Well, since the question's come up, does anybody know, are people using caps on the ends of those pipes now...if they're choosing to use them? I don't remember seeing one in a million years, and I don't remember them being particularly light, either, which in my mind makes them a little less likely to flip around like that and end up with an end poking up towards you in the air rather than falling plunk straight down like a heavy wood pole if hit, but hey, just my HO. Then again my idea of heavy is probably a 10 yr. old's.
We live in an era where many are quick to blame someone, anyone, for accidents that occur. George was not at fault in that incident and anyone that feels it necessary to blame him or anyone in his position should never ride or compete with horses knowing the inheritant risk involved w/ our sport. It's a dangerous one..... Thankfully, these things don't happen often. Our job as responsible horse people is to always find reasonable ways to make our sport safer, and to stand by those that represent our sport at the highest level.
I say all this as a person who greatly respects what George brings to riding and our sport, but don't personally care for his delivery. Having watched him for years, I can comfortably say he would never do anything to put a rider or horse in harm's way.