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Talking about death

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  • #21
    Originally posted by SuZQuzie View Post
    Just to show that it does happen in other equestrian sports...

    http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum...d.php?t=201877
    That thread is about the rider dying. Nothing about the horse's status. The title is misleading as everyone expects it to be about a horse death.

    Comment


    • #22
      Perspective, people! Mother nature has ordained nothing but the most hideous deaths for prey animals in the wild. Weak, injured or old, they are literally torn to shreds and eaten alive by predators or have painful miserable deaths from exposure, injury and any small injury that festers and spreads. THEN they are torn to shreds by predators. Why don't you write Mother Nature a letter of complaint? We do a damn good job taking care of our animals IMHO. In humans,we cure cancer and suddenly everyone is dying of heart attacks.( or vice versa ) My point is that death, from a biological perspective, is normal and natural. Something will get us or our horses sooner or later. We have fewer colics, kepp them from being put down from now treatable injuries and suddenly we see other causes of death pop up. Not at all scientific but things are not nearly as simple as they appear on the surface.
      The ants are my friends. And they're blowin' in the wind.

      Comment


      • #23
        re other disciplines...I have seen some nasty pictures of Western riding accidents in junior rodeos

        Comment


        • #24
          Whether there are more horse deaths at the upper levels of eventing or not is simply not debatable. Look at the number of horses that have died from ruptures in the last several years. I can think of at least four domestically.

          I spend most of my time in the jumper ring. I have NEVER seen a horse die from a cardiac event during a jumper round, and I have seen thousands of them, at the very top levels. I know it happens, but it is very, very rare. There is some reason why it happens more during XC, and if we can find out what causes it we can start looking at ways to prevent it.

          The need for more/better scientific investigation into what is causing these problems for eventers could not be more clear. Pretending it isn't happening or that it isn't a problem/could just as easily happen in the field is counterproductive, as it delays research that could save horse lives.

          Comment


          • #25
            ESPN probably carries (or at least carried) a lot more jumping than eventing. In fact, I can't think of any eventing it has covered except for the story last year.

            The whole killing for insurance in the h/j world got plenty of coverage. The problems with TB horse racing have gotten plenty of coverage. I don't think eventing is being singled out.

            Originally posted by adamsmom View Post
            ... After all, in a sport where ESPN isn't there, who's to know if you don't report something?

            Comment


            • #26
              Originally posted by JAM View Post
              ESPN probably carries (or at least carried) a lot more jumping than eventing. In fact, I can't think of any eventing it has covered except for the story last year.

              The whole killing for insurance in the h/j world got plenty of coverage. The problems with TB horse racing have gotten plenty of coverage. I don't think eventing is being singled out.
              If you can find jumping on ESPN these days, I'd be amazed. They used to cover it quite a lot, but not much now.

              However, I'm not suggesting that eventing is being singled out.
              What I'm saying is that I personally know of several horses over the past 2-3 years that have died at or in connection with hunter/jumper competitions. No, most of them were not cardiac events, but they did result in the death of the horses in question.
              To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge.

              Comment


              • #27
                I think "hamster" may have touched on something important- horses are living longer productive lives because of improved veterinary care, feeding programs and management. Are older horses more apt to be affected by cardiac events than younger horses- just like people? I know that one of last years XC deaths involved an older horse. I myself lost an older horse to a cardiac event many years ago.

                Another factor to consider is whether some horses are genetically predisposed to cardiac events, making them more susceptible at a younger age- again just like people?

                Certainly, when a horse is working closer to its maximum capacity, it is more likely to experience a cardiac event than a horse not working close to its maximum capacity. Maybe that is a factor in why there seem to be more incidents in upper level eventing than some other sports.

                This is not simple- there are so many factors that need to be studied and analyzed. We need to be able to predict what horses might be more prone to these problems and know how to monitor their cardiac health as well as the external factors that impact their cardiac health.

                I know that eventing is not alone with cardiac events affecting horses. Without having to think hard, I can list four incidents in four other disciplines, three of which received _no_ online attention: saddlebred that was being long-lined at home at walk/trot for 15-20 minutes, standardbred warming up at walk and trot at a horse show, endurance horse having just finished a competitive ride (and these horses are vet-checked at several points along the ride). None of these were covered up- there just wasn't any interest or vehicle to discuss them.

                I can also list recent incidents with race horses and even an occurence during a dressage test. These incidents received some online attention.

                I believe that eventing incidents do receive more online attention than incidents in other disciplines. We have a passionate group of individuals on this board who either participate in or follow eventing. Therefore, we have intense discussion when an incident occurs in eventing. Because the membership of this group is broad and distributed, and because message boards are asynchronous, we are aware of incidents soon after they occur- regardless of what level or geography they occur in. The same level of attention is just not given when Jane's horse has a cardiac event in the pasture at home, unless Jane's horse happened to be a famous ex-eventer.

                Comment


                • #28
                  Adamsmom, maybe there are a few deaths here and there, though I have not heard of any death-causing longeing accidents (does that even count?!) and certainly am not aware of any patterns of several deaths from related causes. But look at the sheer numbers of horses that compete in H/J v. eventing. It is not uncommon for a H/J show to have several thousand entries, and for grand prixs to have 70 or more horses. And there are major competitions every weekend all over the country. There are far fewer upper-level events and far more deaths, particularly from pulmonary embolisms. Why NOT focus on it, do the research, and try to reduce the numbers?

                  Believe me, if I saw any sort of death trend in H/J world, I would raise holy hell until they were addressed. I ride horses for fun, and dead horses are not fun.

                  For the record, I have not seen any dynamic/controversial coverage of ex-eventers falling over dead in the pasture, any more so that any other horse whose passing we note and regret. I don't recall anyone saying "poor thing must have died because it once participated in a dangerous sport."

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by hamsterpoop View Post
                    Perspective, people! Mother nature has ordained nothing but the most hideous deaths for prey animals in the wild. Weak, injured or old, they are literally torn to shreds and eaten alive by predators or have painful miserable deaths from exposure, injury and any small injury that festers and spreads. THEN they are torn to shreds by predators. Why don't you write Mother Nature a letter of complaint? We do a damn good job taking care of our animals IMHO. In humans,we cure cancer and suddenly everyone is dying of heart attacks.( or vice versa ) My point is that death, from a biological perspective, is normal and natural. Something will get us or our horses sooner or later. We have fewer colics, kepp them from being put down from now treatable injuries and suddenly we see other causes of death pop up. Not at all scientific but things are not nearly as simple as they appear on the surface.
                    I couldn't agree with you more. I would add, however, that making choices that set the horse/human up to live longer and healthier should be the M.O.
                    When blood is the beverage of choice, the sharpest fangs feed first.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Well, I started showing in '68 and can recall one Jumper, Jimmy Willliams old buckskin veteran, The Plainsman, breaking a leg in the Junior Jumpers at Del Mar back when it was still at the track-and he made it back to the barn.

                      Had a friend whose AA Hunter dropped from an anyurism in the practice ring at, like, Capital Challege or something maybe 8/10 years ago.

                      I know a horse was badly hurt last year in a GP event at KHP but was not at that ring.

                      That's it. Oh, been to the track a few hundred times over 40+ years and watch on the TV yet only a total of about 10 or 15 that I actually was there or watching on the telly.

                      Went to one event, a ***, saw a horrible wreck when one slid across a table and skinned most of one side-later euthed. Another was put down on course after flipping at a coffin. Was not on that part of the course. That was my one and only in person.

                      Since I have lived here, paid a little attention to the Rolex since it's so close and thought of going BUT...most years there is 1. Sometimes 2. One year it was a rider in the *** undercard they used to run plus 2 horses put down on the course. My neighbors went to that one with their 2 little girls.

                      Not blaming anybody or anything but no longer recommend anybody go spectate as an introduction to horse sports. Just seems a given something will die at a ****.

                      Racing has lost some sponsership and alot of TV time because it is no longer "just part of the game" to most viewers. Eventing may be next.
                      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        I think that the occasional cardiac event is not really a horrible thing. Sad for the owner, rider and horse and hope some research can help.

                        BUT, the fact is that eventing has also had some issues with poor judgement and those few deaths (horse and rider) really marked the sport and leave no room for the random death to be politely brushed off.

                        And Rolex is a pretty small pool of riders, once a year. The comparison is not the sport of hunter jumpers.... but more like one big class. It would be a more valid comparison to look at all the deaths in the WEF series of Grand Prixs vs Rolex.

                        I don't go to Rolex (or the big event near me), steeplechases and skip watching racing on TV.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          I dont see how anyone can deny that upper level eventing and racing carry a higher level of risk to the horse than other horse sports. I think its foolish to deny it. You just have to decide if *you* can handle seeing it, if its acceptable for *you*. If you go to the track, you know you may see a horse break a leg. You know you may see a horse die at Rolex. If you cant handle that, then you shouldnt go. Plus, usually the way the horses die in eventing and on the track, is so graphic and horrific that its really traumatizing.

                          I evented up to Training but wouldnt risk myself or my horse at the Upper Levels. I wouldnt put a horse on the racetrack either. Its really everyone's choice. I think all possible safety precautions should be made, but like racing, its just a dangerous sport by its nature, both in what the horse has to do and the physical exertion necessary.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
                            Why NOT focus on it, do the research, and try to reduce the numbers?
                            I never ever said not to do the research. I would never ever suggest that we not try to find out if there is a reason for every type of death out there. I think it's essential that research be done, and it is being done. There may or may not be trends, and I'm certainly not suggesting that there is a "pattern". That's why research needs to be done.

                            All I'm saying is that deaths happen everywhere, from any number of reasons. And some are more publicly known than others.

                            And personally, yes, I think a horse breaking it's leg while being lunged does count, but maybe that's just me.
                            To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Seem to be alot of Steeplechasing Deaths

                              I personally have witnessed horse deaths at probably 6 of the past 8 Radnor Races held every spring in Malvern, Pennsylvania. i can't take it anymore and am not going this year.

                              there doesn't seem to be a similar outcry about the rate of deaths in that sport.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by adamsmom View Post
                                And personally, yes, I think a horse breaking it's leg while being lunged does count, but maybe that's just me.
                                I meant does it count as a show-jumping death? Horses get longed in virtually every horse sport and can take a bad step anywhere. If there was something specifically H/J about the longeing, what was it?

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  I don't even like to talk about the 3 that died here in 2007, let alone the horses I have no personal knowledge of.

                                  My 3 were:

                                  18 year old Morgan gelding that had a nasal tumor that progressed to the point that it was time. He was humanely euthanized.

                                  Tb that broke his hock in turn out. Had surgery, shattered the repaired leg when getting up from surgery, humanely euthanized.

                                  Tb that was galloping around the pasture, took a mis-step and broke his knee. There was no chance of recovery and was humanely euthanized after radiographs.

                                  In 30 years of keeping horses it was the first time I'd ever had horse deaths of any of the horses in my care. Luckily I haven't had any more since.

                                  In regards to the original question--I have serious reservations about developing upper level horses/riders at this point, though I've recently sold one to a YR that I think will bring it to Advanced. I know when one of "my" track horses and one of "my" kids went around Rolex a few years ago my adrenaline was running so high I was shivering--and it wasn't because I was afraid they'd die, I had complete faith in the horse's ability to stay on his feet--but the risk is always there, every time you saddle a horse.

                                  I'm glad research is being focused on these 'health" deaths. Hopefully some consistent common ground will be discovered between them and we will be able to adapt either our training skills or course designing skills to eliminate, or nearly eliminate them. I do not think knee-jerk rules and wailing around is going to produce any good results, though.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    4 deaths in 4 days of steeplechasing in australia

                                    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/horse...95188548_x.htm

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      We're not worthy

                                      I'm being blinded by the shining halo of goodness and purity worn by all non-eventers today.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by sporthorselover View Post
                                        I personally have witnessed horse deaths at probably 6 of the past 8 Radnor Races held every spring in Malvern, Pennsylvania. i can't take it anymore and am not going this year.

                                        there doesn't seem to be a similar outcry about the rate of deaths in that sport.
                                        Maybe not in the US but that's because nobody's heard of steeplechasing in the US.

                                        In the UK, NH racing has been under fire for horse welfare issues for many, many years. The most famous race, the Grand National, has been changed over the years to make it safer for horses. There are also a lot of studies being done on falls and injuries in the sport (some of which i cited last week on a different thread).

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by riderboy View Post
                                          I'm being blinded by the shining halo of goodness and purity worn by all non-eventers today.
                                          We all have an interest in reducing fatalities in eventing.

                                          Whether you want to believe it or not, bad press for eventing negatively affects all horse sports. I don't know how many times I have heard about those NYT articles last year from people questioning my sanity for riding horses.

                                          People don't know the difference between the different sports, but they do get worked up over people and animals dying. If we want any horse sports to get mainstream support, we have to do whatever we can to reinforce that equestrian community as a whole is doing what it can to provide entertainment, safety and humane practices at the same time, across the sport.

                                          Fact of life. If you don't like us "interfering," start eventing cows.

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