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Has your enjoyment of eventing been affected by horse/rider deaths?

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  • #61
    Wildlifer, I totally agree. There are a lot of statements on here noting that we have more accidents now than we used to.

    Whaaa??? ya'll smokin???

    Our fences are safer, our equipment is safer, we don't even allow people to get back on when they fall off.

    And I remember when pros brought their horses out at prelim, typically at age 5.
    I would not want to jump some of the fences they used to jump.

    Just look at pics from back in the day.

    My own vet has insisted that horses last a lot longer now than they used to. He attributes this to better veterinary treatments and... (this I didn't like hearing) the disappearance of the long format. He insisted that horses that had run the long formats were drained, used up, and done at a younger age.

    Just trying to present the other side of the picture... it may be totally inaccurate but as long as people are stating that we have more accidents and our horses are done at an earlier age... with no data to back that up... I may as well chime in with the other side...

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    • #62
      I realize the post has been amended, but a pro (or even an amateur) can still bring a horse out at Prelim at age 5 if he/she wishes, so long as the rider is qualifed to compete at Prelim. There is no horse qualification for Prelim.


      The competitor must have obtained NQR’s at 4 Training Level Horse Trials, may include T3D, or higher. For this level only, qualifications are specific to the competitor. There are no set minimum competition qualifications to be achieved by the horse.

      Click here before you buy.

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      • #63
        Omg. After watching what I could of the bromont video I'd have to say this sport has came a long way ESP in rider ability. Rotational after rotational and fall after fall and they get back on and keep going. Geesshhh. That was hard to watch what I could of it.
        Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

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        • Original Poster

          #64
          Originally posted by retreadeventer View Post
          This thread is so far following the script.
          I do accident scene investigation for a living. There's no WAY you can start laying blame and saying it's this, it's that before the investigation is complete. And even then two opposing sides can take the exact same information and come up with two plausible explanations.
          My husband is a police officer and specializes in accident reconstruction. What he will tell you is that an accident that results in death(s) is going to draw a lot of public speculation. The general public cannot and shouldn't be censored or told that they are not allowed to have an opinion.

          When anything results in death, part of the grief process is trying to find a reason WHY. And how to prevent it. There is nothing wrong with this. People CARE about what happens to other people and animals. They put themselves in the shoes of the family members left behind and wonder what could have prevented such a tragedy.

          Part of my husband's job is disseminating correct information so speculation doesn't reign free. I am not up on what has or has not been released about eventing accidents, but obviously there are a lot of questions that are unanswered.

          Life is a precious thing...and to me, while I don't place animals at the same level of humans, I feel that they fall into the same category as children. They are innocents who have no say in what happens to them. We, as their caretakers, make decisions about their welfare daily. No one would willingly place their children in harm's way. Maybe some of us are starting to question whether competing horses at the upper levels in eventing is doing just that.

          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by KellyS View Post
            My husband is a police officer and specializes in accident reconstruction. What he will tell you is that an accident that results in death(s) is going to draw a lot of public speculation. The general public cannot and shouldn't be censored or told that they are not allowed to have an opinion.

            When anything results in death, part of the grief process is trying to find a reason WHY. And how to prevent it. There is nothing wrong with this. People CARE about what happens to other people and animals. They put themselves in the shoes of the family members left behind and wonder what could have prevented such a tragedy.

            Part of my husband's job is disseminating correct information so speculation doesn't reign free. I am not up on what has or has not been released about eventing accidents, but obviously there are a lot of questions that are unanswered.

            Life is a precious thing...and to me, while I don't place animals at the same level of humans, I feel that they fall into the same category as children. They are innocents who have no say in what happens to them. We, as their caretakers, make decisions about their welfare daily. No one would willingly place their children in harm's way. Maybe some of us are starting to question whether competing horses at the upper levels in eventing is doing just that.

            Couldn't have been said better.
            AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

            Comment


            • #66
              KellyS, I think you're asking some very important questions by starting this thread.

              This is a subject that my mind turns to quite often as it's impossible to overlook just how much we're asking of our horses for our own enjoyment of the sport.

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                I realize the post has been amended, but a pro (or even an amateur) can still bring a horse out at Prelim at age 5 if he/she wishes, so long as the rider is qualifed to compete at Prelim. There is no horse qualification for Prelim.
                DW, my point was that one must compete at training and be qualified to run at prelim. This was not the case, even as recently as the 1990s. I do not know the date when the USEA introduced the training qualifier for prelim. I vividly recall a trainer telling me that he had not ridden any horse below prelim for several years because that was where he started them. Can't happen anymore...

                Comment


                • #68
                  I'm glad someone is brave enough to start a conversation about this. In 2008, my 10 year old horse rotated over a training level XC jump while I was taking a XC lesson. We also rotated over a table jump. We had been schooling that level all summer and competing novice. We had ridden the same jump multiple times before but she got to the base of the jump and decided to leave way to early with me still sitting down on her. When you can feel yourself going down on a horse while rotating, it is a feeling you will never forget. She was never able to jump more than BN after this. She was very banged up but she would have been willing to get back up and do it all over again because she would give you her all. I am still very cautious XC and haven't done anything more than Novice level since. At this point, I am questioning my advancement in eventing Vs. Jumpers + dressage. I feel like for me to ever even attempt to ride more than training level, the jumps need to give. When you have the time to think about your horse dying when your in mid-air, you get a wake up call about what your doing with your horse.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by JFCeventer View Post
                    - Would most horses rather be stuffing their faces in a green pasture than running xc? Absolutely. But this doesn't mean that they hate their job or don't have a blast out there. Most event horses truly look thrilled on xc. So would they freely choose it? No. But do they enjoy it? Sure. Maybe that doesn't take away from the guilt one feels after a horse is injured because they were doing something you asked them to do, but its not as if the horse is miserable running xc
                    I just happened to pick your quote, JFCE, but a lot of people will say this. I agree wholeheartedly. A horse is happiest when he is munching grass. I'm pretty happy lounging on a beach somewhere too. I'm a teacher. I love teaching. There are good days and bad but if someone asks me if I love teaching I'm going to say yes, I love teaching. But if no one makes me go to work (as in, pays me) I'm not gonna go. I feel the same way about horses. When someone, perhaps an ARA or someone who is sympathizing with the plight of the poor horsie being enslaved by their owners, tries to tell me "If the horses love jumping so much, then they would jump the fences in their pasture when you're not riding them" (ours are turned out with the fences in the one pasture sometimes) and although actually we have seem them sometimes do that when they are playing, I equate that with my job. They like their job (jumping/teaching) when someone is making them do it, but given the choice they would be (eating grass/on the beach).

                    OP, in answer to your original question, I'm an eventing mom. Yes, reading about all these deaths make me frantic because I'm the helpless bystander with the boot rag and camera. I'm thankful that my DD is only at Training and it looks like her horse will be maxing out at that level, and she's heading off to college so she won't be getting a new horse and I won't actually be needing medication to see her compete at Prelim because honestly I was starting to think I might.

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      ^^ been there. A rotational fall back in the late 90s was career ending for Mick's mother. It is a horrible, slow mo feeling... and it took me years to get over it.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        "I want to know if there are any statistics that show if the rate of horse and rider deaths are higher now than in the 1980's or '90s. There are more people eventing now so you would expect more accidents, but I wonder about the rate.

                        Does anyone know this?"

                        ANYBODY?

                        Has anyone ever interviewed riders who have lost horses in falls to find out what was going on at the time?

                        Don't you think it would be a good idea to do this? Hindsight is often 20/20 or so and what you don't realize in the moment you often realize later.

                        Maybe we can learn from our mistakes. But first we have to find out just what the mistake was.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          I vividly recall a trainer telling me that he had not ridden any horse below prelim for several years because that was where he started them. Can't happen anymore...
                          Yes, it can. A suitably qualified person (one who has done 4 Training HTs with the appropriate score) can start a horse out at Prelim, as long as the horse is registered with the USEA/USEF and old enough to compete at the level. The link I quoted above comes from the USEA website.

                          http://useventing.com/resources/file...ts_Summary.pdf

                          I haven't ridden at Prelim since 2005. I have done enough training HTs within the last few years to be qualified to run at Prelim again, however. (not sure if my qualifications ever lapsed, it's not important) I could buy a 6 year old horse off the track tomorrow and run it at Prelim next weekend, assuming I found a spot open. And was certifiably insane.

                          It's more stringent to qualify for a T3D than it is for Prelim. Not saying it's right.
                          Click here before you buy.

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            OMG! I stand corrected.

                            what a painful thing to admit

                            Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                            Yes, it can. A suitably qualified person (one who has done 4 Training HTs with the appropriate score) can start a horse out at Prelim, as long as the horse is registered with the USEA/USEF and old enough to compete at the level. The link I quoted above comes from the USEA website.

                            http://useventing.com/resources/file...ts_Summary.pdf

                            I haven't ridden at Prelim since 2005. I have done enough training HTs within the last few years to be qualified to run at Prelim again, however. (not sure if my qualifications ever lapsed, it's not important) I could buy a 6 year old horse off the track tomorrow and run it at Prelim next weekend, assuming I found a spot open. And was certifiably insane.

                            It's more stringent to qualify for a T3D than it is for Prelim. Not saying it's right.

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              It shouldn't hurt. Happens to me here (and elsewhere) all the time.
                              Click here before you buy.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                KellyS, You asked the Question of whether my enjoyment has been affected and I would answer, Yes, Absolutely. Although my horse is retired now, after seeing the situation in recent years, I can say it is no longer a sport I can readily defend as I used to. And this is from someone who has evented for over 25 years (to Intermediate) and loved spectating at many of the big events: Rolex, Chesterland, Burghley, Blenheim, Badminton and Boekelo, Braham etc...

                                It is not just the deaths and accidents, because as as others have posted, who knows if on average there have been more accidents per XC round jumped. However, it is the reaction to these accidents that I can't stomach.

                                I must say, at the risk of opening another can of worms here, the day I watched the video of Samurai finishing Rolex on three legs was the day that my love for Eventing was wholeheartedly extinguished.

                                Regardless of the why that situation at Rolex occurred, it sickened me to see not only the clip, but also reaction afterward. The fact that people were able to defend that sort of abuse, whether intentional or unintentional was unacceptable. Because it means the same sort of thing could happen again, and to me that is just indefensible.

                                I still have an interest in Eventing, and nothing beats the thrill of going XC. But for the time-being anyway, I no longer love it or enjoy watching it. I'll find other sports to support.

                                Comment


                                • #76
                                  Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                                  They certainly can if the horse completely misses and gets a rail between its front legs.

                                  https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=72f5d7a87c
                                  Eeesh, scary pictures of the grey Is that an actual rotational fall though? I don't see that fence acted as a pivot, but my knowledge of these things is minimal. Horrible fall.

                                  Comment


                                  • #77
                                    Originally posted by nomeolvides View Post
                                    Eeesh, scary pictures of the grey Is that an actual rotational fall though? I don't see that fence acted as a pivot, but my knowledge of these things is minimal. Horrible fall.
                                    I could be wrong but I believe that a rotational fall is defined by the nature of the fall and not by what caused the fall. If the horse "rotates," that is a rotational fall.

                                    And the horse can rotate stumbling over a hole in a field or due to a pole between its legs, or whatever. Something acts a a pivot... whether that is a stationary object or not.

                                    Comment


                                    • #78
                                      Originally posted by ahbaumgardner View Post
                                      I could be wrong but I believe that a rotational fall is defined by the nature of the fall and not by what caused the fall. If the horse "rotates," that is a rotational fall.

                                      And the horse can rotate stumbling over a hole in a field or due to a pole between its legs, or whatever. Something acts a a pivot... whether that is a stationary object or not.

                                      Any jump can cause a rotational fall but if you look at the stadium picture, the back rails fell. That rotational fall would have been a lot worse if it was a solid log.

                                      Comment


                                      • #79
                                        Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                                        So if anyone wishes to DO SOMETHING other than talk/speculate, might I make a small plea for even a five dollar donation to one of the several research initiatives that the USEA has to help answer these questions with facts? I am going to do so right now, in honor of that nice mare.
                                        Excellent suggestion DW, have done so !!

                                        KellyS, every disaster I know of makes me rethink my plans for my horses because if there is one thing I have learned is that even when you do everything right, perfect fencing, perfect footing, perfect pasture friends, perfect program, even when you leave nothing undone...if you have enough horses for long enough you will still have catastrophies. Whoever said horses are tragic animals was right, horses used for sport no more so than those neglected, poorly used, abandoned etc.

                                        JER, excellent point about being uncompromising in your assessment of your horse's jump!!!
                                        Kate

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                                        • #80
                                          It was only the 4th jump on course; making me think the mare was pretty keen having just started. I've seen those tables at FHP and I think I know which one the accident happened at (although I was not there and didn't see the actual incident). They seem huge to me (of course I'm just a low level wannabe). Riders cannot make a mistake at those tables; and they definitely are not forgiving.

                                          I am of the opinion that the fences should be forgiving; mistakes should result in the fence crumbling, not knocking the horse over. Maybe tables should be replaced with big square hedges like someone suggested. The point is I think there is room for improvement - and why wouldn't people want to make the sport safer for horses and riders alike? I don't understand the resistance to this.

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