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USEA Safety Summit Round Table Part 1-4

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  • USEA Safety Summit Round Table Part 1-4

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/...d-table-part-1

    Disappointed in this line;

    Holling: Generally speaking the sport is safer than it used to be. The struggle is trying as a sport to make it as safe as you can. I’ve always had that goal myself, and I’d like to set the bar very high and say I’d love to get to a point where there are virtually no catastrophic accidents in the sport.

    But at the same point you have to balance and be realistic and say, “Are we going to be eventing or aren’t we?” That’s not to say it’s acceptable there are catastrophic injuries, but when discussing these types of fences that are dangerous. I saw some of those questions on the Chronicle Facebook page. Some of them I think you get to a point where you say, “All right, where are we going to draw the line? It is still eventing?” We do still have some danger there.

    We have to keep innovating. We have to keep being flexible. We have to keep saying as a sport we are going to use all the information and technology that we have that we know will make things safer. But I think there’s a line you can cross there when you say, “This is what you have to have; it still has to be eventing.” We’re still going to jump in and out of water. We’re still going to jump corners out of water. Otherwise we should be show jumpers, which is fine, but then we should go show jump.
    Sorry but there is NO reason we need to jump corners out of water when they have proven to be one of the most dangerous fences. This denial is the problem in the sport and Mr Holling who wrote the article on being ignorant, should take his own advice here.

    Then there is this gem;
    Carol Kozlowski: I also familiarized myself with some of the comments on the Chronicle Facebook page. I have to say it is a bit discouraging to me. A lot of objections and alarms made over types of jumps we ask our horses to jump or the questions or the designs seem to made by people who don’t have experience, who haven’t jumped these types of jumps themselves and therefore extrapolate that, “If I find it difficult or if my horse finds it difficult then likely others will.” I think there’s a little bit of a reach there when people who don’t have the experience in dealing with those questions weigh in. They’re entitled to their opinion, but when they think that the sport needs to change based on what their view is then it becomes problematic to me.
    So once again told if you don't ride at that level - your opinion means JACK. As I am one of the people who commented on the FB page questioning the types of fences let me clarify something. I CAN jump those fences, have many times, and it's not because they are hard I object them. It's because they have been proven to increase risk of rotational falls. I can't even believe this comment is included in a safety article. Yep, we all just want the change because those jumps are hard. Give me a freakin break.

    This piece just focuses on jump design, and the conclusion is they will look at more safety devices, but not the actual fences themselves. Looks to me like just a lot more talk, and denial as par for the course. And this is why we need actual safety experts and not eventers. I really don't see the point in having event riders and course designers who are not safety engineers tell us what needs to change for the sport to be safer.

  • #2
    Hey, now that I was mentioned in the article, I am at least going to have say Rob Burke and Tremaine Cooper both explained very well how the data from the speed study helped!

    And, I will side with Jon Holling on that. Having jumped a lot of fences in and out of water, I think that is part of the sport. I do think the design of water has changed from the past (from 12-18" depth to 4"-6" depth) that allows for more risky riding. Again, while the data indicates more incidents, the need to understanding the WHY behind the data must happen.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Yes, that is a really good point. I guess that's why I get annoyed they dismiss it, because then they do not feel it is necessary to look into the why.

      The speed study is interesting, has anything been done with it?

      Comment


      • #4
        Yes, they discuss it. The Speed Study lead to the concept of an average distance per fence over a course. Tremaine discusses it. We saw such a massive fluctuation of speed and complexity that it was suggested limits on the number of obstacles should be placed based on the distance and speed of the course.

        But it is coming up on the 10 year point. Time to start getting data again.

        Comment


        • #5
          There have been studies for over a decade that identify what fences create increased risk; those studies are uniformly ignored by course designers and TPTB. The risk may not be greater for top riders, although the risk is much higher at higher levels, but the sport would disappear if only top riders competed.
          "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
          Thread killer Extraordinaire

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by RAyers View Post
            Yes, they discuss it. The Speed Study lead to the concept of an average distance per fence over a course. Tremaine discusses it. We saw such a massive fluctuation of speed and complexity that it was suggested limits on the number of obstacles should be placed based on the distance and speed of the course.

            But it is coming up on the 10 year point. Time to start getting data again.
            right, so I read what was in the article but it was pretty much left at that. Did it effect the way they build courses now? Wonder if Equiratings will help further this?

            Comment


            • #7
              What I am most concerned about coming back into the sport at lower levels is the level creep that has happened over the past few years. That and the loss of schooling opoortunitites. I wish that more course designers would spend time really thinking of how to make the lower level courses safe and jumpable and confidence building.
              Shoulders back, hands down, leg ON!

              https://clshrs3.wixsite.com/website

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post
                http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/...d-table-part-1

                So once again told if you don't ride at that level - your opinion means JACK. As I am one of the people who commented on the FB page questioning the types of fences let me clarify something. I CAN jump those fences, have many times, and it's not because they are hard I object them. It's because they have been proven to increase risk of rotational falls. I can't even believe this comment is included in a safety article. Yep, we all just want the change because those jumps are hard. Give me a freakin break.


                Eh, bullshit. Carol did not dismiss your "input". She simply qualified it. You effectively certify her point in the conclusion of your tirade: " And this is why we need actual safety experts and not eventers. I really don't see the point in having event riders and course designers who are not safety engineers tell us what needs to change for the sport to be safer."

                They ARE consulting outside safety experts and engineers, but why do you believe that an event rider or CD has no expertise to offer?

                Slinging poo at the people who are working on these problems does nothing to elevate the discussion.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by groom View Post

                  Eh, bullshit. Carol did not dismiss your "input". She simply qualified it. You effectively certify her point in the conclusion of your tirade: " And this is why we need actual safety experts and not eventers. I really don't see the point in having event riders and course designers who are not safety engineers tell us what needs to change for the sport to be safer."

                  They ARE consulting outside safety experts and engineers, but why do you believe that an event rider or CD has no expertise to offer?

                  Slinging poo at the people who are working on these problems does nothing to elevate the discussion.
                  I'm gunna sling poo at people who say that because you aren't an ULR your opinion doesn't matter. Sick to death of that argument

                  I'm not slinging it to those who are offering ideas, but for a SAFETY SUMMIT I think people other than riders and CD need to be involved. That's my opinion and you don't have to agree. They are consulting as they see fit, but what education do they have to allow them to know how and when they need help?

                  Regarding the bolded - because there is more to safety than knowing how to ride. There is more to safety than how to design a course. There are a hundred different factors and simply being a rider or CD does not make you privy to understanding how all the factors come together.

                  This first part didn't really say anything we haven't discussed here a million times over.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mellsmom View Post
                    What I am most concerned about coming back into the sport at lower levels is the level creep that has happened over the past few years.
                    The basis of eventing is that there are a wide variety of fences on varied terrain. While level creep can be negative if technical questions are asked too early in a horse's career (we wouldn't want a BN horse asked to drop into water and then jump a fence one stride later), I worry that people object to a variety of single fences themselves as a form of "level creep". I don't personally consider this appropriate (and mellsmom, not trying to single you out here - no idea if that's the form of level creep you were talking about or not - I just used your comment as a prompt). If I have a young horse, I don't want to bring it to an event to see log-log-log-log-log-rolltop-log-log-rolltop-log-finish line. That teaches the horse very little that I couldn't have taught with poles at home, IMO. I'd like to see mini-versions of many of the fences that are seen at upper levels, so that the horse can learn to read them and respond accordingly while competing at a height where mistakes are not severely punished. That way, as the horse progresses and fences that look like this are now larger and placed in combinations, the horse already understands the individual question and just has to put the pieces together. It's a much more fluid step-by-step process, and I believe it makes the sport safer. Ambushing horses with brand-new questions suddenly at Prelim will result in more mistakes at that level, and mistakes are less easily forgiven at that level.

                    Originally posted by RAyers View Post
                    Having jumped a lot of fences in and out of water, I think that is part of the sport. I do think the design of water has changed from the past (from 12-18" depth to 4"-6" depth) that allows for more risky riding
                    I agree with RAyers and Jon Holling here - and I think it is tied into the idea of level creep as discussed above to a certain extent. People are starting to request less variety in fences on upper level courses as well. That is not what eventing has ever been (and I find it even odder that the people requesting this change are the same people who argue that the "good old days" were safer). Part of the sport is that jumps are different, and require different skills, and horses must be able to connect past experiences with the question in front of them on the day. If you only ever wanted to jump identical things painted different colours on flat ground, show jumping is an excellent outlet for that.

                    However, where I do agree with Jealoushe is that once a type of fences have been proven to be more dangerous, efforts must be taken to mitigate that danger. If people are more likely to make a mistake at an open rail before a ditch in a coffin, let's get that rail frangible pinned (reverse-pinned, please!) The question is still relevant to the sport, so I don't want it off the course, but if we know it's more likely to cause problems, it should be where we focus our attention when adding safety measures. From the safety article, that is what it sounds like the committee is working towards.

                    Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post
                    There is NO reason we need to jump corners out of water when they have proven to be one of the most dangerous fences.
                    However, no matter how many "most dangerous fences" we eliminate from courses, statistically there will always be one fence that is the most dangerous, unless there are no fences at all. Therefore, IMO we should work towards mitigating the problems rather than eliminating all potential concerns. If a particular fence cannot be modified in any way to reduce the danger, then perhaps a way to test the skills in a different way ought to be considered, but there are very few of those scenarios that I can think of.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Am I correct in believing that there are still no physicians on this committee?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Has anyone seen Bob Costas' discussion on the future of football: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sport...ins/842904001/

                        Eventing may soon come to a similar juncture with the quote being, "Eventing kills people and horses...." What used to be considered sport is no longer tolerated if it results in permanent damage or death. I don't really have an answer, but when I heard Costas discussing the issue, I immediately thought of eventing.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I hate that I keep commenting on these threads because honestly, I suck at getting my point across because the written word is challenging to my brain But I can't help but continue to side with what Carol is saying. I do NOT think she's saying "if you're not an ULR you don't get an opinion". I keep hearing lower level event riders claiming that all the ULR's are saying this and I just don't think it's true. I do think, however, they are frustrated with people who perhaps have little understanding of the questions fences are asking, the actual level of danger from certain questions, or even of the sport in general sitting on social media calling for change. I have to ask you, Jealoushe, do you honestly believe that all of the ULR's are oblivious to the dangers in their sport and just choosing to not worry about them? I keep getting this tone from posts on this forum and I just honestly don't understand how anyone can make that assumption. But for me, it's like the dangers of say, downhill skiing. I don't ski at all but I'd imagine even if I did at a beginner or even intermediate level, would I be qualified to comment on the sport at the highest level? Similarly, can a rider who plans to never go above BN (NOTHING wrong with that, obviously) critique course design at the highest levels? Perhaps I'm ignorant, but I honestly do not know how you would have the knowledge to do so, and especially not more knowledge than say, the people out there actually jumping those courses.

                          An example would be the thread about fence decorations/carved animals/moving water etc. People up in arms about moving water in a water complex because it "might" do this or that, yet absolutely zero horses had an issue with it (per someone's report who was actually there and saw how it rode)...what is the point of that? I have a feeling after reading that thread and others, an ULR would possibly discount your opinion a lot more than if you just proposed thoughtful changes with actual research...not just "there's no point to carved wooden animals and even though I have no factual evidence that it caused danger for the horses I'm going to call for it to be banned".

                          Again, I say this as a Training level rider who has groomed for several four star riders over the year so have been on both sides of the spectrum.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by HeyJealousy View Post
                            I have to ask you, Jealoushe, do you honestly believe that all of the ULR's are oblivious to the dangers in their sport and just choosing to not worry about them?

                            An example would be the thread about fence decorations/carved animals/moving water etc. People up in arms about moving water in a water complex because it "might" do this or that, yet absolutely zero horses had an issue with it (per someone's report who was actually there and saw how it rode)...what is the point of that? I have a feeling after reading that thread and others, an ULR would possibly discount your opinion a lot more than if you just proposed thoughtful changes with actual research...not just "there's no point to carved wooden animals and even though I have no factual evidence that it caused danger for the horses I'm going to call for it to be banned".

                            Again, I say this as a Training level rider who has groomed for several four star riders over the year so have been on both sides of the spectrum.
                            I think many ULRs see it more as "the sport has inherit risks" than, "there are issues and we can find a solution to make it safer". So they may be OK with the risk, but I really really hate hearing about horses dying, and riders dying, and everyone just doing the "its a risky sport" merry go round.

                            Also, BBM, there was an actual case of a rider dying on course, and the review called that the figurines on the fence should not have been there and should be not be used in the future. This article was shared in that thread. So regardless how frivolous people feel myself and others whining about the knick knacks on fences is; there was an ACTUAL inquisition into the death of that rider that deemed them a problem, and suggested removing them from all fences in the future. So I would call that evidence. Was that done? No. These are still being used everywhere despite the inquisition.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by HeyJealousy View Post
                              Perhaps I'm ignorant, but I honestly do not know how you would have the knowledge to do so, and especially not more knowledge than say, the people out there actually jumping those courses..
                              I forgot to comment on this, but a lot of sports have fans and those involved who do not play at the Pro level, but have experience and knowledge enough to have an opinion that matters. I'm not even talking about my opinion, just in general it is very very common for sports fans to follow their sports and immersed in the knowledge etc of the sport.

                              I also have to say that those who discount the opinions of people because they think they haven't evented UL are making big assumptions, because you can't tell from FB or CoTH who has done what and shown what. Some of the posters here are no longer UL riders but have evented to the top of the sport for years in the past. To just assume its because "we find those fences difficult" and that's why we have that opinion they should be used more carefully in course design, rather than say, the actual studies showing those fences have unnecessary higher risk, is frankly ridiculous.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Trying to capture thoughts as they are being assembled in my brain.

                                1. Anyone has a right to have an opinion about anything, whether they have experienced it or not. Whether others credit that opinion is then up to them.

                                2. It is gratifying that comments on this forum got attention. I know I give more weight to some I read than to others, and I would guess we all make those personal calculations (see #1).

                                3. The notion of removing all risk from eventing, or any horse sport for that matter, is unrealistic. And for me it would greatly diminish my enjoyment in participating. So having said, I have always expected that the questions asked will be fair to the horse and possible for an educated rider no matter the level. It seems to me that some of what we (here on COTH) have asked for is validation of that expectation.

                                4. Other high risk sports have taken steps to minimize the risk of catastrophic injury, and we have discussed examples. There is no reason our sport should not be subjected to that level and quality of scrutiny and serious consideration should be given to any suggestions arising from same.

                                5. Sometimes it takes someone on the periphery or even totally external to a sport to identify issues and maybe even solutions.

                                ​​​​​​ Over to you.​
                                They don't call me frugal for nothing.
                                Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post

                                  I forgot to comment on this, but a lot of sports have fans and those involved who do not play at the Pro level, but have experience and knowledge enough to have an opinion that matters. I'm not even talking about my opinion, just in general it is very very common for sports fans to follow their sports and immersed in the knowledge etc of the sport.

                                  I also have to say that those who discount the opinions of people because they think they haven't evented UL are making big assumptions, because you can't tell from FB or CoTH who has done what and shown what. Some of the posters here are no longer UL riders but have evented to the top of the sport for years in the past. To just assume its because "we find those fences difficult" and that's why we have that opinion they should be used more carefully in course design, rather than say, the actual studies showing those fences have unnecessary higher risk, is frankly ridiculous.
                                  Yes, to an extent I agree with you about the sports fan analogy, but I don’t know that I would hold the opinion of someone who has been a huge football fan his entire life but never actually played in or coached a game to the same regard as an NFL coach or player...maybe that’s just me.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by frugalannie View Post

                                    5. Sometimes it takes someone on the periphery or even totally external to a sport to identify issues and maybe even solutions.

                                    ​​​​​​ Over to you.​
                                    But what are those solutions, again? Get rid of everything that could possibly be dangerous?

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by HeyJealousy View Post
                                      But what are those solutions, again? Get rid of everything that could possibly be dangerous?
                                      See #3 in my post. No, I don't believe that everything that "could possibly be dangerous" should be removed. All danger can't be prevented unless one does nothing, and that brings its own risks. However risks can be managed and minimized to some degree. Only if there are good data can risks and their causes be truly identified. There are people on this forum (looking at you, RAyers, among others) who know how to do this stuff. As I've said before, the Landsafe program is a significant risk management tool. Things can be done to manage, minimize, but never eradicate risk IMHO.
                                      They don't call me frugal for nothing.
                                      Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by HeyJealousy View Post
                                        But what are those solutions, again? Get rid of everything that could possibly be dangerous?
                                        It is possible that someone outside of the sport could come up with good safety solutions without removing difficult questions. And if an outsider suggests something we (as eventers) don't agree with (from our insider knowledge), we don't *have* to do it. Diversity of opinion is a good thing. This is indisputable and has been proven time and time again in the corporate environment.

                                        Comment

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