Olympic Equestrians Could Be Riding For A Fall

Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein (President of the International Equestrian Federation, FEI) warned in 2008 Olympic that equestrian sport might not be include in the London 2012 Games. She was mistaken, and equestrian events were describe at that Olympics as the most dangerous at the Olympics.

Event is a sport in which one horse and one rider compete across three disciplines: dressage, cross country, and show jumping. It is extremely dangerous. All horses and riders who fell in the London 2012 competition were found to fine, according to a review. One rider was hospitalize with concussion, a sacral fracture and one horse was sent to veterinary observation for bruises on the chest. Another horse was retire from competition after sustaining a tendon injury.

Equestrian sport, despite safety concerns, is recommend to be include in the 2020 Games. There should not be any debate about how important it is to ensure its safety. In 1999, five riders from the UK and one from the USA died after falling at jumps.

Horses that hit the fence and somersault, then throw the rider from the saddle, and land on them, were responsible for five of the six deaths. This type of fall, also known as rotational falls, is still the leading cause of death in event.

International Event Safety Committee Olympic

The International Event Safety Committee was establish in 1999 after the tragic events of 1999. The committee’s recommendations were to do everything possible to stop horses from collapsing. Cross-country fences, unlike show jumps and other types of fencing, are generally solid. One recommendation was that jumps made collapsible if the horse hits them hard.

Many horses and riders have been save by collapsible fencing. In 2014, nine fences at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Course were equip with frangible pins that allow them to fall on impact. Course design is heavily influence by safety concerns. It is important to create fences that are safer for both horse and human welfare.

British Event requires frangible pins use on as many jumps possible since 2006. However, in FEI event they are at the discretion of course designers. It will be interesting for Rio to see how many cross-country collapsible jumps Pierre Michelet, French course designer, includes.

Unfortunately, fifteen years after the initial safety report was commission, event still has fatalities. There have been ten deaths in event since 2013, with three of them occurring between March 2016 and May 2016. Horses can still fall despite the existence of solid fences.

A FEI audit found that fences made with frangible pins had a higher risk of falling. Unsurprisingly, it also revealed that riders with less experience were more likely to fall and that certain jumps such as downhill fences or water jumps can cause problems.

Safety With A Horse

The ability of the rider to correctly judge the location, height and landing position is crucial to clearing a jump safely. The eye-tracking footage of Tim Stockdale, an Olympic showjump rider, shows how maintaining a steady gaze as you approach a jump.

The FEI cross country course design guidelines include a list of points that the horse should consider. Horses might have difficulty seeing risky jumps. The reflective layer at the horse’s back will increase water’s dazzle effect. Our comparative review of horse vision and human vision showed that some fence designs can challenge the athletic abilities of event horses as well as the visual judgment of the animal. This has safety implications for horse and rider.

The most important thing to remember is that horses cannot walk the course. They must judge how fast they can jump obstacles based on what information is available. Event will remain an Olympic sport beyond 2020. Jim Wofford, an Olympic rider and coach, has state that event must be design by humans to benefit horses. It is important to review jump design from the perspective of horses. This is also essential for improving the skills and abilities of riders. Let’s all hope Rio 2016 proves to be a highlight event in safe eventing.