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Talking about death

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  • Talking about death

    Yes, what a morbid subject. I posted something about this on the other thread but was told that it was not allowed there. It seems like talking about the specific horse is not allowed. I was there and I'm not sure if I would go back because I will not put my money and heart in a sport where a horse dies every year no matter what the cause.

    My issue is are deaths only significant if they are fall related? Or is a physical condition signficant as well?

    As a rider would number of deaths per event would cause you to withdraw your horse? What type of death is more acceptable?

    I am worried that an incident where the horse dies of natural causes will be brushed off as normal or not preventable, of course horses can drop dead doing anything anywhere but is there something about eventing that makes it more likely?
    http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    I'm thinking of stopping eventing altogether, or at least sitting this season out. I'm not sure that it's worth the risk anymore.
    Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!

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    • #3
      I think there is a huge difference between death from a physical condition and death because a rider was irresponsible and/or a poor horseman.

      I competed in a different equine discipline before eventing, and despite no "at risk" activity such as running and jumping, I _watched_ 2 horses die from ruptured blood vessels while simply walking and trotting- neither one even under saddle. A horse that dies from a physical condition could do so at home playing in the field. For that matter, horses die in pasture accidents- probably more often than in an eventing competition. I even remember a young horse that broke its neck in its stall overnight- there was nothing unsafe about the stall- it was a freak accident. I could go on and on. When you spend your life around horses, you see and experience a lot.

      Would I decide not to attend an event based on the number of deaths? It would depend on the causes of the deaths. If the reason was the fault of the venue itself- unsafe course design and/or terrain and no attempts at resolving the issues- it would definitely make me not attend an event. Rider irresponsibility or a physical condition- no- I don't feel that either of these can be blamed on the event itself.

      Comment


      • #4
        Honestly, I have not competed in the last 6 or so years do to surgeries and being very ill. Right now I am planning on competing a few horses at some local ie within 12hr driving distance events this fall and seeing if I really wish to get back into the sport. I use to compete at the upper levels, and maybe I am looking back with rose colored glasses, but I don't remember this many deaths and serious accidents.

        I may just switch to jumpers. At least we can win money there.

        Comment


        • #5
          Some may not agree with me, but I still relate these types of deaths to the lack of long format. If the horses had been required to condition and train for the full 4* long format event, chances are, the physical limitation would have come into play long before they ever stepped onto the 4* course. Weak areas on tendons, aneurysms, etc., most likely, would rear their ugly heads before the horse made it to the 4* level if it were required to meet the fitness level necessary for a long format 4*.

          Just my opinion...
          www.LatkaPhoto.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by horsepix76 View Post
            Weak areas on tendons, aneurysms, etc., most likely, would rear their ugly heads before the horse made it to the 4* level if it were required to meet the fitness level necessary for a long format 4*.
            Not sure what my opinion is on the entire subject, but I do think this logic is a little flawed. Okay, so they don't drop dead on XC because of an aneurysm on a 4* course, b/c they dropped dead at a 1*/2*/3* LF before they were able to get to the 4*? Not sure how that is better.
            Comedic Eventing on Facebook

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            • #7
              My friend was at fence 10 as well. He is not a horse person but was there to shoot photos. It was his first Rolex experience. Purely out of the result of how many frames per second his camera was shooting, he managed to capture nearly every moment from Kingpin's approach to landing at this fence.

              After the fall, he called me from where he was, obviously shaken. He said he'd just witnessed the worst thing he'd ever seen. I should also mention that he is a longtime paramedic.

              Although I knew there'd been a fall, I hadn't realized how serious it was (and on another note, I think there was a very obvious effort on the part of the organizers/announcers to keep this type of info under wraps this year). But even after my friend told me the extent of what happened, I found myself not really all that suprised in my reply to him. Although I was sad and upset, there was a numbness to me about it. A numbness that shouldn't have been there. Looking back, I almost think in the back of my mind I ... expected... something catastrophic to happen. It seems like the norm anymore.

              It was really unfortunate and horrible that the death happened in the first place. But what's worse is that it seems to have become more a part of this sport at this level. My friend clearly was very intrigued and interested in and impressed with Rolex this weekend, but it was difficult watching him try to reconcile that with the fact that he witnessed a horrific wreck and death of a horse just yards away. He came away confused. And I can't really blame him.
              ***
              The hardest to learn was the least complicated.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Divine Comedy View Post
                Not sure what my opinion is on the entire subject, but I do think this logic is a little flawed. Okay, so they don't drop dead on XC because of an aneurysm on a 4* course, b/c they dropped dead at a 1*/2*/3* LF before they were able to get to the 4*? Not sure how that is better.
                I'm not saying its perfectly logical. I'm just saying that its my opinion that these types of deaths were not happening at Rolex or other advanced level events until about 3 years after the long format was done away with (i.e. the majority of horses running at advanced never had to be at the fitness level of a true long format 3-day).
                www.LatkaPhoto.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  I know of at least one at Rolex (Yves Landry's horse) that died of "natural causes" at a long format. There have also been deaths at Fair Hill and Foxhall when they were long format. I dont think this is a long vs short issue.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    FWIW... the only 2 catastrophic events I've ever had with horses occured unmounted. (In about 15 years of eventing.) I had a broodmare die of an aneursym while I was about to load her onto a trailer. I was holding the end of her leadrope. My once-in-a-lifetime prelim horse broke her leg in the washrack when I was cold hosing her hock. :shrugs:

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Not sure how I feel about all this yet, but just piping in to say my first experience of a horse death eventing was at Rolex long format, Yves Landry's horse, vets decided cause was a pulmonary embolism.

                      So, yeah, seems it happened back then too.

                      My trouble is more on the lines of, I'm starting to think this many deaths of rider & horse happened all the time, all horse sports, even all backyard horse sports - we just didn't hear about them so quickly, nor have such a convenient medium for hashing them out in detail and perhaps knowing more than we wish (later) we did about them.

                      In spite of obviously leaning towards the theory that nothing is different about today's serious horse sport, I'm struggling with the concept that I now have to accept that risk and carry on...

                      Its tough anyway you look at it, it seems...

                      At any rate, I for one, still intend to ride & compete and even continue to have dreams of going Advanced, FWIW. I do intend to research & put into practice every precautionary measure I can, and on the other side, may look into sports psychology for dealing with my emotions about all this.

                      Hugs to those who lost a horse (or a human, in UK)family member to equine sport this weekend, and supporting thoughts to the others struggling finding ways to deal with all this.

                      Arcadien

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm done with Eventing

                        I used to be passionate about Eventing as a true partnership. Used to compete many times a year, organized horse trials, then helped organize parts of several events. Last year I helped organize four horse trials up to CCI format. This year I resigned from helping any of them.

                        Sold the last of my eventing horses in March. Done with it. It used to be about partnership. Now its just about money and status.

                        Flame me if you like - I really don't care and may log on again next year, just to find out how the Europeans are whopping our butts again at Rolex. Good for them!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          When was the last time a horse didn't die at Rolex?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Arcadien View Post
                            Not sure how I feel about all this yet, but just piping in to say my first experience of a horse death eventing was at Rolex long format, Yves Landry's horse, vets decided cause was a pulmonary embolism.

                            So, yeah, seems it happened back then too.

                            My trouble is more on the lines of, I'm starting to think this many deaths of rider & horse happened all the time, all horse sports, even all backyard horse sports - we just didn't hear about them so quickly, nor have such a convenient medium for hashing them out in detail and perhaps knowing more than we wish (later) we did about them.

                            In spite of obviously leaning towards the theory that nothing is different about today's serious horse sport, I'm struggling with the concept that I now have to accept that risk and carry on...

                            Its tough anyway you look at it, it seems...

                            At any rate, I for one, still intend to ride & compete and even continue to have dreams of going Advanced, FWIW. I do intend to research & put into practice every precautionary measure I can, and on the other side, may look into sports psychology for dealing with my emotions about all this.

                            Hugs to those who lost a horse (or a human, in UK)family member to equine sport this weekend, and supporting thoughts to the others struggling finding ways to deal with all this.

                            Arcadien
                            I agree with you. It's not that there are more deaths necessarily, it's that we find out about them publicly and almost simultaneously.

                            It's interesting to me how many horses die in the H/J world, yet no one raises a ruckus about those. They die from fractured pasterns while lungeing, when they land off a fence, from aneurysms, from falling at fences and breaking their necks....
                            Yet no one says "I'm done with hunters/jumpers"....
                            To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BLBGP View Post
                              When was the last time a horse didn't die at Rolex?
                              2006, although Le Samurai technically did not die at Rolex in 2007.
                              He was euthanized several days later, after it was determined he couldn't be saved.
                              To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by adamsmom View Post
                                I agree with you. It's not that there are more deaths necessarily, it's that we find out about them publicly and almost simultaneously.

                                It's interesting to me how many horses die in the H/J world, yet no one raises a ruckus about those. They die from fractured pasterns while lungeing, when they land off a fence, from aneurysms, from falling at fences and breaking their necks....
                                Yet no one says "I'm done with hunters/jumpers"....
                                Do you have stats on that? I've been showing H/J all my life and was only on the show grounds once when a horse broke a leg and was euthanized. A freak accident is mentioned from time to time on the H/J board, are you saying that news of all these other deaths is suppressed?

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by BLBGP View Post
                                  Do you have stats on that? I've been showing H/J all my life and was only on the show grounds once when a horse broke a leg and was euthanized. A freak accident is mentioned from time to time on the H/J board, are you saying that news of all these other deaths is suppressed?
                                  I don't have "stats", just personal knowledge. And I wouldn't say "suppressed", just not publicized.

                                  After all, in a sport where ESPN isn't there, who's to know if you don't report something?
                                  To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Just to show that it does happen in other equestrian sports...

                                    http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum...d.php?t=201877
                                    Pacific Coast Eventing
                                    Standing Yeager GF

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Take this for what it's worth as I'm not an eventing person.

                                      Horses die in all possible ways imaginable. Heck considering I lost 2 foals to freak accidents out of a foal crop of 5 in 2 years, I think it's lucky if they make it to weaning. The difference is I don't have worldwide coverage at my farm and everyone on the worldwide web trying to pick through everything that happened. It is never easy to lose a horse in tragic circumstances because you are left with the what if's replaying through your head over and over.

                                      I have admiration for anyone who competes in eventing. The riders and horses are fantastic. I think if you ever start to question if you should keep eventing for any reason, it's time to get out. And maybe that's only my logic from galloping horses for 12 years and a time when I had to deal with my own mortality issues, but once you start you just aren't the same rider. And yes I know this is about horses mostly, but I'm sure the human aspect has to come into play too.

                                      I agree money is a major driving force in eventing now. You'd be crazy in Ireland not to try and breed an eventer type considering programs like the FEHL. But isn't money a driving force in any equestrian event?

                                      I think the horses at this level love what they're doing - they have to love it. And I'm so sorry for Kingpin's connections but I wouldn't outright say the event killed him. This type of thing could have happened at home or on the way to an event.

                                      If you love eventing and are serious about the sport please keep on riding. Those of us who have lost our nerve a long time ago, we love to see you competing and have nothing but respect for admiration for the riders and horses. You make the world a little brighter and a little less scary.

                                      Terri
                                      COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                                      "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by adamsmom View Post
                                        I agree with you. It's not that there are more deaths necessarily, it's that we find out about them publicly and almost simultaneously.

                                        It's interesting to me how many horses die in the H/J world, yet no one raises a ruckus about those. They die from fractured pasterns while lungeing, when they land off a fence, from aneurysms, from falling at fences and breaking their necks....
                                        Yet no one says "I'm done with hunters/jumpers"....
                                        Whaaaaa? I've been showing a long time (close to 20 years) and I've yet to see a broken leg at a show. I think that without stats, this statement is way off. I can only think of one fatal injury to a horse in recent memory at a show, the jumper at Wellington this past year. As gossipy as the h/j world is, I find it hard to believe we're sweeping deadly injuries under the rug. There's a lengthy thread any time something happens. People tend to be horrified because it's a fairly non-strenuous sport. What sort of ruckus would you like?


                                        And are you saying that no one changes disciplines from h/j? Really? Didn't Debbie McDonald start doing dressage because of S.J. injuries? I know people who were tired of getting hurt and switched to dressage, western, trail riding. Some people get tired of the "politics" in the hunter ring and switch to a discipline that isn't based on a judge's opinion. People stop doing h/j all the time, but it's usually people issues, not because horses keep dying at every major event.

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