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Ashley Stout , 13 and her horse, killed in Rotational Fall (Named to YR Training team)

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    Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post

    I think this is a myth though, I think fatalaties at the level are uncommon for sure. But 2 years ago a horse died at an event going Pre Training (Novice) in Ontario, and I also was held on course the same year for a rotational fall at Training level, rider sent to hospital. So I think they happen, and often, but the speed is slower and perhaps that is why the injuries are less significant than death.
    And Ryan Wood lost a horse warming up over what I understand was a rather small training level fence last year. I don't recall if it was a rotational (but I think it was).


      The only way to completely eliminate rotational falls over fixed objects is to ban jumping over fixed objects. In other words, banning eventing.

      Otherwise, this is a rare but real risk in the COMPLETELY VOLUNTARY sport you choose to participate in.

      Even if we could get every single jump in every single venue turned into collapsible objects, there would still be falls and deaths. There are falls and deaths in show jumping. There are deaths in barrel racing. A woman who lived down the road fell off her horse and died trail riding not too long ago.

      Deaths from rock climbing can be eliminated by banning rock climbing.

      Deaths from racing motorcycles can be eliminated by banning motorcycle racing.

      I think it's in extremely poor taste to spin up a thread like this to push the "dangerous eventing" agenda before this poor young girls body is even cold.

      We get it. You think eventing is dangerous. Absolutely nobody is denying that eventing is dangerous. Riding horses is a dangerous activity. Maybe that should be banned too.

      Spinning up these emotionally driven threads in the heat of the moment does nothing to help eventing be safer. It just serves to drive people away. If that is your goal, congrats on it.

      Huge strides HAVE been made to make eventing safer in the past decade, and it is safer now. Safety improvements continue to be made.

      I just dont see how this helps anything at all, and the family of this young girl is sure to come here and read all of this and have their grief multiplied by the usual agenda pushers.

      If you hate eventing and think it's so horrible and dangerous, please do go find another sport.


        Manahmanah, thank you for such a thoughtful you and several others have commented, riding horses is a dangerous activity. Please let's support the family of this young girl, grieve with them and continue to strive for improvements, instead of bashing the invisible/unknown that has "created" and continues to foster such an unsafe sport............


          I am not so sure falls like this are so rare in stadium. I had one, on a young horse who misjudged his takeoff and got the pole tangled in his legs. Not a big fence, no high speed. He flipped completely over and landed literally upside down a few feet from me, as my coach was yelling at me to move...all I could think was, no, I’m not supposed to move after I fall, why is she saying that. Neither one of us was hurt but it could so easily have been this fall.
          I don’t think we have ANY remotely accurate data to understand how often this occurs and under what circumstances...we know about very bad accidents like this one, and we know about high profile accidents at competitions...but what about all the other ones?
          The big man -- my lost prince

          The little brother, now my main man


            I am an avid follower of eventing national and international news, the Australian teenager Olivia's death in 2016 was the first I was aware of a death at a level that could seems achievable. Up until then the publically reported deaths were primarily advance/4 or 5*. The deaths at prelim started to give me pause, is it worth the risk to myself and my horse? This death of a very capable pair at training does seem like a "freak accident" in the easy-to-convince-yourself assumption that the lower levels on a capable horse with a capable rider are "safe".

            Condolences to the family and friends.


              Originally posted by RAyers View Post


              We have been discussing/arguing the terms for over a DECADE!! There are NO "freak accidents." And this comes from a person who spends his life investigating root cause failure of "freak" occurrences. Just because something happens 1 in 1,000,000,000 times doesn't NOT mean it was a freak accident. There was a ROOT cause that can be discovered. I know this because I have done it.

              This was a horrible tragedy that was likely unavoidable (as ksbadger points out). Thus, the term "freak" no longer applies. The risks become mitigated through engineering design and the use of various personal protective equipment.

              The failure here starts at the absolute TOP. The FEI and USEF. They should have concerted efforts to measure, classify, and characterize ALL falls on XC, and in particular fatal and serious injury falls.

              Sadly, this death will also go towards the recent study that showed severe/fatal injuries are more associated with wearing air vests (if the rider was wearing one as shown in all pictures I have seen).
              I've never found that yelling at someone, then
              berating them, followed by flaunting your experience inclines them to listen without prejudice.

              Your experience may vary, Reed.


                Originally posted by TMares View Post

                I've never found that yelling at someone, then
                berating them, followed by flaunting your experience inclines them to listen without prejudice.

                Your experience may vary, Reed.
                I didn't take RAyers' post as yelling, or berating, or "flaunting of experience".

                Would you prefer that only people with no experience write here? If a person does have knowledge, how is sharing it "flaunting"?

                This subject has been one of long term discussion here. I understand RAyers' frustration, which I believe is the reason that he is stressing his words.


                  I think we're all frustrated and saddened. Shouting (all caps is shouting) does nothing constructive.


                    Originally posted by TMares View Post

                    I've never found that yelling at someone, then
                    berating them, followed by flaunting your experience inclines them to listen without prejudice.

                    Your experience may vary, Reed.
                    Let me ask you this? How many more kids would you prefer to die or be maimed while you sit and give thoughts and prayers. What happened isn't new.

                    FEI statistics show that horse falls were UP last year while rider displacements were down. The risk of rotational falls has dropped to 1 in every 750 falls while regular falls are 1 in every 55 rides. The risk of severe or fatal injury is still "high" at over 1 in every 500 starts. Now think about that. At Rebecca Farms coming up, there are over 500 starters. That suggests the possibility the one rider may die in the next week. That is the reality.

                    I'm not looking at this fall and death. I am looking at the next one, the next 10 and trying to prevent that. And part of it is getting rid of semantics that "justify" a child being killed in a sport that is supposed to be fun.

                    Next time I will underline for emphasis.


                      Horses, cars, dirt bikes, parallel beams. skateboards...all are freaking dangerous. Nothing will ever eliminate that truth. And simultaneously no one's said OH WELL *HIT HAPPENS. if you've heard or interpreted something different from me or others, I'm sorry about that.

                      any kids dying is too many. Yet zero is impossible.


                        Originally posted by TMares View Post
                        Horses, cars, dirt bikes, parallel beams. skateboards...all are freaking dangerous. Nothing will ever eliminate that truth. And simultaneously no one's said OH WELL *HIT HAPPENS. if you've heard or interpreted something different from me or others, I'm sorry about that.

                        any kids dying is too many. Yet zero is impossible.
                        "Freak accident" in the world of failure investigation is "Oh well, shit happens."


                          Originally posted by TMares View Post
                          I think we're all frustrated and saddened. Shouting (all caps is shouting) does nothing constructive.
                          I think you are picking nits, since your next post contained some "all caps" as well.


                            For anyone questioning her safety equipment, she was at a USPC camp so yes she had a vest and all required safety equipment and had to pass a safety check before mounting.

                            Airvest? Who knows, but that’s neither here nor there when a 1300 lb animal lands on you.
                            "I can't help but wonder,what would Jimmy Buffett do?"



                              Originally posted by skydy View Post

                              I think you are picking nits, since your next post contained some "all caps" as well.
                              Talk about nits. Reed is telling me that I'm shrugging my shoulders and saying oh well, **it happens, and I'm not. I don't think that. Call it whatever you want. I'm calling it a freak accident when a capable rider on a capable horse dies jumping an entirely reasonable fence. They are dead, and that's absolutely terrible.


                                Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post
                                A bit more about her on her GoFund Me.

                                Oh gosh that is heartbreaking. What a good kiddo - condolences to her loved ones who must be reeling right now.


                                  Originally posted by RAyers View Post

                                  "Freak accident" in the world of failure investigation is "Oh well, shit happens."
                                  The person who said it was not a failure investigator. It was someone who knew the deceased young girl who was trying to cope with this tragedy.

                                  I swear some of you would show up at a funeral for a car accident victim and yell at everyone that they should have been wearing a helmet and 5 point harness.


                                    What a tragedy. A parent’s and rider’s worst nightmare.


                                      Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post

                                      It does though, because we can learn from it and it is a good and important question. I also would like to know if she was wearing an air vest.

                                      I believe it was a training level fence, not a fence the size of a curb as someone mentioned on Facebook, that was just an example someone used to say how easy the horse should have cleared it. There are many factors that are in play here. The rider was only 13 and no matter how good a rider, one year at the level at age 13 does not exactly line up with someone being very experienced, as talented as she may be.

                                      We can grieve and discuss the safety of our sport, theydo not have to be kept seperate imo.
                                      I keep coming back to this, her age. No matter how talented of a rider, horse, team - there is much solid evidence that the 13 year old brain is NOT a mature, competent in all situations, decision making brain. Even the most precocious child still has some elements of childlike thinking. Needs to be considered in this and all decision making.


                                        To me, calling a common occurrence a "freak accident" is most definitely essentially saying, "shit happens." It's an excuse to look the other way and avoid investigating change, as is trumpeting, "We can't say anything now when the tragedy is so fresh." (Problem is, after the initial reaction is over, rarely does anything get said.)

                                        Here's a definition of freak accident:
                                        1. freak-accident. Noun. (plural freak accidents) An incident, especially one that is harmful, occurring under highly unusual and unlikely circumstances.
                                        Trained for the level or not, this type of fall is not highly unusual and it is absolutely NOT unlikely in eventing. Calling this fall a freak accident is demonstrably misusing the common definition of the term.

                                        Denial isn't just a river in Egypt. Overreaction to statements calling for investigation and change is classic defensiveness.

                                        This is such a tragedy for an apparently amazing young lady having her life cut incredibly short, her family whom I know must be absolutely stricken, her barn family, her horse -- and for the eventing community as a whole, especially if we can't understand that fatal events like this should be investigated to try to avoid their happening again, ending more and more amazing lives.

                                        I think we are all shocked and grieved about fatalities in the sport. But we shouldn't hurl accusations at people who want to attempt to make changes for the better. Get angry at the circumstances and try to change them! Don't seek emotional equilibrium/emotional coping by getting angry at people who want to change the status quo in the direction of better safety.
                                        If thou hast a sorrow, tell it not to the arrow, tell it to thy saddlebow, and ride on, singing. -- King Alfred the Great


                                          My deepest condolences to Ashley's family and friends.

                                          A slight aside query that I post only because so many knowledgeable people are on this thread.: Are there a comparable number of serious/ fatal incidences in hunt fields? They, too are often jumping solid obstacles, without the chance to walk teh course before. Just wondering, and I truly mean to take nothing from the gravity and sorrow of this thread's subject.
                                          They don't call me frugal for nothing.
                                          Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.