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Was Justine Dutton wearing an airvest this weekend?

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  • Was Justine Dutton wearing an airvest this weekend?

    So sorry to hear about the rotational fall by Justine Dutton and Jak my Style at fence 18. I was wondering if she was wearing an airvest, as her injuries were so severe? Anyone know?

  • #2
    Typically Justine does wear an airvest. I was not there and don't know if she had it on or not. She would have had to be wearing a regular safety vest.
    Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
    Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)

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    • #3
      She was. It was at the Soteria booth (who I believe sponsor her) after. The EMTs had cut it off of her.
      I have Higher Standards... do you?

      "For the love of my horse, I know who I am."

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      • #4
        I'm glad the vest did its job and kept her injuries to a minimum considering the type of fall.

        That said, between boots and safety equipment, I seriously couldn't afford to fall and risk having those items cut off!
        Leap, and the net will appear

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        • #5
          Does anyone know if any independent, outside studies were ever done on the air vests? Or are the only studies still those done sponsored by the air vest companies?

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          • #6
            I am so glad to hear she is ok...it was scary to watch! Did anyone else notice at Rolex it looked like lots of competitors were not wearing air vests? I remember there being a few I could name that it looked like there were not...but I definitely remember Boyd.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by WNT View Post
              I'm glad the vest did its job and kept her injuries to a minimum considering the type of fall.
              What is your evidence of this?

              Do you know for a fact that the vest actually deployed properly? (In a rotational fall, if the rider is not sufficiently separated from the horse, the vest does not deploy at all.)

              'Injuries to a minimum'? Let's see: 'multiple broken ribs, a broken collarbone, a fractured shoulder and humerus and a collapsed lung'. Two of those -- ribs and collapsed lung -- are life-threatening. Multiple rib fractures can cause the chest wall to be unstable and the bone segments can penetrate important things like the aorta and liver. Moreover, any movement around that unstable chest wall -- as with an air vest deflating suddenly -- can cause damage additional to the actual fall injuries.

              As Dutton was also wearing a conventional vest, I don't know how you can attribute the air vest with 'keeping her injuries to a minimum'. How do you know it wasn't the conventional body protector? And why would you minimize these injuries? An inch or two to either side and the outcome might have been much different.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JER View Post

                What is your evidence of this?

                Do you know for a fact that the vest actually deployed properly? (In a rotational fall, if the rider is not sufficiently separated from the horse, the vest does not deploy at all.)

                'Injuries to a minimum'? Let's see: 'multiple broken ribs, a broken collarbone, a fractured shoulder and humerus and a collapsed lung'. Two of those -- ribs and collapsed lung -- are life-threatening. Multiple rib fractures can cause the chest wall to be unstable and the bone segments can penetrate important things like the aorta and liver. Moreover, any movement around that unstable chest wall -- as with an air vest deflating suddenly -- can cause damage additional to the actual fall injuries.

                As Dutton was also wearing a conventional vest, I don't know how you can attribute the air vest with 'keeping her injuries to a minimum'. How do you know it wasn't the conventional body protector? And why would you minimize these injuries? An inch or two to either side and the outcome might have been much different.
                I've come to understand that "keeping her injuries to a minimum" means "well, she didn't die, did she?"
                Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
                you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Divine Comedy View Post
                  Does anyone know if any independent, outside studies were ever done on the air vests? Or are the only studies still those done sponsored by the air vest companies?
                  no, no outside studies.

                  makes one wonder.

                  so sorry to hear about Justine.. thank the gods above she is alive after a terrifying fall like that!! jingling for her recovery.
                  AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

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                  • #10
                    I attended a round table discussion with several upper level riders and all three were ambivalent about vests. They personally did not feel that having an air vest on increased their chances of survival in an accident although at least one wore a vest just in case it actually helped. They especially mentioned rotational falls and one emphasized that he would rather attempt to jump clear at any hint of a rotational fall, even if the horse actually caught its balance and it would mean elimination, then to ride a fall down assuming a vest would save him if the horse landed on him.
                    http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by beowulf View Post

                      no, no outside studies.

                      makes one wonder.

                      so sorry to hear about Justine.. thank the gods above she is alive after a terrifying fall like that!! jingling for her recovery.
                      Thanks for the update, beowulf. That's what I thought, just wanted to make sure I hadn't missed anything.

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                      • #12
                        Upper Level riders are not scientists. Air vests seem to have one common injury every time in a rotational fall - punctured lung. At this point, after many many years of asking and there is still NO research...makes me think there is a reason there is no research.
                        Boss Mare Eventing Blog
                        https://www.youtube.com/user/jealoushe

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                        • #13
                          Frankly, I'm not sure if they really help, anyway. Those are pretty standard injuries in a bad, hard fall, with or without the horse landing on you, with or without an airvest. Hell, I'm pretty sure my airvest did nothing for me when I fell. I still had cracked ribs and some of the ugliest bruises I've ever seen on my body. And while I fell hard, there was no question if Toby if fell on me (he did not. We went down side by side). The only time I think an airvest has helped was in gentler falls...I wasn't quite as stiff as I normally would have been. I'm glad mine was free. What a waste.

                          Too bad they cut it off, though. They can be unvelcroed in multiple places so that you can just lift one part away from the other. Mine was not cut off. But my boot was (and I was way ok with that considering the state I was in).
                          Amanda

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                          • #14
                            I am still not convinced about air vests protecting ribs or anything in that area in the event of a bad fall. Obviously in an ideal world there would be multiple studies out there showing what kind of protection an air vest actually offers. However, I think it would be especially great if there were research around air vests and their effect on concussions. After I got a (very mild) concussion a few years back following a very simple/not hard fall, I have always wondered if an air vest would have made a difference. I landed on my back after my horse stopped at a fence and spun away, but then my head slammed back onto the ground. My thought is that a deployed air vest would have prevented my head from slamming into the ground because of the part that blows up around your neck.

                            I still choose not to wear one, but if they actually came out with something that showed it could reduce concussions, I would definitely give it a shot.

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                            • #15
                              Frisian, I have also wondered if vests reduce head injuries. I watched a rotational fall at the VA Horse Trials many years ago. The girl landed flat on her face and chest. I could see that her chest and vest hit a split second before her face. She was knocked unconscious for about a minute, but her face was protected by her helmet and the vest. I did have to slightly change her position, as her face was in the dirt, blocking her airway, and she was turning blue. The next day, the girl as fine. I did wonder if the vest absorbed a lot of the impact force.

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                              • #16
                                I saw an accident where a rider landed on her sacrum and her upper body continued to have forward momentum until the back of her head impacted the ground with a loud crack. The way she landed, an air vest most certainly would have prevented the concussion she received. Well, maybe with a Hit Air as I feel they come up higher in the neck region covering the bottom (inferior) portion of the head. My MO is to land on my back like a turtle and my head has never touched the ground.

                                I saw an airvest inflate (maybe the UK?) that was fairly tall in the neck area and rectangle shaped. Anyone know the brand?
                                "Punch him in the wiener. Then leave." AffirmedHope

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                                • #17
                                  My hit air is tall enough in the back that it annoys me to wear it because it hits the back of my helmet.
                                  Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
                                  you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.

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                                  • #18
                                    What event was this at?
                                    Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Then always be Batman.

                                    The Grove at Five Points

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                                    • #19
                                      Justine Dutton's fall was at Great Meadow last week-end.

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                                      • #20
                                        I think just as concerning however, is the chance that a "high in the back towards the helmet " air Vest as some are describing could effect neck injuries. Didn't that happen to a rider in England ? I'd rather have a concussion than a broken neck (but neither is super too)

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