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Update to Forum Rules: Criminal Allegations

In our continuing effort to provide an avenue for individuals to voice their opinions and experiences, we have recently reviewed and updated our forum policies. Generally, we have allowed users to share their positive or negative experiences with or opinions of companies, products, trainers, etc. within the industry, and that is not changing.

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  • Original Poster

    Originally posted by kiwichick View Post

    No sorry, I havent been keeping track. You would need to contact every pony club and adult ride club in the world, but you can see where some have been buried at certain clubs.
    There is also the horses that recieve a 'not immediate' fatal injury. One I saw came off the xc in a bad way and went straight into a trailer and never made an appearance again. I checked results for years. I dont know what happened to that horse, but there is every chance some are euthed after the fact off grounds, also not reportable.
    thats quite the leap....I know if a few horses that did this and one retired to be a brood mare and another the rider quit eventing. Kind of a massive assumption to say it went home and was euthd.

    I find it hard to believe you cant remember a single horse or event where this happened. I was present at one event where the horse broke its leg and I will never ever forget that event. Another event when I was 13 someone had a heart attack mid course and died (rider), also will never forget that event. Seems like something that would stick with you.

    Comment


    • Relying on my memory here, but wondering if age of the horse might have something to do with this. If the horse had been campaigned by rider #1, been passed down as a schoolmaster to rider #2 who then subsequently rode horse at its previous level, might there be some cumulative organ stress that finally gave way? Kind of like the theory that fractures of legs are the result of an accumulation of minor insults that finally give way. Perhaps horses that have been in the very top tier of competition really don't have an infinite "shelf life" as teachers. Tigger Too comes to mind as an example.

      And was it Arthur who was abruptly retired when they found a previously unknown heart murmur?

      Comment


      • My first horse was euthanized for dilated cardiomyopathy secondary to mitral valve regurgitation. Basically a leaky heart valve contributed to his heart stretching up like a baloon ready to pop. At the time it was considered very rare and he was diagnosed at OVC after a vet at the finish line of an event in Ontario (at the Preliminary level where he finished clear and inside the time) noticed he was in atrial fibrillation. The heart muscle was stretched so much that it couldn't conduct the electrical signal properly and hence the arrthymia. Dr. Sheard - the equine cardiologist who ended up caring for him at the University of Guelph said that there was a very real possiblity that his heard could rupture if I had taken him to Radnor CCI that fall as planned.

        I do know of horses who have died schooling - mostly due to catastrophic injuries. There are probably fewer dying of cardiovascular causes during training and conditioning at home due to the competition representing the maximum cardiovascular demands made on their systems; when we condition at home we may be doing multiple 4 or 5 minute gallop sets and include hills etc. but it is still not as physically demanding as 10-11 minutes of galloping on a 4* course jumping obstacles along the way. Same with xc schooling - usually its stop and start, not balls to the wall for 7-11 minutes!

        ETA my horse who died had never received adequan, but had been on cimetidine for melanomas (he was a grey). He died in 2001 or 2002.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          Very sorry for you loss, and thank you for sharing your findings. Very interesting.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post
            Very sorry for you loss, and thank you for sharing your findings. Very interesting.
            thanks!

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post

              thats quite the leap....I know if a few horses that did this and one retired to be a brood mare and another the rider quit eventing. Kind of a massive assumption to say it went home and was euthd.

              I find it hard to believe you cant remember a single horse or event where this happened. I was present at one event where the horse broke its leg and I will never ever forget that event. Another event when I was 13 someone had a heart attack mid course and died (rider), also will never forget that event. Seems like something that would stick with you.
              of course I can remember events where this happened, one was a friends horse.
              However I am not clear or comfortable enough on the details to be adding to your list. Its also not my story to tell.

              My point about the horse that left in the trailer wasnt to assume it was Euth'd, was to point out that there are career ending injuries occuring too, whilst I dont know what happened to that horse, I do know it never evented again, but the rider did. Geldings dont make great broodmares from what I know.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by kiwichick View Post

                of course I can remember events where this happened, one was a friends horse.
                However I am not clear or comfortable enough on the details to be adding to your list. Its also not my story to tell.

                My point about the horse that left in the trailer wasnt to assume it was Euth'd, was to point out that there are career ending injuries occuring too, whilst I dont know what happened to that horse, I do know it never evented again, but the rider did. Geldings dont make great broodmares from what I know.
                You could have said you weren’t comfortable sharing instead of lying and saying you “haven’t been keeping track”. Makes your credibility suspect.

                It’s unfortunate though, since this entire thread is based on the fact we have so little research and data on these deaths, and things are routinely kept hush hush. If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post
                  You could have said you weren’t comfortable sharing instead of lying and saying you “haven’t been keeping track”. Makes your credibility suspect.
                  To be totally fair to a relatively new poster on this board, it's difficult to step forward years later and bring up the details of horse deaths that were not widely reported. Yes, it would have been better to have been up front about why you aren't disclosing them, but I read "I haven't been keeping track" less as an intentional lie and more as a quiet way to avoid naming names.

                  I can personally think of horses that have died on course that aren't listed in this thread too (and some in show jumping, not only cross-country), but I won't be naming them because 1) they happened years ago and beyond names and dates there are very few details that could be accurately remembered (so I don't think it's in any way helpful), 2) that's a lot of pain to bring back up for a (sometimes junior) rider who may be just starting to move on. It's one thing if everyone already knew about the death, but to re-traumatize someone by bringing an event into the public eye for the first time years later, when there aren't enough verifiable facts to do any good from a trend/research perspective, is needlessly painful.

                  See here for the ongoing, heartbreaking impact that these deaths can have: https://eventingconnect.today/2018/0...al-all-wounds/

                  None of us like losing horses. All of us want to fix and change this. I hope we can all remember that this thread, and the passion we have discussing it, is for the horse. We all want them to come home.

                  Comment


                  • Equine mortality from years ago is difficult to include because the necropsy rule is relatively new. But FWIW, I remember chatting with David O'Connor at a clinic he was teaching at Ledyard. Must have been 15 years ago or so. As I recall one of the OC horses had recently died on course unrelated to a jump ("sudden death"), and I mentioned how sorry I was. He said that there had been several sudden deaths that season internationally and wondered if it was some supplement that the horses were being given.

                    No followup as far as I know.
                    They don't call me frugal for nothing.
                    Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

                    Comment


                    • This is purely conjecture, but I would guess that the reason sudden deaths appear to be more common during the cross country phase of competition than during schooling, turnout, or other horse sports is not due to eventers being uncaring people who see horses as disposable, but due to a combination of factors surrounding the nature of the sport and the demographics of the horses competing in it.

                      Horses aren’t prone to atherosclerotic heart disease (the primary cause of human “heart attacks”) the way humans are, but I’m sure as they age their vessels likely still become less compliant and “elastic” ... and therefore, like an old rubber band, more brittle and prone to catastrophic failure under stress. Upper-level event horses are often in their mid-to-late teens, and while that isn’t ancient by any means, it’s old enough that in many horses the heart and blood vessels may be less resilient to extreme stress ... compared to racehorses, for example, whose heart and blood vessels are also under stress during the major exertion of a race, but are usually much younger than event horses (particularly those at the higher levels).

                      The length of cross country, compared to most races, showjumping rounds, or gallops in the pasture, means that over the duration of the course the heart and vessels are exposed to that amount of stress for a much longer period of time, probably further contributing to any increased likelihood of major cardiovascular events.

                      Hopefully, the more we learn about the factors that contribute to sudden death on course, the better chance we’ll have of being able to detect horses at risk. But the nature of the sport and the the horses that are competing in it means that equine participants will probably always have a higher likelihood of dying suddenly on course compared to, say, show hunters or trail horses ... the same way a human competing in a triathlon is more likely to have a cardiac event than a healthy person doing a 4-minute long figure skating routine.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post

                        You could have said you weren’t comfortable sharing instead of lying and saying you “haven’t been keeping track”. Makes your credibility suspect.

                        .
                        Okay for a start, I havent been keeping track to the level you want, yes I remember the instances, do I remember the exact date, no, I didnt keep a diary of horse fatalities. Nor the riders near fatalities at events I was at either. None of which I will be naming, but ive told you where to look if you want to go off and search.
                        The list shared here is a copy and a paste of a news article, so public information, so dont act like you shared info you were privvy to.

                        And secondly, I find it amusing that you are saying my credibility is suspect on a thread about fatal incidents of horses and riders, what credibility could I possibly need?? Im not selling you anything, I could care less if some internet warrior questions my credibility here. Go for it.

                        Comment


                        • Ex 4* horse Sligo Luckyvalier was pts yesterday after a fall in the Bolesworth Eventers Grand Prix (Arena eventing type comp). Not strictly eventing, but also not the first fatality at this type of competition in the uk.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by BWP View Post
                            Ex 4* horse Sligo Luckyvalier was pts yesterday after a fall in the Bolesworth Eventers Grand Prix (Arena eventing type comp). Not strictly eventing, but also not the first fatality at this type of competition in the uk.

                            Comment


                            • Axel Z euthanized today after a rotational fall on course.
                              http://eventingnation.com/axel-z-eut...uhmuhlen-cci4/

                              Comment


                              • What a beautiful, beautiful horse.

                                Disgusting, isn’t it.
                                LarkspurCO: no horse's training is complete until it can calmly yet expressively perform GP in stadium filled w/chainsaw juggling zombies riding unicycles while flying monkeys w/bottle rockets...

                                Comment


                                • You know, this just isn't any fun any more. I evented at the Smurf level on the west coast (Oregon, California) in the late 1970s-early 1980s and it was fun! Had a TB that I bred and turned out a bit more than I needed that I sold to a teenager who wanted a bit more of a ride. She moved east and took him up to advanced. I have a clipping of the two of them going over a fence at Chesterland.

                                  It seems that this latest fence didn't deploy when the horse hit it, causing the rotational fall. Word is that sometimes they deploy, sometimes they don't. That is unacceptable in today's world.

                                  RIP.

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by Gestalt View Post
                                    Axel Z euthanized today after a rotational fall on course.
                                    http://eventingnation.com/axel-z-eut...uhmuhlen-cci4/
                                    It says that the frangible pin technology did not deploy correctly. A sobering reminder of how even technology--at least as it exists at present--has its limits to make the sport safer.
                                    Crawling Between Heaven and Earth is now available!

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by Impractical Horsewoman View Post

                                      It says that the frangible pin technology did not deploy correctly. A sobering reminder of how even technology--at least as it exists at present--has its limits to make the sport safer.
                                      Yes, this is a terrible reminder that technology can and does fail. Several years ago the state hwy division had a speaker going into communities to give demonstrations on how to properly install a car seat. Nothing the manufacturers did was wrong, and people putting the seats in thought they were doing it right, but 80% (that's a huge number!) of car seats were improperly installed. Sometimes something seems simple, but...

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by Gestalt View Post
                                        Nothing the manufacturers did was wrong, and people putting the seats in thought they were doing it right, but 80% (that's a huge number!) of car seats were improperly installed. Sometimes something seems simple, but...
                                        This is a tangent, but many safety professionals would argue the manufacturer is absolutely doing something wrong in this example. If the majority of end users cannot use the product properly, it is not well designed.

                                        An effective safety system needs to work under conditions that actually occur in the real world, which can be quite different to the conditions that designers think to test.

                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by conniemary View Post

                                          This is a tangent, but many safety professionals would argue the manufacturer is absolutely doing something wrong in this example. If the majority of end users cannot use the product properly, it is not well designed.

                                          An effective safety system needs to work under conditions that actually occur in the real world, which can be quite different to the conditions that designers think to test.
                                          While I agree with you for the most part, in the case of the safety seats people simply weren't following the instructions. When it was demonstrated to the parents how the seats react when not properly fastened they understood the importance of following those directions completely.

                                          In the case of Axel Z's death, I do think the manufacturer could be at fault. Could be.

                                          Comment

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