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

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  • #81
    For me it started with Frodo. I used to live in a place (Rocky Mtn west) where accidents of this magnitude didn't happen often, because of lower levels I guess. I certainly never saw one. Moving here and seeing Rolex every year, and other upper level HT at KHP... it gets really personal.

    I pick where I watch at Rolex very carefully now, which is kind of a shame.

    I don't know the answer.
    We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.


    • #82
      Peter Atkins posted his helmet cam ride and (I'm assuming it was the identical course) fence 4 was a big, honking table with a little bit of brush on the back edge. Our internet at home is slow and hinky, so I can't say for sure if it was an absolute square/upright face on the table. I wll say those types of jumps scare the hell out of me, personally, like almost nothing else.
      Click here before you buy.


      • #83
        Those big-a$$ gallopy tables scare the poop out of me as well but it seems like they ride well.

        The jumps that have been ugliest for me have been verticals. Ugh.... Whereas those blue tables at VAHT scare me to death and ride well. Of course, a lot of that could be a smart course designer who "sights" them well.

        Big gallopy tables are the hallmark of our sport... right? I don't know the stats on what sorts of jumps are associated with the worst falls.

        Originally posted by deltawave View Post
        Peter Atkins posted his helmet cam ride and (I'm assuming it was the identical course) fence 4 was a big, honking table with a little bit of brush on the back edge. Our internet at home is slow and hinky, so I can't say for sure if it was an absolute square/upright face on the table. I wll say those types of jumps scare the hell out of me, personally, like almost nothing else.


        • #84
          The answer to the OP's question, for me, is yes. I used to event, but some years ago after seeing a horse die at an event after hitting a solid fence (not a rotational fall) I realized that was something I couldn't bear happening to one of my own horses. I since switched to jumpers, and dabble in the hunters.

          I DO periodically go to larger events to spectate and I do enjoy spectating. The quality of the horses and riders is phenomenal. When accidents occur it is quite chilling though. I once brought a friend and her kids to an event where a horse died and it really ruined the day for them. They were big animal lovers and I don't think they will EVER go to ANY kind of horse related event again. For myself, I realize that for the most part these animals live very comfortable, fortunate lives and that while it is very sad when one of them dies, for the most part they are a reasonably lucky bunch.

          I also recognize that other disciplines are just as dangerous for horses as eventing. The public doesn't know it (well, maybe they do now) but even show hunters that only have to canter around 3' courses with huge ground lines die from time to time from being injected with untestable calming agents. The eventing world gets an unfair amount of scrutiny because the horses are dying out in the middle of competition, not quietly back at the barn.

          I remain a huge proponent of lower level eventing which I think is a great (and very low risk) place for many horses to be productive and provide a lot of enjoyment for their owners. It's also a great place for young horsemen/women to learn an excellent complement of riding skills, and also a great place for those same young people to focus on training and hard work and less about how fancy of a horse their family can afford.

          Now, having ridden at and spectated at events over the course of a few decades, I completely agree with others that cross country has changed VERY dramatically. It used to be that the jumps were primarily galloping fences. Riders would get their horses in a beautiful, rhythmic gallop and ride the course out of that gallop. There were combinations/complexes that tested the balance and adjustability of that gallop, but it was still a galloping course. Now, I see horses galloping along, and then pulling up to a showjumping canter to jump a tricky showjumping type combination of jumps, and then galloping on to the next jump.

          Deltawave, while I agree with you most of the time, but the photos you linked to are not really of a rotational fall (IMO). The horse went down and then it's rear end rolled about 90 degrees to the side. I have seen plenty of falls in the jumpers, but I have never seen a real rotational fall in the jumpers. I'm not saying they can't or don't occur, but there really isn't a fixed object for a horse to catch a knee on in showjumping, so I think it is more unusual.


          • #85
            [QUOTE=deltawave;6827181]I know you meant 'necropsy' and the answer is almost certainly "yes".

            Yes, ooops Necropsy. Brain fart
            RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

            "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."


            • #86
              Cause of Andrea's fall

              Posted on EN this morning: "According to Buck, the post-accident necropsy identified a heart attack as Neveah's cause of death."

              Perhaps in light of the results of the autopsy, some people on this thread might like revise their speculation as to the cause of the fall in this situation.

              The first clue would be that Neveah's just didn't really take off for the jump. The second is that the reports stated that the horse "expired" shortly after the fall.

              We really don't need to be publicly critical of either the horse's age or preparation, or the rider's abilities until the facts are known.
              Equestrian art is closely related to the wisdom of life - Alois Podhajsky


              • #87
                I haven't read this whole thread....I guess my answer would be not really because I've seen it, don't like it but know it is a risk and have always known it is a risk. I've seen horses die in many ways. A few at eventing competitions. A few in the jumpers...yes, they can still fall down even with the saftey cups now and with fences that fall. Seen more with racing and fox hunting. I also seen a rider killed as well. Seeing the rider'a accident was the worst.

                I've seen FAR more from pasture accidents. Nothing worse than seeing a horse with a broken leg in the field....and I've seen a few in over 30 years.

                Yes...eventing is dangerous. I had a horse compting in Prelim with a pro at Pine Top this past weekend. NO ONE wants to see either a horse or rider hurt...or even hear about it. But you know what I was most worried for him....not xc where I do understand he could get hurt. But it is riding in the trailer to and from the event....and when that horse is turned out as I know how he has a tendancy to hurt himself. But I'm also not going to stop putting him on a trailer....or stop turning him out.

                It is horses....they get hurt. They get hurt in their stalls, they get hurt in the field, they get hurt in a trailer and they get hurt in competition. I do not stick my head in the sand and blame the sport. You work to improve the sport of course...but you mostly work to improve your own horsemanship (to know what speed is safe for your horse, what jump, what level) and accept that EVEN when you do everything well...and whether you are a weekend trail rider, show hunter or event rider....your heart will more likely than not be broken at some point with horses but you accept the heartbreak for all the good things that go a long with having a horse in your life.
                Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Feb. 11, 2013, 11:03 AM.
                ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                • #88
                  Amen to that. Great summary. I concur - the pasture accident strikes fear in your heart. There is nothing worse than that cold, numb dread that washes over you when you see a horse covered in blood or standing on three legs. For me that is the worst.

                  "You mostly work to improve your own horsemanship"-- truer words never spoken. We are NOT the great unwashed public and we know things happen in horse sports, and causes may or may not be something we understand.

                  Horse sport is not a public highway. No one has the right to any knowledge or facts except those involved and those they choose to release.

                  We are an informed public, not a bunch of dodos.

                  We know we have to be better at what we do, we aren't perfect, we don't get to judge, and speculation without facts is not only useless but harmful and inconsiderate. There but for the grace of God go thou and I. Next week it could be you or me. I personally feel it is important to remember that.
                  Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                  Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


                  • #89
                    yes, I never went over this story and how crazy it was that the Eriksson family lost 2 daughters to eventing accidents :


                    • #90
                      Originally posted by fluffy_pony View Post
                      yes, I never went over this story and how crazy it was that the Eriksson family lost 2 daughters to eventing accidents :

                      That is not correct. They lost 2 daughters to riding accidents. ONE was at an event the other was on a trail ride. It is tragic for that family. I also know...unfortunately...a few families who lost multiple children and other members in car accidents. Several more who went too soon because of cancer. Three from skiing accidents...
                      ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                      • #91
                        Originally posted by fluffy_pony View Post
                        yes, I never went over this story and how crazy it was that the Eriksson family lost 2 daughters to eventing accidents :
                        BFNE is right, they were riding accidents. And Mia's, though tragic, was something that was preventable under many circumstances.

                        I cannot fathom the emotional and physical pain that Andrea is going through, and my heart breaks for her. But, I'm sure many people are asking this question: why was a 7 year old horse going Intermediate?

                        FWIW, the majority of horses that I've known that have competed at that level by that age had soundness issues within a couple of years. Additionally, one of those flipped at their third I outing (at age 7), was pounded for several years after that, and is now semi-retired due to chronic soundess problems.
                        Road to the T3D
                        fri [fri:] fritt fria (adj): Free
                        skritt [skrit:] skritten (noun): Walk


                        • #92
                          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.
                          You guys are seriously grasping at straws here. That is a nasty fall, but the horse rolled sideways after being on the ground. Not at all what people are talking about when they talk about "rotational falls" in eventing, and you all know it.

                          Rotational falls:


                          http://jcdill.smugmug.com/photos/453700029_CjWoX-O.jpg (saw this one in person, completely horrifying)

                          I'm sure I could dig up a hundred more of event horses going ass over teakettle.

                          In the case of Andrea's horse, it now sounds like heart failure just before the jump, which is a tragedy in itself, considering the frequency with which that has happened over the past few years.

                          Had absolutely nothing to do with a 7yo going Intermediate, which should be no problem with a talented horse and pilot. The things that get people in a tizzy here (7yo going intermediate, draw reins) are really bizarre sometimes.


                          • #93
                            Originally posted by beowulf
                            I recognize a rotational fall as any point where a horse is caught on any part of the jump, its' balance interrupted by that catching, and the subsequent fall over its back that happens after. Sure, the grey in DW's post doesn't go head over heels like Frodo, but he still made contact with a jump that acted, to him, as a pivot point.
                            No, from those pictures, the GROUND was the pivot point for a horizontal, not vertical, flip.


                            • #94
                              The things that get people in a tizzy here (7yo going intermediate, draw reins) are really bizarre sometimes.
                              Can you please define a "tizzy"? Because I'm not seeing anything that would be called a "tizzy" here. People are speculating, asking hard questions, raising concerns that are at least worth talking about (even if they turn out to be irrelevant as further information comes forward) but I haven't seen a tizzy yet, other than when trolls from other disciplines wander over to spew.
                              Click here before you buy.


                              • #95
                                I'm not sure whether it matters how we define "rotational" fall (perhaps only if someone is trying to validate their assertion that their definition makes the incident more endemic to eventing than other disciplines). To me, any fall that is bad enough to render a horse unable to land on its own legs on the other side of the fence is a fall that likely involves a high probability of serious rider/horse injury.

                                The semantics need not distract from the discussion at hand, right?
                                "With mirth and laughter, let old wrinkles come" (Shakespeare).


                                • #96
                                  I love eventing and plan to keep doing it. But I make sure my horse and I are ready for the course we are facing. I would rather pull than try a course that I know we weren't ready for.
                                  I had a rotation fall years ago and yes, it really racked my confidence to the core. I retired that mare (she dropped her front end over a trakehner looking at the ditch) from eventing because though neither of us were hurt and we did retake the fence, if she looked down once she could do it again.
                                  I do agree with the complexity verses the speed. Since my current mount is a Clydesdale I have to take speed into consideration (I am hoping to get another upper level horse) and now with my daughter wanting to start eventing everything really hits home.
                                  I love the sport and will not give it up, but I think it is our responsibilty to honestly judge ourselves and our horses. (sometimes freak accidents happen, even walking down the street)


                                  • #97
                                    not so my friend

                                    Originally posted by S A McKee View Post
                                    I'm pretty sure you know better than to make that statement.
                                    Rotational falls DO NOT take place in show jumping because the fence is not solid.
                                    Show Jumping made a bunch of changes so that the back rail on an oxer would always come down. New types of jump cups and standards took care of many issues.

                                    How about eventing? Same old thing or any changes on the horizon to resolve safety isues?
                                    Rotational falls most certainly do happen in sj. My horse rotated over a small 2 6" gate in showjumping. caught his leg because of a missed distance and flipped right over. i was not riding...my then trainer was and because he was very experienced he managed to roll before my horse landed. it was horrifying to watch. so...i have to disagree. they do flip.


                                    • #98
                                      You are not the only one.

                                      I started eventing in 1988 – the bygone era of long format and galloping courses. Took a hiatus in the early 2000’s – returned to find the sport not the same one that I left.

                                      I am also not the same young, very ambitious rider that I was back when I was competing – but looking at the new sport, through new eyes. Upper levels are no longer a goal (rode to prelim before the break), and I think that the highest levels ask too much of the horse, and are too punish mistakes too severely.

                                      I think just about EVERY horse sport, be it western pleasure, big lick, robot hunters etc has gone to the EXTREME over the last two decades to the absolute detriment of the horse.

                                      Originally posted by wanderlust View Post
                                      http://jcdill.smugmug.com/photos/453700029_CjWoX-O.jpg (saw this one in person, completely horrifying)
                                      I was jump judging the fence right before this one …. Watched it from close up as well. Horse and human were so lucky to walk away.

                                      Like another poster mentioned – I do not bring friends when I go to an event as a spectator or (or jump judge). I do not want to have to explain (or justify) something like THIS happening before their eyes – for that matter, I even leave my hubby at home. There are just not that many good explinations for asking a horse to do something – where this is the result.
                                      Last edited by Appsolute; Feb. 11, 2013, 03:24 PM.
                                      APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


                                      • #99
                                        Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                                        Peter Atkins posted his helmet cam ride and (I'm assuming it was the identical course) fence 4 was a big, honking table with a little bit of brush on the back edge. Our internet at home is slow and hinky, so I can't say for sure if it was an absolute square/upright face on the table. I wll say those types of jumps scare the hell out of me, personally, like almost nothing else.
                                        Definitely a square table. The shadow really hurts the visibility of the front face. Not too wide though. A good 3'6"/3'9" jumper square oxer, not a flyer but don't tug! Those tables are not meant to be galloping flyers. Have a forward step, sit up and wait out the distance. Don't go looking for it. If you bury yourself or gap it, trouble will follow.

                                        I am not a fan of his line, but he is also on a top level horse. I would have squared the corner a bit more to give the horse more time to see the spread and to square up to the face.

                                        To the OP:
                                        Accidents such as these and others motivate me to be a better rider and student of the sport. To spend time really diving into every aspect I can to make sure I and my horses are trained to do this. That is what fear is supposed to do. To ride around with no fear is to be a danger to yourself and your horse.

                                        Of course I don't ever want to hurt my horse so I will take his welfare into account every step of the way around a course. Fear motivates that as well. It takes more courage to pull up and call it a day when things seem out of sorts (even at fence 2). But it is also the wisest form of valor when married with wisdom.

                                        Each course is its own challenge. Listen to your horse. Be ready to take the time faults or not. I just let my horse dictate what they want to do and how they want to carry themselves that day. I then have to adjust my ride. I don't try to create something that is not there simply because it worked on some other course.


                                        • Definitely, yes. Used to event and have officiated and volunteered to a fairly high level. I loved the sport and I guess deep down still do.Watching a well ridden Xcountry ride still makes my heart beat a little faster and I still maintain nothing in the other disciplines compares to crossing the finish line after a good run.

                                          However, when I realized that I had great feelings of relief when X country was done and no horse or rider was seriously injured I knew this was no longer a sport for me or my horses.

                                          I will still support it at the lower levels but beyond Training level, sorry, count me out.