the fence collapses under the weight of the horse and the horse doesn't rotate over onto the rider.

I hope it does come along but in this case the fence was sort of a table.

JER
Nov. 7, 2006, 04:44 PM
Two horses had rotational falls at this obstacle. I thought it looked like a lot to ask at this level. Did it really need to be 'sort of a table'? Would a log with a frangible pin have sufficed for the question? I think so.

Judi
Nov. 7, 2006, 04:57 PM
I hope it does come along but in this case the fence was sort of a table.

Hey Reed. I think this is the fence but I can't tell from this angle as I can't see the water. (Perhaps it's out of frame in the foreground?)

http://www.mccoolphotos.com/2006_showproofs/galway_apr06/001/pages/_AMY3255.html

FLIPPED HER HALO
Nov. 7, 2006, 05:22 PM
Yes, this is correct. I looked up Koryography's record on the USEA website. Koryography was foaled in 1999 and his record shows that he has done 3 intermediates to date (although I suspect there is another event or two in there for which results have not yet been posted). The horse did his first intermediate with Mia on July 20, 2006 - so he is still very green at intermediate.

What a tragedy. I hope that her family and friends will eventually find some peace.

This would have been Ram Tap and they had a nasty fall then too from what I heard.

My good friend was 30' from this accident at Galway. It's all just horrible. I'm sure Robert will destroy that jump. They seem like good people. I got my mare from them two years ago at Kingsway. They are family people and I'm sure devastated about this as well.

My heart goes out to the Erikson family. Our lives are never in our own hands and when our time is up....personally I'd rather go this way than a car crash.

Xctrygirl
Nov. 7, 2006, 05:28 PM
I think this is the fence..

This proof is of Russian and Loreen Kay, a combination that just a few weeks ago kicked bitt around the Fair Hill CCI***.

http://www.mccoolphotos.com/2006_showproofs/galway_apr06/014/pages/_AMY3298.html

~Emily

RAyers
Nov. 7, 2006, 05:34 PM
Hey Reed. I think this is the fence but I can't tell from this angle as I can't see the water. (Perhaps it's out of frame in the foreground?)

http://www.mccoolphotos.com/2006_showproofs/galway_apr06/001/pages/_AMY3255.html

Yep, that is the exact fence. You can see how a horse would see the fence as a vertical with the flowers only providing a height. You can also see how the ground on the backside falls away into the water.

Xctrygirl that fence is the first route into the water. The skinny is the second trip through.

Here are a few pictures of what I envision as happening (note where the horse's left leg is):
http://mccoolphotos.com/2006_showproofs/galway_apr06/294/pages/_AMY3310.html
http://mccoolphotos.com/2006_showproofs/galway_apr06/294/pages/_AMY3311.html
http://mccoolphotos.com/2006_showproofs/galway_apr06/294/pages/_AMY3312.html

In this case Jim Moore, riding in the Advanced division, was able to recover (he stayed on and finished the course).



Reed

Xctrygirl
Nov. 7, 2006, 05:41 PM
I almost fear to post this but as we try to keep this in a positive and respectful light, I found links to Mia and Koryography competing at Galway last November where they finished 2nd in the Open Prelim.

There is just such a presence that shines through these shots. I hope we all look like we're having as much fun competing as they clearly were together..

http://www.mccoolphotos.com/2005_showproofs/galway_nov/123/index.html#1

~Emily

Longspot
Nov. 7, 2006, 06:56 PM
:sadsmile:


Those are beautiful pictures.

Wow.

Risk-Averse Rider
Nov. 7, 2006, 08:03 PM
Yep, that is the exact fence. You can see how a horse would see the fence as a vertical with the flowers only providing a height. You can also see how the ground on the backside falls away into the water.

Xctrygirl that fence is the first route into the water. The skinny is the second trip through.

Here are a few pictures of what I envision as happening (note where the horse's left leg is):
http://mccoolphotos.com/2006_showproofs/galway_apr06/294/pages/_AMY3310.html
http://mccoolphotos.com/2006_showproofs/galway_apr06/294/pages/_AMY3311.html
http://mccoolphotos.com/2006_showproofs/galway_apr06/294/pages/_AMY3312.html

In this case Jim Moore, riding in the Advanced division, was able to recover (he stayed on and finished the course).



ReedUmmm... to say that he "stayed on" implies that he was continuously on the horse. It looks to me like for a while there he was levitating alongside the horse, and remounted without touching the ground.

Dang.

3dazey
Nov. 7, 2006, 08:15 PM
That is one d*mn unforgiving-looking fence. Did it also have a ditch in front as some have mentioned? If there is a drop after going into the water, I'm saying that is one of the hardest intermediate fences I have ever seen, especially if it was in combination with some related fences/distances.

I have never been to Galway and have never seen this fence, so this is only a perception based on what others have described and one photo.

Gnep
Nov. 7, 2006, 10:56 PM
Subk,
I don't know what you did when you where 17 or 18 , why don't you tell me.

Risk,
look up Jester, Harlekin, Hasta, Cookies Rebell for starters and naturally the Nutty Woman aka Wild Fire, X-C results etc. and you know thats why in the end my horses get it done.

I did not see anyting wrong with that jump, no groundline is standard at that level, it is built right

Risk-Averse Rider
Nov. 8, 2006, 12:25 AM
Risk,
look up Jester, Harlekin, Hasta, Cookies Rebell for starters and naturally the Nutty Woman aka Wild Fire, X-C results etc. and you know thats why in the end my horses get it done.You said you had what it takes at 17 or 18 - my point was that with what I've seen you do on your Wild Woman, it looks to me like you STILL have what it takes! It's not just your horses that get it done. (Plus there's all you give back to the sport in terms of jumps built...)

jumpingcrazy
Nov. 8, 2006, 12:28 AM
We have known Mia for a few years as my daughter has ridden with her numerous times. Mia was a ray of sunshine that everyone loved to be around. For those of us that knew her we knew a brilliant, bright eyed,giving, generous soul that will be sadly missed by all. She always had a smile for you, no matter what.

A service for her will be held Saturday at 2pm at the families barn, Tahoe Meadows Equestrian Center in Truckee, CA.

I can only hope that as she crossed over she found her sister, Shana waiting for her with 2 beautiful horses to ride across heaven.

In this hour of sorrow it is important for us all to remember how pecious life is and to live every moment to the fullest. Make amends when the need arises, be the better person, say your sorry, for you never know when it will be your last chance.

God Speed Mia, we will miss your bright smile!

jumpingcrazy
Nov. 8, 2006, 12:32 AM
The family owned the barn/facility in Truckee, ca. THey recently built a beautiful indoor arena there for the girls. I know it is a very busy, nice facility with a h/j trainer. I don't know who Mia rode with for her eventing. How very sad.
Mia rode with Kristy Nuneck for her eventing.

kellyb
Nov. 8, 2006, 12:46 AM
:( :( :( :( :(

poopoo
Nov. 8, 2006, 12:47 AM
Those fences look appropriate to me. It's supposed to be hard at the ** level. The sport is inherently dangerous, regardless. It is what it is, and shit happens.

flyracing
Nov. 8, 2006, 06:19 AM
:cry:
Sending my prayers for the family and friends. How horrible.

3dazey
Nov. 8, 2006, 08:49 AM
Mark my words people, I said it was unforgiving-looking, not inappropriate. I would like to see a picture of it from the front, as well as an idea of how it sat in relation to the fences before and after. This comes from a purely analytical (not emotional or accusatory) interest. It is important to keep learning, and it would be sticking our collective heads in the sand if we did not constantly try to make things safer for all.

My friend who was recently badly hurt, it was at a fence we have all seen and done before, but the fence was in relation to other fences in a very difficult question. In that situation, I'm not sure that particular fence was the best choice in that combination for that level. Or maybe it could have been built in such a way (frangible pins, etc.) that rider/horse error would not have resulted in turnover. It is being discussed.

The point is not to make the sport "easier" or "dumb it down". Just to minimize these tragedies by using every architectural means at our disposal, and to understand the dynamics of how horses "miss" at certain fences.

Sebastian
Nov. 8, 2006, 03:09 PM
We have known Mia for a few years as my daughter has ridden with her numerous times. Mia was a ray of sunshine that everyone loved to be around. For those of us that knew her we knew a brilliant, bright eyed,giving, generous soul that will be sadly missed by all. She always had a smile for you, no matter what.

A service for her will be held Saturday at 2pm at the families barn, Tahoe Meadows Equestrian Center in Truckee, CA.

I can only hope that as she crossed over she found her sister, Shana waiting for her with 2 beautiful horses to ride across heaven.

In this hour of sorrow it is important for us all to remember how pecious life is and to live every moment to the fullest. Make amends when the need arises, be the better person, say your sorry, for you never know when it will be your last chance.

God Speed Mia, we will miss your bright smile!

Thanks for your lovely post, jumpingcrazy.

I'm sure there are a lot of us who were at Galway that won't be able to get to the Memorial, but please, if you go, let the family and Kristy know that they are all in our thoughts and prayers.

Seb :sadsmile:

austin
Nov. 8, 2006, 03:21 PM
For both FEI and USEA.

La Gringa
Nov. 8, 2006, 07:43 PM
[quote=MissFit;1980227The entire eventing community is touched by tragedies like this one. Mia's death touches us all, and we should all strive to learn from it, meditate on it, and remember that what we say affects those around us. [/quote]

This is touching a lot more than just the eventing community. I am a jumper rider, never have evented, and I am just as touched. This type of tragedy affects all horse people.

I do learn from things like this, and will always remember this.

Does anyone have a picture of Mia from a previous event? That might be nice for some of us that don't know her.

Risk-Averse Rider
Nov. 8, 2006, 08:16 PM
Does anyone have a picture of Mia from a previous event? That might be nice for some of us that don't know her.Post #92, page 5 of this thread

EventingRed
Nov. 8, 2006, 11:57 PM
Just wanted to let you guys know the address for the Eriksson family

http://www.useventing.com/start.php?id=613

EvntDad
Nov. 9, 2006, 02:10 PM
I am the father of a young rider. My daughter is 15 and will soon begin prelim. There are several girls at her barn that compete at prelim/1-star and occasionally intermed/2-star. My daughter was not at Galway last weekend, but some of her friends were. Since we heard about Mia on Sat, I have thought about little else. My wife and I are not horse people. Instead, we write the checks, hold our breath, and cheer like crazy. I have read all the postings on this thread over the last few days. I appreciate the opportunity to read everyone's thoughts on this subject as it helps me to be more educated about my daughter's sport.

This incident once again causes me to question why I let my daughter compete at eventing, especially now that she is about to enter the upper levels. Some of the above posts also address the issue of whether these young ladies (and men) have the experience/maturity/etc to know when to call it a day, which makes me think even more. Here are my thoughts.

My daughter and her friends are atypical young women. Yes, they are courageous. Very, very courageous. But more importantly, they are responsible, reliable, determined, tenacious, and absolutely driven. They are mature beyond their years. They are the kind of friends you can always count on. They would be there for each other at a moments notice, day or night, whatever the reason. And, most important of all, they have PASSION, true passion! A passion for their horse and the sport they love. We should all be so lucky to have such passion. My daughter would sleep at the barn if we let her. My guess is that Mia was no different.

Did I like spending the big $$$ to get her a horse capable of competing at the upper levels? No. Do I like spending ~$1500/mo on board/vet/lessons/shows? No, especially when my other kids only require balls and shoes to compete in their sports. Do I like holding my breath from the moment she leaves the start box until she finishes? Do I like knowing the worst-case scenario is very, very bad? Absolutely not! But, do I like the outstanding young lady she is, and the young adult she is about to become? Yes, yes, yes! There are lots of risks in life, but the biggest risk is not living our lives to their fullest potential and then later having to ask ourselves what-if or what-could-have-been. And that is why I support her eventing efforts. I couldn't be prouder of my daughter, and I'm sure Mia's parents felt the same way about her.

However, let me comment on one issue I read in the postings above that concerns me. That is, can we expect our daughter's to know when it's time to call it a day and retire in the middle of a xc run when the horse and rider are still sound? It seems to me that the very qualities that allow our daughter's to even compete at these levels at such a young age are the same qualities that have them convinced that even though they have had a couple of stops, they are going to nail the next jump and sail through the rest of the course. Or, having fought their fears on a daily basis while moving up through the lower levels, they are determined not to let some adversity get the best of them. Many times I have watched girls have multiple stops early in a round, only to get it together and finish nicely. They are praised for their efforts, and they couldn't be prouder. Each event they enter is the most important event of their life. Most only have one horse, and their performance that weekend on their one horse means everything. They don't like the idea of giving up, they don't want their horse to lose confidence by giving up, and they especially don't like the idea of being eliminated on Sat and losing the opportunity to jump stadium on Sun. I think it's one thing to ask a seasoned professional that rides multiple horses to retire in the middle of a xc run when the horse is still sound but things are not going smoothly, but I think it's very different to ask that same thing of these young ladies. I sincerely hope that event organizers and course designers take that into consideration and do whatever they can to mitigate these risks in events that include young riders.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Eriksson family.

poopoo
Nov. 9, 2006, 02:14 PM
Are you for real? I want you as my dad, right now! What a lovely outlook on life. Your daughter is very lucky, and you are teaching her such a healthy outlook on life by your example. O.K., you almost made me cry - how refreshing .....

Eventrgrl
Nov. 9, 2006, 06:00 PM
I That is, can we expect our daughter's to know when it's time to call it a day and retire in the middle of a xc run when the horse and rider are still sound?

This whole discussion, I was thinking "how sad that she didnt pull up after those refusuals" but now that you say this, I can truly say that I would do the same thing.

I am also a young rider, have on horse that I pour all my time, energy, and dedication into, and can agree that it would take a lot more than a few refusals to keep me from finishing a course if my horse was still sound and ready.

BlueRidgeEventer
Nov. 9, 2006, 06:11 PM
EvntDad - Thank you for your heartfelt and thoughtful post. I appreciate the different perspective on the situation. It is very easy for me to say that I would definitely pull up on course if my sound horse has a few stops and things just don't seem like they are going to work out, but never having been in that situation, I can't guarantee that that would be my response, especially since I only compete one horse and that the cost to show is a very significant cost to me (I do hope that my reaction would be to save it for the next show, though). So again, thank you.

poopoo - The post did make me cry a little.

Risk-Averse Rider
Nov. 9, 2006, 06:13 PM
However, let me comment on one issue I read in the postings above that concerns me. That is, can we expect our daughter's to know when it's time to call it a day and retire in the middle of a xc run when the horse and rider are still sound? It seems to me that the very qualities that allow our daughter's to even compete at these levels at such a young age are the same qualities that have them convinced that even though they have had a couple of stops, they are going to nail the next jump and sail through the rest of the course. Or, having fought their fears on a daily basis while moving up through the lower levels, they are determined not to let some adversity get the best of them. Many times I have watched girls have multiple stops early in a round, only to get it together and finish nicely. They are praised for their efforts, and they couldn't be prouder. Each event they enter is the most important event of their life. Most only have one horse, and their performance that weekend on their one horse means everything. They don't like the idea of giving up, they don't want their horse to lose confidence by giving up, and they especially don't like the idea of being eliminated on Sat and losing the opportunity to jump stadium on Sun. I think it's one thing to ask a seasoned professional that rides multiple horses to retire in the middle of a xc run when the horse is still sound but things are not going smoothly, but I think it's very different to ask that same thing of these young ladies. I sincerely hope that event organizers and course designers take that into consideration and do whatever they can to mitigate these risks in events that include young riders.I think everyone needs to read this again. Probably more than once. Excellent insights, EvntDad.

olympicprincess
Nov. 9, 2006, 07:02 PM
Does the Eriksson family have any other children?

Did the jump the judges know that she had already had her max. # of stops? I imagine they're not keeping track of stops (if) they hear come across their radios. When I have volunteered to judge XC, I never knew who had had previous stops. :no:

I'll admit that when I was 15-16, I continued on after my max # of stops with a greenie (granted, this was BN) because "no one stopped me and I was already 3/4 of the way around and might as well get it in for schooling". :o

JER
Nov. 9, 2006, 08:24 PM
That is, can we expect our daughter's to know when it's time to call it a day and retire in the middle of a xc run when the horse and rider are still sound?


This is a complex question (and a good one, EvntDad). I lived through it myself with my teenager and know how it feels to have your kid out there on course.

But here's my answer: yes, we can.

"Still sound" is a subjective term for both horse and rider. If you have multiple stops and run-outs but no apparent physical issues, does this mean you feel your horse is proceeding as usual? This isn't nearly as important at BN but grows dramatically in importance at the upper levels. If it's 'normal' for your horse to have multiple stops on course, why are you riding at that level? If it's not 'normal', something's wrong. Someone -- you or your horse or both -- is having an off day or is not up to the level of the course.

One of my favorite things about our sport is how it doesn't discriminate. Men, women, young, old, horses, ponies -- we all compete together and face the same obstacles. But if you want to compete at whatever level, you really need to know the rules. It should not be up to a jump judge to tell you how many stops you have. If you can't remember how many stops you had on a course of 20 or so obstacles, you're probably better off calling it a day anyway.

When my teenager was competing, we walked courses and discussed fences ad nauseum. (I doubled as trainer.) From BN on up, she had to have a very detailed plan, which also included contingency plans for when Plan A did not work out. At some events, her entry was contingent on promising to take specific long options if I didn't feel she was adequately prepared for the straight route. We also walked potential circles if she might need to circle at an obstacle. I tried to leave nothing to chance. I still felt nervous leading our very safe, consistent horse into the start box but I also felt confident that my kid would ride with her brain.

However, teenagers are often not as self-aware as we'd like them to be. My teenager was like most teenagers this way. We were lucky enough to have a trainer who works very hard with teens to help them recognize when their hormones and emotions are getting the better of them. When it would happen in a lesson, she'd talk to them about what was going on, explain that raging teenage hormones/emotion and horses weren't a great match and they'd work on something easier or quieter or just call it a day. It was always ok to say you were having a bad day.

There's no way eventing or any activity that involves horses is ever going to be 100% safe. Whatever passion we have for the sport must be tempered with a strong dose of reality as to its risks and dangers -- and that holds true for competitors of all ages.

JDufort
Nov. 9, 2006, 08:24 PM
I am also the parent of a "young" rider - although she has just aged out. She was riding Advanced at 18. We have faced the risks, and face it every time out, and we both agree that its better to live well and take your chances, than not embrace what you love.

Having said that, when she was coming up the ranks, we were fortunate to be surrounded by top professionals who concurred on one thing - you will never regret moving yourself or a horse up the levels one day too slow, but you will always regret moving up one day too soon. We had a season at intermediate before the first *, and several Advanced runs before the first **. And the first prelimin on her (future Advanced) horse was scratched after a cross country walk revealed a bigger than normal ditch and wall, and then the heavy rains came. And the next prelim, they pulled up after a refusal on a tricky question.

Its not just about learning riding techniques; its about that elusive "horsemanship" that Denny talks about - alway, always, always putting your horse's interest first.

Please understand I am not pointing fingers here - my heart aches for Mia's family. Just getting philosophical, and sharing what we've been taught by some very wise people who were doing this long before us.

kt
Nov. 9, 2006, 08:25 PM
EvntDad-- what a beautiful, insightful post. Your daughter is very blessed to have you.

catknsn
Nov. 10, 2006, 12:00 AM
I don't think it's specifically been mentioned but I want to say that I think very highly of the family for their statements about eventing, and have no fear (as I normally do when I hear of a fatal riding accident) that the horse will in any way be blamed or punished.

Many prayers for the family - I always have a hard time in cases like this understanding how so much bad fortune can be visited on one family. :(

eventer2002
Nov. 10, 2006, 12:38 AM
I am also a young rider (for one more year) and can understand the logic behind the points eventdad made. My parents and I struggle to attend even half a dozen events each year, so I definitely try to make each one count, because we don't have the money to compete really often. I'd love to head south every winter and compete, especially now that I have a talented horse but again finances prevent me from doing so. Instead I'm stuck with winter weather and no events till may. Everyone who has the opportunity to head south should really cherish it. For these and various other reasons I take my events super seriously and giving up is definitely the last thing on my mind when I head out on course.

Eventer13
Nov. 10, 2006, 09:37 AM
Since I finance a good deal of my riding habit, I always feel pressured to go out and ride well. If I'm on XC and having a difficult time, I most likely will continue on until eliminated, because I know I probably won't have another chance to compete for a month or two (or three, or four). And when my mother pays for an event, I feel even more pressure because it IS expensive to compete, and I dont want to waste her money.

If I were competing once every two weeks throughout the season, then sure I'd pull up if things were getting ugly. But as it is, unless I feel like the course is destroying my horse's confidence, I ride through it.

rebecca yount
Nov. 10, 2006, 10:52 AM
Only a parent can begin to imagine what this family must be feeling now. My own daughter is 19, and came up through Pony Club but only to the C2 level, back when you had to do the jumping to rate up. I was the DC for the Pony Club for a while and have watched many kids grow up to the point where some of them are now eventing at pretty high levels.

I don't know the answers to all these questions. I see other kids the same age as my daughter, who came up with her through Pony Club, going fast and jumping over things that I would never even dare to stand my horse next to (I am a dressage rider, did one or two unrecognized baby geezer things including a beginner novice at Menfelt--and it was VERY SCARY for me). My daughter did some baby things, too, but never wanted to jump very much. I am HAPPY to see that Pony Club is now allowing kids to "specialize" in dressage and not have to do jumping after a certain point in order to rate up.
I do think Pony Club does an excellent job with safety, depending on the club and who teaches for them, but not all kids enter or stay in Pony Club and they feel they "grow out" of it.

Because she was more interested in dressage, I never had to wrestle with these things, and I am VERY glad I didn't. I am afraid I would have told her she couldn't do it above a certain level. I know that statistically this type of thing is very rare, but it is just too painful to imagine.

Sebastian
Nov. 10, 2006, 06:17 PM
This is a complex question (and a good one, EvntDad). I lived through it myself with my teenager and know how it feels to have your kid out there on course.

But here's my answer: yes, we can.

"Still sound" is a subjective term for both horse and rider. If you have multiple stops and run-outs but no apparent physical issues, does this mean you feel your horse is proceeding as usual? This isn't nearly as important at BN but grows dramatically in importance at the upper levels. If it's 'normal' for your horse to have multiple stops on course, why are you riding at that level? If it's not 'normal', something's wrong. Someone -- you or your horse or both -- is having an off day or is not up to the level of the course.

One of my favorite things about our sport is how it doesn't discriminate. Men, women, young, old, horses, ponies -- we all compete together and face the same obstacles. But if you want to compete at whatever level, you really need to know the rules. It should not be up to a jump judge to tell you how many stops you have. If you can't remember how many stops you had on a course of 20 or so obstacles, you're probably better off calling it a day anyway.

When my teenager was competing, we walked courses and discussed fences ad nauseum. (I doubled as trainer.) From BN on up, she had to have a very detailed plan, which also included contingency plans for when Plan A did not work out. At some events, her entry was contingent on promising to take specific long options if I didn't feel she was adequately prepared for the straight route. We also walked potential circles if she might need to circle at an obstacle. I tried to leave nothing to chance. I still felt nervous leading our very safe, consistent horse into the start box but I also felt confident that my kid would ride with her brain.

However, teenagers are often not as self-aware as we'd like them to be. My teenager was like most teenagers this way. We were lucky enough to have a trainer who works very hard with teens to help them recognize when their hormones and emotions are getting the better of them. When it would happen in a lesson, she'd talk to them about what was going on, explain that raging teenage hormones/emotion and horses weren't a great match and they'd work on something easier or quieter or just call it a day. It was always ok to say you were having a bad day.

There's no way eventing or any activity that involves horses is ever going to be 100% safe. Whatever passion we have for the sport must be tempered with a strong dose of reality as to its risks and dangers -- and that holds true for competitors of all ages.

Beautifully said, JER. I was having similar thoughts, but you said it far better than I could have.

Same for you, JDufort. (I'd have you quoted here too, but don't know how to do 2 in 1... )

Seb