<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by bigdreamer:
But we all know that that is going through everyones mind... "How safe IS this?". Animal right's activists are gunna start getting on our case, and who knows how many others. This is the 3rd horse (that i know of, perhaps more) in advanced level competition that has died just this year! We DO need to do SOMETHING to make this sport safer...
bigdreamer...where were you at yesterday when I argued and pleaded this same point on the thread about breakaway fences? I just kept getting slammed and accused of "knee jerk" reactions. One point that Earthquake has that you must concede to her is that eventing is a "sport" or "entertainment." Understandibly, we eventers take it seriously as we should but not everyone else, i.e. animal rights activists, will see it as any more than entertainment...like a movie. Laws were put into place to protect horses during the making of movies such as banning the "running W" which is what caused horses to flip headfirst. Horses used to be killed making movies all the time. Horses now have to be trained to fall on their side, etc...Ever wonder why do many Western movies are made in Spain?...because the animal welfare laws are so tough in the US and so lax in Spain, that's its easier and cheaper to make movies there and they can treat the horses more carelessly.
The threat of laws being enacted on eventing from the outside is very real. If we don't do everything in our power to make this sport as safe as possible for the horses even at the risk of "changing" the sport such as easing up on speeds...new fence building standards such as the breakaways, etc... than we may find ourselves backed into a corner eventually by angry non horse owners and people who really don't have a clue about what we do.
Please realize that I mean no disrespect for Bruce by posting on this thread in this manner. He is an icon of American eventing and one of my heroes. His accident was probably not preventable and could have happened to anyone but the discussion about safety and the future of eventing is relavent considering the fatalities in our sport this year.
"I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself." D.H. Lawrence
Bruce has a broken collar bone, ribs, pelvis and a punctured lung. He is expected to make a complete recovery. Scopey did not survive the accident.
Bruce probably was riding his pants off, but keep in mind that this is normal for him. He generally rides several horses at each competition without incident. This is an unfortunate accident, but an accident none the less.
I don't think it applies in this case, since apparently High Scope was only Bruce's 2nd ride on the course, but back in the '60s, after the Rome Olympics, Laurie Morgan of Australia (gold medla team of the '60 Olympics) rode and placed three horses at Badminton. After that, they apparently decided that that was asking too much of a rider and for safety reasons, limited competitors to two horses.
Now, these days, they limit rides at Badminton because they have so many entries, so the safety factor of multiple rides isn't considered. I wonder if there isn't some validity to such a limitation - if some people (and I am NOT saying that was the case with this accident - which was simply that, an accident) don't stretch themselves a little too thin in terms of strength, endurance and judgment by riding too many horses. Just something else to factor in.
Personally, I stopped eventing at Preliminary because I didn't trust MY judgment as courses got more and more technical - my horse certainly had the scope and speed, but I didn't care to risk his neck (or mine) if I was not confident of my abilities to handle the technical challenges. I was in my 30s then, and certainly fit to ride more than one horse, especially at horse trials level, but I'm am not, would never be, nor ever aspired to Mr. Davidon's level.
The idea of breakaway fences certainly sounds like a development who's time has come. It took Sheila Wilcox's devastating, eventing-career- and almost life-ending injuries, to even get us to the point of fences that could be quickly broken apart to free trapped horses/riders. Perhaps these increasing recent incidents/accidents will boost such safety developments in course building as these "frangible fences".
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Helen:
High Scope was my current favorite horse competing in the upper levels... I'm crushed to find out that he died. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Because I was glad it wasn't Little Tricky, my favorite. Of course, like everyone else, I wish it wasn't either one of them [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img]