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  1. #21
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    Default

    I can't really speak to the issues of the way fences should be constructed or the way event should be run. There are others with a great deal more life experience who can and have chimed in on those topics. What I can say is that as a parent of a teen who loves eventing and watching the crashes that have been occuring at the upper levels, my solution seems simple.

    1. Hold organizers, CD's and TD's responsible for creating a SAFE course, appropriate for the skill set needed at each level, on which to compete.
    2. Hold my daughter and myself responsible for ensuring she is ready and capable of riding the level at which she wants to compete.

    After the recent tragic events and watching my daughter school her greenie over cross country and face plant twice, I've already made the changes to our former plans for the year. First, the greenie is being ridden by a pro, especially over fences. Second, my daughter is staying on the flat until her position has improved significantly.

    I'm tired of seeing horses and riders hurt. I love this sport and don't want it to get a bad rap in the general population and agree changes need to be made. My changes start at home. I'm looking to our area reps, our riders reps and the USEA to make changes on a more global scale.
    A horse may be coaxed to drink, but a pencil must be lead.



  2. #22
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    Implement a ride score card system that defines a "scarey ride" and allows officials to pull and horse and rider off course with adequate explanations of required errors to do so. Make it as Objective as possible so that decisions are not subjective.

    Competitions records don't show scary rides... just whether any penalties were incurred. Maybe they should be a catogry for scary but clear rides to fall into.
    If i'm posting on Coth, it's either raining so I can't ride or it's night time and I can't sleep.



  3. #23
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    Default From the Stand Down Thread, and independent of Denny's comments

    I believe that there needs to be an investigatory team established by the USEA to review and examine the causes of all major accidents, human or equine, that occur on course. I feel strongly that this team must not be comprised of the "usual suspects", but must have an identified core group of a veterinarian, an upper level rider, an engineer, a safety expert, a statistician and/or epidemiologist, someone versed in sports injuries and probably a lawyer to make sure that any findings are worded carefully (just sort of kidding about the last). The core team should be reimbursed for expenses and also receive a stipend. They should be appointed for a time period: one year, preferably two or three, so they are beholden to no one for their assignments. I'm reasonably confident that willing volunteers can be identified in the ranks of USEA members who have many of these skills.

    Their assignment would be to convene immediately after a major incident (definition to be developed) whether virtually or in person. They must be empowered to undertake whatever investigation is deemed necessary including: review of veterinary records, necropsy of a horse, collection of any video record, interviews with fence judges, riders, coaches, spectators, officials, etc. If none of them can physically be at the event, they must be able to "deputize" an official to collect information for them, but at least one team member would have to make a site visit within, say, a week of the incident. Then the team will be responsible for the review and analysis. They will follow an established format requiring that key elements be examined, but will have the flexibility to extend their investigations in unexpected directions, should the situation warrant.

    I'm sure others will have more ideas than I. I'm using as my model the CDC teams of investigative pathologists and other physicians who literally leave at a moment's notice when a health crisis is suspected.

    I would like to think that this team could be funded by grants from manufacturers of safety equipment and other sources, but think it would be important for the USEA to find funding as well. It is time to put money where our mouths are, so to speak, and collect accurate information about the causes of significant accidents. Then and only then can we begin to address them.
    __________________
    They don't call me frugal for nothing.
    Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.



  4. #24
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    Default And additional discussion

    But my issue is that we aren't even collecting and reviewing the information that is or might be available currently in any consistent fashion. Statistics are used that come from limited databases (FEI competitions only, horse injuries not included, etc.). If we are ever going to learn more, we need to start collecting every bit of information available on every incident now. I'm sure some smart person could figure out how to estimate speed from a video record. Maybe someone who can predict planetary trajectories?

    Anyway, I think an education effort would be far more effective if it could be shown that rider error (an example only) resulted in these three specific falls, and the grim details could be discussed. Otherwise, it's just another general disussion that those with egos and arrogance will believe doesn't pertain to them. That may happen anyway, but specifics have a tendency to worm their way past that. It may also help dispell the "&%@# happens" mindset.
    They don't call me frugal for nothing.
    Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.



  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by frugalannie View Post
    But my issue is that we aren't even collecting and reviewing the information that is or might be available currently in any consistent fashion. Statistics are used that come from limited databases (FEI competitions only, horse injuries not included, etc.). If we are ever going to learn more, we need to start collecting every bit of information available on every incident now. I'm sure some smart person could figure out how to estimate speed from a video record. Maybe someone who can predict planetary trajectories?

    Anyway, I think an education effort would be far more effective if it could be shown that rider error (an example only) resulted in these three specific falls, and the grim details could be discussed. Otherwise, it's just another general disussion that those with egos and arrogance will believe doesn't pertain to them. That may happen anyway, but specifics have a tendency to worm their way past that. It may also help dispell the "&%@# happens" mindset.

    That is a great idea! I would LOVE to see that put into action.
    If i'm posting on Coth, it's either raining so I can't ride or it's night time and I can't sleep.



  6. #26
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    3. Increase the use of frangible pins.

    5. Reduce speeds (already a rule change in the works for this).

    6. Change course design to include less technicality/ "showjumping over fixed fences".

    7. Bring back the long format, or some elements of it (VET CHECKS!! for ALL levels, mandatory warmups).

    8. Make qualification criteria for Prelim and up much more stringent (there is already a rule change in the works for this).

    10. Make 4-star events extremely difficult to qualify for/ be invited to.

    11. Institute a mandatory XC course meeting and course walk with a respected teacher and rider.

    12. Increase participation in the Instructor Certification plan, either by encouragement or requirement.

    13. Increase the powers of officials to stop a dangerous ride on XC.

    14. Conduct a detailed study of the numbers and frequency of serious injuries or deaths of horses and riders (TB or not TB's project).

    15. Conduct a detailed study of horse exercise physiology, including the causes of pulmonary hemorrhage (the latter is now delegated to a task force).

    MINE-suspension and review by committee for riders who are involved in x # of wrecks where horse or rider is injured.
    Hillside Haven Farm
    From starting gate to start box!



  7. #27
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    Default I posted this on another thread

    I posted this on the Neil Ayres/Jack Legoff thread (and one post prior to that also with some SCCA club racing safety proceedures that would be easy to implement/adapt to eventing--I also clarify that in racing ignoring/not seeing flags is just not acceptable and grounds for (at best) a serious talking to and (at worst) suspension and fines. No one argues about the benefit to everyone's safety that flagging and communication has for drivers/workers/spectators. The drivers know where the flagging stations are on course and they are completely responsible for not only racing (which let me tell you is damn adrenline producing) but for being aware of the immediate environment around them.

    Another thing from racing that might be adaptable in some form would be the flags--in racing the control tower (manned by the stewards of the meeting) has control to the Start/Finish line which in turn has the main control of flagging, but the corners have a few flags as well and display them (yellows) as needed and also at the instruction of control.

    Green--go race

    Red--Stop, do not complete the lap/corner--hold on course.

    Yellow--No passing--caution/pay attention/reduce speed

    Waving Yellow--something really seriously wrong, pay STRICT attention/no passing/be prepared to dodge/stop

    Black (furled)--bad, bad boy(girl), do that again and you're talking to the stewards.

    Black--bad, bad, boy (girl) come in and talk to the stewards

    Meatball (black with orange ball)--something mechanical wrong with your car, please come in and check.

    Yellow w/orange stripes--course conditions problematic.

    Knowing you might get blackflagged on course and pulled off might be a good thing....and it could go on a competitors record as something to be watched in the future.



  8. #28
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    Default Agree with frugalannie

    We need to be very cautious about making changes before we fully understand the problems. If we are not careful we could end up making unnecessary changes that might make the sport safer, but turn it into something we barely recognize. Which is why we need an in depth scientific study with hard, detailed data on EVERY aspect of EVERY SINGLE 'serious' fall. The information gained from the study will shine light on what specifically is causing these falls and allow us to determine which of the suggestions listed in this thread to move forward with.

    An outside entity with expertise should be contracted to help design the study, which could be carried out by a 'team' such as the one suggested by frugalannie. The study and collection of data should be a permanent and ongoing. That way ten years from now if another problem begins occurring in the sport the data we need to analyze and solve the problem will already be there.

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

    The extent and potential of such a study and the usefulness of the information gained by it would be limitless. Maybe the information collected should go beyond ‘serious falls’ and every xc course at every horse trials should record the number and type of obstacles on each course and the number of horse/rider combinations riding each course. Of course the exact information to be collected and how it is collected should be determined by the experts. But generally the more data we collect the more useful and diverse it will be.

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

    Obviously, the problem with this is that organizing a project of that magnitude, collecting the data, and then analyzing it takes time. And horses and riders are dying NOW. I don't know what the answer is, only that we must proceed very carefully. Maybe we should move forward with the suggestions regarding rider and horse qualifications, but hold off on the modifications of terrain, jumps, and total design of the courses.

    A scientific study is something that will benefit EVERYONE. It is something concrete we can ALL get behind and demand NOW. So how ‘bout it?



  9. #29
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    Increase EDUCATION(al opportunity) multifold, and decrease shows. TEACH riders how to ride proper two point (caprilli seat), how to put a horse properly on the bit (w/o gags and gimmicks), WHAT (the purpose of) different fences are, What a proper bascule is, what kinds of fences to start over, HOW they are introduced, HOW much fitness is needed to run distances at speeds. Go all the way back to jumping w/o stirrups/two point without stirrups/jumping with reins dropped.

    Almost daily I hear from teachers/trainers how stupid a horse is, how willful, how intentional they are in calculating against the rider, I see horses ridden into worse performances, until they give up through being tired, all with more and more bit(ting). And all while teaching the even popular crest release, which just has to be relearned for balance.

    Do (written) tests with basics of stable management and horse care.And employ FAR greater repercussions if a rider doesnt know when a horse is breaking down. How are we educating if lameness/exhaustion cannot be felt?

    As a judge, I go to see if what I see (as strengths and problems) in dressage come out with the different jumping efforts. And most of the time they do. Training on the flat can be short cut if flat work is the only thing needed, we can just argue how pure the paces are/etc.....but over fences there are many often violent outcomes. Just mho.
    I.D.E.A. yoda



  10. #30
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    Now this has been on my mind for quite some time, but I have not heard anyone else mention it. Does anyone think that in light of recent events that riders are riding differently, maybe more defensively, because of any fears they may have themselves? Everyone I talk to is afraid or upset letely, in every discipline. An upset rider would ride differently than a relaxed one right? I know that in the sports I have done when we were nervous, things didnt end well. Im not saying people are not prepared or riding scared, but do you think that subconciously, or openly, riders are more afraid and that could be contributing some of the accidents.

    Its hard to get into words. And I may be way off. Just something I was thinking about and wanted to know if anyone else was thinking something similar.



  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rt66Kix View Post
    Make the jumps out of something soft and flexible. Get Hollywood/Disney Theme Park designers in on this one; they are masters at making styrofoam look like solid granite! In WWII the set designers from Hollywood were sent to England to disguise the large buildup of planes and equipment to be used in the D-Day invasion. I'm sure building jumps would be a piece of cake for them.

    After the soft/flexible jump is made, then install an electric eye/laser beam across the top of it. If the horse drags his feet through the soft "top," then the beam is broken, resulting in a penalty.

    The horses would think they had to clear the entire jump, but yet if they didn't make it, they wouldn't die or sustain horrible injuries.

    The technology is there, but I wonder if the "powers that be" will be bold enough to make the necessary changes.
    Hm, that's interesting. Never thought of that...
    There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill



  12. #32
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    FWIW, I sent a link to this thread to the email address given in the joint letter from KB and DOC. I hope this helps eventing, in some small way, to gain something from this sad and scary time.

    vineyridge, I agree-- it would help to organize these ideas into thematic groups, discuss them, and use the insights from each area to make rule changes.



  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexMakowski View Post
    Now this has been on my mind for quite some time, but I have not heard anyone else mention it. Does anyone think that in light of recent events that riders are riding differently, maybe more defensively, because of any fears they may have themselves? Everyone I talk to is afraid or upset letely, in every discipline. An upset rider would ride differently than a relaxed one right? I know that in the sports I have done when we were nervous, things didnt end well. Im not saying people are not prepared or riding scared, but do you think that subconciously, or openly, riders are more afraid and that could be contributing some of the accidents.

    Its hard to get into words. And I may be way off. Just something I was thinking about and wanted to know if anyone else was thinking something similar.
    Alex, I think you're raising an interesting point.

    Riding defensively does change your position. Riding with tension affects the horse and also affects your responses.

    We know from vehicles and aircraft that successful ejection vs. unsuccessful ejection is often a matter of fractions of seconds and inches. We know that you want to be thrown clear of your horse in a rotational fall.

    Could you be less safe in a defensive position? This could include a deep seat, upright to leaning back, heel forced down in the iron, foot too far home in the iron, stirrups longer than they should be. And it's also possible that adopting a defensive position has a detrimental effect on your horse's balance. So yes, I think it's very possible that riding defensively could be promoting the very problem its trying to prevent. But again, like with almost everything else we've been talking about, we need some good research.



  14. #34
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    The Australian National Federation sponsored a safety study of eventing in collaboration with a university. The study started as a limited experiment in 1998, was extended to the entire country in about 2000, and results from their safety questionnaire data for the years 2000-2002 (?) have been published and are on the internet.

    In the UK both the Liverpool vet school and the Bristol University vet schools have supported research on safety issues in eventing, with analysis of the safety data for each level separately, and for the long and short formats. They have been doing this for YEARS.

    In both cases, computer programs already exist to crunch the data that is collected. The forms for collecting data are already developed and have proven themselves. At every competition, every accident of horse and rider was recorded onto identical forms. I think the USEA and the USEF should be doing this for non-FEI competitions and FEI competitions for a long enough time to make the data valid.

    If USEF were to find funding for and sponsor THE IDENTICAL study in the United States, the cost would be less, and the results would be comparable to (say) the Aussies'. It might be possible to see if North American eventing is somehow different in its safety problems from the other country. Using something that is already developed for one of USEF's fellow National Federations would be cost effective, allow for quicker and more considered data collection, and provide North American results faster FOR USE BEFORE CHANGES ARE MADE.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
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  15. #35
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    I agree!

    FYI, we have been talking to some of the researchers in the UK at Bristol. The BE is different than the USEF so the data collection is different. We would still need to adapt a lot to our system. As a matter of fact, we are working with them to develop a modified form for accident reporting that is better for use in the US. They do not have any special computer systems, as far as any of us knows.

    The results you discuss were part of the Murray articles published in the British Veterinary Journal.

    I agree with your idea that we HAVE to work with BE and other federations. I listed this as an important component for a safety committee in my letter to the USEF/USEA.

    Reed


    Quote Originally Posted by vineyridge View Post
    The Australian National Federation sponsored a safety study of eventing in collaboration with a university. The study started as a limited experiment in 1998, was extended to the entire country in about 2000, and results from their safety questionnaire data for the years 2000-2002 (?) have been published and are on the internet.

    In the UK both the Liverpool vet school and the Bristol University vet schools have supported research on safety issues in eventing, with different studies for data analysis at various levels, and for the long and short formats. They have been doing this for YEARS.

    In both cases the computer programs already exist to crunch the data that is gathered. The forms that have been used are already developed.

    If USEF were to find funding for and sponsor THE IDENTICAL study in the United States the cost to it would be less and the results would be comparable to (say) the Aussies'. It might be possible to see if North American eventing is somehow different in its safety problems from the other country. Using something that is already developed for one of USEF's fellow National Federations would be cost effective, allow for quicker and more considered data collection, and provide North American results faster FOR USE BEFORE CHANGES ARE MADE.



  16. #36
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    Reed, would you copy and post your letter here, too?



  17. #37
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    Reed, did you and IFG save the link or the Australian study? It's published by the Australian Government/Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, and it's called Monitoring Falls During Eventing: Establishment of a national surveillance system to monitor injury to riders and horses rom
    falls during the cross-country phase of eventing in Australia.

    I didn't save the link, but I did save the .pdf. If y'all don't have it, I could email it to someone.

    Here is the Foreword--

    Foreword
    Each year in Australia, about 20 people die from horse-related injuries and about 3,000 people are admitted to hospital with serious injuries. Although these serious injuries represent a small proportion of horse-related injuries that occur in Australia each year, their health and social consequences can be severe and lead to lasting disabilities. In 2001, a pilot project was undertaken to see if a national surveillance program to monitor falls at
    Equestrian Federation of Australia (EFA) affiliated horse trials events was feasible. Falls associated with the cross-country phase of the sport (known as ‘eventing’) was the focus of this pilot as fallsrelated deaths and severe injuries had been reported in this sport in the immediately preceding years.

    Based on the successful outcome of this pilot study, which monitored falls in South Australia and New South Wales, the scope of the pilot was broadened to include all jurisdictions in Australia which conducted EFA affiliated events.

    This publication reports on the establishment of a national surveillance program to monitor horse and rider falls, and the results of monitoring these events during the 2003 and 2004 eventing seasons. Results analysed were based on data reported by EFA Branches for 136 of 161 venues which were conducted during the 2002 and 2003 eventing seasons. Data received from venues consisted of jump judges’ fall report forms, scores sheets, and Technical Delegate’s reports. Rider and horse details for riders or horses which fell were obtained from returned questionnaires sent to each rider who fell.

    The establishment of this national surveillance program was supported by the Equestrian Federation of Australia, the peak national body for the sport, and their National Eventing Committee, the organisation with policy and rule-making authority. Based on the responses of riders who returned
    questionnaires, and communications with other equestrian groups, there appears to be support for an on-going national surveillance system to monitor falls and to inform scientific research on safety in the sport. The EFA is also interested in obtaining information from the study which will inform any future policy development, to minimise the risks associated with the sport of eventing.

    This project was funded from industry revenue which is matched by funds provided by the Australian Government. (For program areas DEE, RNF, TTO, CME, HBE, RIC, HOR, FCR and PSE. This report, an addition to RIRDC’s diverse range of over 1000 research publications, forms part of
    our Horse R&D program, which aims to assist in developing the Australian horse industry and enhancing its export potential.

    Most of our publications are available for viewing, downloading or purchasing online through our website:
    • downloads at www.rirdc.gov.au/fullreports/index.html
    • purchases at www.rirdc.gov.au/eshop

    Simon Hearn
    Managing Director
    Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation
    and the Table of Contents--
    Contents
    Foreword iii
    Acknowledgements iv
    List of tables vi
    List of figures vii
    Executive Summary ix
    1. Introduction 1
    1.1 Current surveillance of horse-related injury 1
    1.2 Purpose of this study 2
    2. Methods 3
    2.1 Collection of data 3
    2.2 Fall reporting form 3
    2.3 Fall rider questionnaire 3
    3. Results 4
    3.1 Cross-country phase of eventing 4
    3.2 Profile of riders who fell 9
    3.3 Profile of horses which fell 12
    3.4 Fall event and injuries sustained 13
    4. Discussion 17
    4.1 Future directions 17
    5. Appendices
    5.1 Appendix A1: Eventing, description of the sport 19
    5.2 Appendix A2: Methods and Reporting Instruments 21
    5.3 Appendix A3: Event fall monitoring tabulations, Australia 2002 31
    5.4 Appendix A4: Event fall monitoring tabulations, Australia 2003 49
    5.5 Appendix A5: Structured narratives of fall events of riders 67
    6. References 71
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
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  18. #38
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    vineyridge, Excellent! You can PM me and I will go explore the website as well.

    Cookiepony,

    My letter and how I propose to help:

    "The following is based on my experiences in failure analysis in both the medical and aviation industries, and my current membership on several Safety and Environmental oversight committees for both academia and industry.

    These are my ideas for what needs to be done.
    As I stated, given that safety is a process and not an end, I
    believe that NO subject is outside consideration. We must examine
    everything from XC course design to rider instruction, to fence
    materials, to ground jury responsibilities.

    To accomplish these tasks I propose groups of people lead by an
    oversight committee of 6-8 people with specific expertise. Each
    member of the committee will have a task and area to work wherein
    they can create a team to enable them to accomplish established
    goals. The overall number of people on the task force is variable
    based on need but the core committee will remain. I also believe at
    least ONE person on the oversight committee should be a
    NON-eventing person from the public. They will have equal say in
    all matters. All issues will be considered with recommendations
    passed onto the FEI, USEF, USEA governing bodies. At the same time
    this committee should be able to have a sufficient
    presence/appropriate representation in the governing bodies to be
    able to be effective, e.g. the task force shall have some veto
    power on issues related to safety.

    The broad areas of consideration and what they would do:

    1) Accident Data/Reconstruction (This must be done in order to understand the problems and questions.)

    MUST include CD, TD, Organizer, Ground jury after any major
    incident (horse death, rider death or severe injury)

    2) Course Design and Construction

    a) they would examine how course design and fence design affect the accident rate
    b) Develop specific engineering capabilities to design fences and materials that reduce severity of impact, rotation, etc.

    3) Medical/Veterinary
    a) Look at accident data, including horse necropsy, rider medical data (e.g. armband, EMT reports etc.) to see trends in rider or horse fitness
    b) Examine other sports where significant risk of injury or death occurs to see if processes or equipment can be adapted to Eventing

    4) Rules/Governance
    a) Examine how rules/qualifications affect rider/trainer decisions. How rules can be tailored to encourage safety.
    b) Incorporation of safety findings into rules
    c) This effort should also be split between FEI and USEF and USEA

    5) Equipment
    a) work with other areas [3, 2, 1] and equipment manufacturers to develop new devices and equipment capabilities specific to Eventing

    6) Instruction/training
    a) Collect and compile data from the ICP program. Track accident rates to ICP qualifications and rider qualifications.

    7) Safety Fund Raising/Education

    a) Establish a Safety Fund that encourages support of safety research, education in Eventing and subsequently all equine disciplines.
    b) Develop safety campaign that encourage every rider to be responsible and knowledgable
    This is my broad outline. At the same time, we MUST develop
    collaboration with British Eventing and their research groups.



    Reed... yada, yada, yada.



  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexMakowski View Post
    Now this has been on my mind for quite some time, but I have not heard anyone else mention it. Does anyone think that in light of recent events that riders are riding differently, maybe more defensively, because of any fears they may have themselves? Everyone I talk to is afraid or upset letely, in every discipline. An upset rider would ride differently than a relaxed one right? I know that in the sports I have done when we were nervous, things didnt end well. Im not saying people are not prepared or riding scared, but do you think that subconciously, or openly, riders are more afraid and that could be contributing some of the accidents.

    Its hard to get into words. And I may be way off. Just something I was thinking about and wanted to know if anyone else was thinking something similar.
    I was told once of an eventing clinic where everyone came together on Saturday night and watched thrills-n-spills videos ... and on Sunday there were problems and falls left and right.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  20. #40
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    Just a few thoughts off the top of my head....

    • Folks, a lot of this boils down to personal responsibility. If there is any question as to whether or not you or your horse are prepared for a level, DON'T DO IT. Parents need to be involved to make these decisions for their children. Adults should seek a quality, qualified instructor to help guide them. I don't have a suggestion as to how to facilitate this, other than giving everyone an injection of good sense. Maybe some education funds can be earmarked to fund some standardized regional adult and young rider educational programs...make them low cost and accessible to all riders. Quality outings like that would certainly help adult riders, young riders, and their parents make good judgment calls (from selecting a regular instructor, to helping them understand where there may be holes in their training that they need to address before considering a move up, etc)....very much in a nutshell.
    • I think a lot of it has to do with modern course design. The show jumping courses set out in a field. My suggestion here is to revert back to a more classical course design (less technical), while keeping the safety features of today. I wholeheartedly agree with getting away from vertical faces combined with spreads (tables, etc). Verticals and open oxers should have frangibles. I'm sorry, but half-coffins and skinnies at Novice are just crazy....that is still and INTRODUCTORY level! I know that horses and riders need to learn to do these things, but let them develop their basic skills and confidence before throwing this crap at them.
    • Bring back the long format or some variation of it. Get the horse warmed up and settled before they embark on D.
    • Post more officials on course (maybe create "Assistant TDs") that have the authority to stop a rider who is riding dangerously or is clearly overfaced. Many jump judges don't have the judgment or feel like they have the authority to report something like this.
    • I have no problem with beefing up the qualifications for the upper levels....heck, that is where we see most of the fatal and serious injuries. But don't put qualifications on the introductory levels (BN-N-T), as many folks with limited time and budget, like myself, get a lot of mileage on their horses at carefully selected unrecognized events, and may not have the funds to do a lot of recognized each year. I don't want to be stuck at BN for five years, but then again, I'm sure not going to move up before I am thoroughly prepared. Goes back to that personal responsibility thing.
    • I do not agree with the rotational fall rule proposals. I can guarantee you that, from my perspective as a rider, a rotational fall is a much more frightening scenario than any sort of suspension. That in itself is enough to keep me off a course that I'm not ready for. And I kind of feel like this rule is a moot point, because it seems that most riders don't just pop right up and walk away from most rotational falls.
    • I also don't agree with the "one fall you're out" on x-c rule. This goes back to personal responsibility. You get dumped because you're not up to the game that day, do the right thing and RETIRE. You got dumped because of a fluke, non safety-related incident, get back on and ride. Maybe the rider needs permission from the nearby "Assistant TD" that I talked about above before they are allowed to remount and continue?

    Personally, I think a lot of it has to do with the modern courses, in general. Like I said before, let's get back to the more old school courses, combined with the safety features of today....seems like the best of both worlds.



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