Eventing Safety Improving, According to FEI Report

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William Fox-Pitt and Cool MountainThe FEI Eventing Risk Management Action Plan, which was launched in January 2010, is on target, as shown by the steady decrease in the percentage of cross-country falls.
National Safety Officers (NSOs) from 22 nations who attended the FEI’s annual NSO seminar in London on January 29-30 were shown provisional statistics for 2010 which demonstrate that as numbers of international events and participants increase, the incidence of falls continues to decrease.

Since 2005, the rate has dropped steadily from one Cross-Country fall per 17 starters to one in 19 in 2009-10. In 2009, there were 778 falls from 14,206 starters (an incidence of 5.48%); in 2010, this figure was 767 from 15,518 (4.94%). The number of international events has grown from 318 in 2004 to 479 in 2010.

“The statistics show that our vision for the Risk Management Action Plan was correct and that the systems we have put in place are moving in the right direction”, commented Giuseppe Della Chiesa (ITA), Chair of the FEI Eventing Committee. “It also shows the steady pace at which the sport is increasing worldwide and the fact that officials and competitors are working well together.

“Of course, we are happy to have a growing Eventing community, but we must make sure that these competitors who are coming into the sport and progressing up it are properly prepared for each level. Our priority is always to ensure competitors do not face any unnecessary risk in what inevitably will remain a risk sport.

Geoff Curran and The Jump Jet
Jumps that break or fall on impact help reduce the risk of rotational falls. Both horse and rider were unhurt and able to finish the rest of the course after breaking through this log at the 2010 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. Photo: Leslie Potter

“The number of falls at 1* level, and the proportion of horse falls (240 in 2010), is still of concern, as is the consistency of national methods of record-keeping, and we are continually striving to find ways of educating officials and riders, and standardising data collection throughout the world.”

Topics for discussion by NSOs at the meeting included the implementation of new rules, simplifying requirements for medical cards and national qualifying procedures for CCI1*s. The major aim for this year is to produce a DVD to help everyone involved in the sport (riders, owners, organising committees, National Federations and officials) share a common vision of Cross-Country riding in line with the FEI Eventing Risk Management Policy.

Christina Klingspor, representing the Swedish Federation, commented: “This weekend has been really inspiring. It allows us to re-evaluate the progress we are making and we can now go back to our country with new ideas.”

Peter Gray, Canada’s NSO, said: “Much of our Federation’s work in Canada revolves around what I can take back from these annual meetings. They are really helpful, as everyone brings a different skill and viewpoint, and we have been able to make great strides in improving the structure of our sport.”

Learn more about the FEI Eventing Risk Management Program at FEI.org

2 COMMENTS

  1. It’s good to see that fewer accidents are happening.But theres always room for improvement in any sport, it’s good to see they take safety seriously.

  2. I’m glad and relieved to read that there’s improvement. Eventing and horse sports are dangerous but we can make them safer and eliminate unnecessary risks.

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