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Eventing Spectator - Voting with My $$$

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  • Eventing Spectator - Voting with My $$$

    After witnessing the carnage at three Rolex 3DEs in a row, I find I'm more familiar with which horse ambulance is summoned for the hopeless cases than I am the competitors. I've come to the conclusion that purchasing a ticket for Rolex is an implied endorsement of a sport I can no longer support--even as a lowly spectator.

    Our group contributed $400 in ticket purchases, not to mention various and sundry souvenir, food and beverage purchases.

    That's money I'm going to divert to my local humane society in the future.

  • #2
    Sadly the horse that died looks as though it was related to a pulmonary embolism which caused him to fall; sadly this can happen at any given time - happened to a friend of mine after she had just tacked her horse up...

    some of the other incidences, however, I can agree w/ you on.

    Comment


    • #3
      That's certainly your right and I respect that. Perhaps because I'm a participant in the sport I choose differently. I remember a story when I was in residency ( I'm a physician ) when they were first attempting open heart surgeries in children. The mortality rate was, for a time, a few years in fact but I know Deltawave will correct me, 100%. How could ANYONE get up and go to work and live with themselves doing that in the early days? Thank God they did. I choose to not throw my hands in the air and give up. There will always be risk but I choose to find ways to make the sport safer and the animals happier. I really love this sport and I really love the people in it. I would rather be stranded on a desert island with almost any eventer picked at random then any other person I can think of. Good luck and good bye.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by riderboy View Post
        That's certainly your right and I respect that. Perhaps because I'm a participant in the sport I choose differently. I remember a story when I was in residency ( I'm a physician ) when they were first attempting open heart surgeries in children. The mortality rate was, for a time, a few years in fact but I know Deltawave will correct me, 100%. How could ANYONE get up and go to work and live with themselves doing that in the early days? Thank God they did. I choose to not throw my hands in the air and give up. There will always be risk but I choose to find ways to make the sport safer and the animals happier. I really love this sport and I really love the people in it. I would rather be stranded on a desert island with almost any eventer picked at random then any other person I can think of. Good luck and good bye.
        In English, please.

        Comment


        • #5
          that's a shame

          Because in order to excell at this sport, truly, horses have to be fit, educated and well cared for. Probably no AQHA halter horses have died as a result of a fall or a pulmonary embolism, but do a survey on their miserable 23.5 hour a day in a stall lives or how many succumb to founder from being underworked and overfed. Or the western pleasure (and I use that term with distain) horses with their mouths ripped on and open wounds from spurs at the Congress, not, by any means "natural" I don't care how it's trained. Let's talk about the human athletes that die every year from some undiagnosed heart (or other) condition that only shows up under extreme performance. Let's talk about the thousands of folks that stop for an adult beverage then get in their car (but for the grace of god go most of us.)
          I certainly understand if a death in a public place upsets you, it does all of us. But some of it can be prevented, and some cannot. If one turns one's head, and simply walks away, then it lessens the life. Of course your local shelter is a wonderful place to donate, but with life there also comes death, I watched the same injury occur to a students horse as it came running in for dinner. It happens. So I guess I should have led him in from the paddock. The good news on the weekend, was no serious injuries to riders or horses from falls as a result of being unprepared or riding badly. Had the horse died last week at home in his final gallop, it wouldn't have ruined your weekend, but the result would have been the same.

          Comment


          • #6
            I LOVE eventing...always have, always will. It was always the perfect test of a balanced rider, dressage, cross country and stadium jumping...bravery and skill. I am always working to achieve that kind of competence in the saddle. But now I am not smart enough to figure out why every time I go to Rolex, a horse dies..smarter people than I will have to figure that out. But like the original poster,I don't have the heart to watch it any more. It was kinda ok when a fatally injured horse was a possibility, but now it is a probability, an almost certainty.When they make it through, my spirit sings for the magnificent talent and effort and skill... but when they die...well, I just am not tough enough to brush it off with a pat response "horses die in all kinds of sports", because they don't die nearly as much in any other sport like they die in eventing. I just can't bear to watch any more. So I guess that makes me an undesirable spectator..not tough enough, not devoted enough to watch those fabulous horses break their necks, or break their hearts trying to get over the toughest courses in the world. At least thats how it seems to me. I can't imagine the sport will miss the money I spent in Lexington, or miss my face in the crowd...certainly folks like Riderboy won't. ( btw,we must agree to disagree when you use children's surgeries as an equal analogy to the sport of eventing...I really think you can't compare the two). But honestly, I sure will miss Rolex. It was the highlight of my year. I just wish someone could figure out how to bring it back to what it was like when I went for the first 7 years.. exciting, inspiring and fun. Stuff happened occassionally... but not every year. If they can sort it out, I'll be back with cash in hand and a smile on my face.

            Comment


            • #7
              In general I think most eventers are excellent riders and horse keepers. There will always be horrifying accidents and deaths in the horse world, some of them preventable, some not. As in all disciplines, there will be some who take shortcuts that are not in the best interest of their horses, but I don't think that that is true for the general population. Most of them work very hard to train and condition their horses correctly. It makes no sense to them to take a shortcut that will end the career of a horse that they've invested years of time and money into bringing along.
              Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
              Witherun Farm
              http://witherun-farm.blogspot.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by CiegoStar View Post
                In English, please.
                Sorry; Perhaps a bad analogy with the pioneering heart surgeons. But those guys believed in what they did and even though it was difficult and were probably told it wasn't worth it etc. they had the dedication, vision and optimism to see themselves through those dark days. We need people like that who love the sport and have that same dedication and optimism to make it safer for everyone. I want to be part of that solution. If someone chooses differently that's completely understandable. That's all I'm saying.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If you choose not to go to Rolex, or not to go to ANY event, then that's your choice, and no one can tell you that it's the wrong choice for you.

                  Just understand that for everyone who is turning their back on the sport, there are at least ten of us who are really passionate for it, and dedicated to making it better (which means, among other things, safer for both horses and riders). It's going to be a long road, but I firmly believe that those of us giving our time and money to improve the sport, rather than writing it off, are the ones who are really going to make the difference in the end.
                  Proud member of the EDRF

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    today at churchill downs

                    A filly was standing on the track minding her own business after her work. Another horse dumped it's rider and ran into her from behind. Her pelvis was fractured and she died of hemmoragic shock before she could be euthanized. Wrong place, wrong time. Very sad. It could happen to horses playing in a field, somebody stops short and wham. Don't blame it on eventing or Rolex.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have to agree with the OP.

                      I have only been to Rolex once, and I fell in love with it, and Kentucky. I have not been back because I couldn't afford it. I e-mailed my friend that went with me the first time this morning and said "we need to plan now to go o Rolex next year!" That was until I logged onto COTH and heard ANOTHER horse had died. I applaud everyone for their efforts to improve the sport and make it safer, but I agree with jumpforjoy in that I CANNOT be there to witness another horse fall and not get up.

                      No matter what anyone says, and what excuses they give, there ARE reasons that there are more deaths now than there were when the long format was used. For my entire childhood, all I wanted to do was event, but I couldn't because of lack of finances. Now, I want nothing to do with it. Sad.

                      This is the same reason I absolutely REFUSE to watch TB racing. Barbaro had a sad and freak accident, but when Eight Belles had to be euthanized (not to mention all the horses that die in un-televised races), I decided that there are too many deaths in racing. I truly loved watching the triple crown races every year, but I will NOT support a sport that cares so little about their OWN athletes.
                      In loving memory of my precious Gwendolyn; you will always be with me, in my heart. I love you.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Just understand that for everyone who is turning their back on the sport, there are at least ten of us who are really passionate for it, and dedicated to making it better (which means, among other things, safer for both horses and riders).
                        There are a lot of people who were once really passionate about the sport and are simply disheartened.

                        A filly was standing on the track minding her own business after her work. Another horse dumped it's rider and ran into her from behind. Her pelvis was fractured and she died of hemmoragic shock before she could be euthanized. Wrong place, wrong time. Very sad. It could happen to horses playing in a field, somebody stops short and wham. Don't blame it on eventing or Rolex.
                        This comparison doesn't exactly make any sense. What does that situation have to do with eventing or Rolex? Wrong place, wrong time, freak accidents happen across all sports, sure, but how do you then explain the high numbers of recurring accidents in EVENTING versus say, western pleasure or the hunters?

                        Personally, I used to love, love, love watching thoroughbred racing, but there came a point where I didn't enjoy it as much because my heart was always in my throat. I decided I'd simply donate to TB rescues and eventually adopt a few OTTBs when I have the space. I love the thoroughbred, I love, love, love to watch them run, I just want to be able to enjoy that without dread. I still attend the races once in a while, and still enjoy watching point to points upon occasion... but darn if watching flat racing doesn't make me nervous. However illogical that may be, 's just how I feel.
                        ---
                        They're small hearts.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Sure, if you don't like it don't go. But leave your negativity off the board because people in the eventing community have been making a huge effort to make the sport safer and this year's Rolex to my mind was truly a success.
                          What happened to King Pin is terrible but it could have happened on a regular gallop at home or during a regular dressage school at home.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Kementari View Post
                            If you choose not to go to Rolex, or not to go to ANY event, then that's your choice, and no one can tell you that it's the wrong choice for you.

                            Just understand that for everyone who is turning their back on the sport, there are at least ten of us who are really passionate for it, and dedicated to making it better (which means, among other things, safer for both horses and riders). It's going to be a long road, but I firmly believe that those of us giving our time and money to improve the sport, rather than writing it off, are the ones who are really going to make the difference in the end.
                            Amen!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have to agree with the OP.

                              The two examples 1.Believing in a future technology that will save lives and not quite being there - or -
                              comparing a freak accident to what is going on at the upper levels of eventing, well, it's not even close!

                              Rolex has had deaths the last three years - There are not many competitors at Rolex so the percentage is enormous. Eventing does not have to be this brutal. People compete in dangerous sports all the time without killing 10-20% of their top-level athletes.

                              I love eventing and my horse loves x-country but I don't know that I can support the sport any longer. We have to figure out how to not kill these animals at every major show. Something is horribly amiss! "Eventing is a dangerous sport" is not an OK refrain!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I suppose there are those like the OP who go to Rolex for entertainment and those that go because it it so much more than just a diverting weekend. For myself I'll be joining the 250/5/250 movement that is asking for 250 eventers to donate the cost of one entry fee a year for the next 5 years to support safety research which amoung other things includes the current study on "heart attacks".

                                Perhaps the OP could make her $400 part of the solution next year instead?

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Good for you!

                                  [QUOTE=r3dd0g;4051559]After witnessing the carnage at three Rolex 3DEs in a row, I find I'm more familiar with which horse ambulance is summoned for the hopeless cases than I am the competitors. I've come to the conclusion that purchasing a ticket for Rolex is an implied endorsement of a sport I can no longer support--even as a lowly spectator.
                                  QUOTE]

                                  Now that you got that off your chest... move on...

                                  I'm with some of the other posters... I will use my money to help the sport be better. This wasn't a Rolex issue... I love eventing. I love Rolex! I'm too old to get there but I would love to help someone else do it for me.

                                  Look at some of the beautiful riding this year! Look at the great decisions these horseman made... and, surely... if anyone could predict a sudden death and prevent it... they would.

                                  Move on, please!
                                  Live, Laugh, Love
                                  http://confessionsofanaaer.blogspot.com/

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by r3dd0g View Post
                                    After witnessing the carnage at three Rolex 3DEs in a row, I find I'm more familiar with which horse ambulance is summoned for the hopeless cases than I am the competitors. I've come to the conclusion that purchasing a ticket for Rolex is an implied endorsement of a sport I can no longer support--even as a lowly spectator. . . .
                                    I assume you are going to "vote with your dollars" by not buying a car, a truck, or a horse trailer, since car & truck accidents killed about 40,000 U.S. citizens last year & horse trailer wrecks killed an unknown number of horses but probably far more than died while eventing?

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Trixie View Post
                                      Personally, I used to love, love, love watching thoroughbred racing, but there came a point where I didn't enjoy it as much because my heart was always in my throat. I decided I'd simply donate to TB rescues and eventually adopt a few OTTBs when I have the space. I love the thoroughbred, I love, love, love to watch them run, I just want to be able to enjoy that without dread. I still attend the races once in a while, and still enjoy watching point to points upon occasion... but darn if watching flat racing doesn't make me nervous. However illogical that may be, 's just how I feel.
                                      Me too. I used to love the Derby weekend. I would watch all of the pre-race stories and get so excited for the race. But now I can't stand to watch it our of fear something bad will happen. Eight Belles broke my heart last year...I truly bawled my eyes out when they announced they had to put her down. I get too nervous to watch now.

                                      As far as eventing goes, I chose to stay home from Rolex this year because last year was extremely difficult for me. My husband is from Lexington and every year we trek to Kentucky, stay with his family and watch all 4 days of the event and spend lots of money. I really did miss it this year. I find myself conflicted: on the one hand I don't want to support and witness horses dying on xc anymore. On the other hand, I love eventing and watching horses doing something they seem to love to do. I have an OTTB and I know he loves to gallop and jump. So while I do not want horses to die eventing anymore, I think the greater tragedy are the abused and neglected horses left to suffer and die in silence. Kingpin died doing something he loved (I hope) and was fussed over and loved and treated very well. I don't know the answer to this dilemma for me.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I will choose

                                        to remember Eventing the way it was in the 70s and 80s and early nineties.
                                        Sorry But I made my decision last year to not go watch anymore.

                                        Comment

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