Requires all sports activities to trace horse and rider falls after shocking new figures


  • Olympic gold medallist David O’Connor has urged different disciplines to begin monitoring falls as current figures present round 1 / 4 of eventing falls don’t occur at cross-country fences.

    Mr O’Connor, the FEI eventing committee chairman, made the decision throughout his tackle to the FEI normal meeting (21 November).



    He highlighted the discount in cross-country leaping falls in recent times, which H&H lined as a part of discussions on the eventing danger administration seminar in January (information, 16 February).

    “There’s been a 16% discount in horse falls simply within the final six years, which is a fairly vital quantity, and a 70% discount in any kind of rotational fall within the final 10 years,” stated Mr O’Connor, including that this nods to the optimistic affect measures, together with frangible units, training, course-design, and minimal eligibility necessities, are having.

    However he famous one “standout” determine is that 25% of whole falls, which incorporates horse and/or rider falls, don’t occur at cross-country fences. These embrace falls on the flat, within the different phases and warm-ups.

    “That’s a reasonably gorgeous quantity,” stated Mr O’Connor, suggesting different disciplines begin monitoring their fall information to begin to perceive extra about this.

    “I do know the US has truly began the method of trying throughout all disciplines at what is occurring, and never simply leaving it as much as one.”

    The FEI has been amassing eventing fall information for a few years, however till 2018 any fall not at a cross-country fence was recorded as “non-fence associated” – no matter how and the place it occurred. Since 2018, these have been separated into extra detailed classes, to assist the game higher perceive any traits.

    For instance, of the 1,165 falls in 2022, 842 had been at cross-country fences, 87 non-fence associated on the cross-country, 146 happened within the showjumping, and 90 throughout warm-ups.

    Mr O’Connor added that he encourages different disciplines to report information is as a result of numbers will be fairly shocking, and solely from understanding these can the game then begin to ask questions on causes for falls.

    FEI medical committee chairman Mark Hart informed the meeting of a number of main ongoing initiatives round rider security. These are headlined by a challenge to judge the efficiency of equestrian helmets, with the advice for extra testing requirements.

    An equestrian helmet working group was put collectively this 12 months, comprising stakeholders and specialists reminiscent of engineers, lecturers, producers, medical personnel, an Olympic rider, racing specialists and the eventing danger administration group.

    Dr Hart gave a brief abstract of a few of the group’s major findings; the conclusions are set to be launched on the finish of the 12 months.

    “Our purpose is to lower not solely falls, however in parallel, we have to make efforts to additional cut back critical head accidents within the inevitable occasion of falls in our sport,” stated Dr Hart.

    “[The working group] evaluated the efficiency wants for protecting headgear and assessed the present requirements in opposition to these wants, to raised decide if present requirements might be improved to offer higher safety for our riders to scale back critical head accidents.

    “After in depth overview of the accessible information, the working group is recommending further testing requirements and lowered head damage transmission limits for improved security.

    “It’s anticipated that these suggestions will evolve as scientific standards are refined and persevering with analysis is taken out.

    “We additionally hope that it will nudge the certification organisations to faster replace their requirements, and hopefully ultimately have harmonisation of the certification initiatives all over the world and have a common frequent customary.”

    In a separate challenge, the FEI medical committee is coordinating the creation of an professional process pressure on air vest security and effectiveness. The goal of the air vests working group shall be to conduct an entire literature overview of obtainable information on equestrian damage patterns for chest, backbone and thoracic accidents to find out what position the units might have in lowering accidents.

    They will even consider suggestions of different sports activities, reminiscent of motocross, and develop particular analysis initiatives, with the eventual goal of translating these findings into new testing customary suggestions for producers and certification organisations.

    Different key initiatives within the pipeline for 2024 embrace exploring a brand new system for reporting rider accidents, to create an “general equestrian database for accidents”, plus steerage for organising committees on learn how to arrange a psychological well being emergency plan for his or her occasions.

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