University of Kentucky professor Dr. Suzanne Weaver Smith and graduate student Shannon Wood gave a presentation at the 2018 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention on their study of rotational falls.
For more than two decades, the sport of eventing worldwide has focused policy, research, and design innovation to increase understanding and reduce the occurrence and consequence of horse and rider injury. Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) statistics from 2002 show nearly 75% reduction of any rider injury. Since the introduction of the first cross-country safety device, the frangible pin in 2001, serious rider injuries (that are correlated to rotational falls) have seen two-thirds reduction by 2015. Everyone’s goal is further reduction to the minimum possible.
Smith and Wood examined different data sets to determine the average number of rotational falls that occur in any given year. Because there are so few relative to the total number of fences jumped by horses in competition in any given year, it is difficult to collect data on rotational falls. Smith and Wood therefore worked to create a model that could simulate rotational falls, taking into account a number of different variables from the size of horses and riders to the contact position during the fall, speed, and more.
Look for a detailed article on the study and its findings in the May/June 2019 edition of Eventing USA!
The USEA Annual Meeting & Convention takes place each December and brings together a large group of dedicated USEA members and supporters to discuss, learn, and enjoy being surrounded by other eventing enthusiasts. The USEA organizes multiple seminars in addition to committee meetings, open forums, and tons of fun! The 2019 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention is taking place at the Sheraton Boston Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts, December 12-15, 2019. Click here to learn more about the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention.