The Safety Committee consists of three subcommittees: Rider Safety, Equine Safety, and Welfare, and Cross-Country Safety. They came together at the 2018 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention to discuss what the subcommittees have been working on in the Safety Committee Open Forum.
Sarah Broussard, Chair of the Rider Safety Subcommittee, said they have been working on revamping the safety coordinators manual to add more clarity and condense it. They are keeping an eye on concussions – how to monitor them, the long term effects, and how to prevent them from happening. They are also hoping to rework the watch list as many have heard of it, but most have never seen it. The list would help identify dangerous riding and work on getting riders on track with the education they need.
Dr. Jennifer Miller and Max Corcoran, Chairs of the Equine Safety and Welfare Subcommittee, reported on the work they have done this year which includes releasing educational videos about FEI stewarding and horse inspections. They are working on identifying parameters which would help officials identify exhausted horses. Miller and Corcoran want to push forward with the USEA’s cardiopulmonary study as two horses were lost this year on course due to cardiopulmonary failure, and they are hoping to put out research bids to the scientific community. They are trying to get more information about horsemanship out to more people by working with the continuing education of ICP instructors.
Both Rob Burk and David Vos spoke to the work of the Cross-Country Safety Subcommittee. Vos focused on the new method that he has developed in order to test frangible devices in the field, and gave a presentation about the research behind it including the formulas he developed. Vos also spoke about his work with the TRL lab in England to develop a new set of requirements for the FEI in testing frangible devices to make sure they work and are useful. These will be released by the FEI in the next few months.
Burk said, “We need to inspire the community to come forward so their voices can be heard. We don’t have all the answers and our job will never be done, but we will keep it at the top of our priority list. We are going in lots of directions, but that is what we need to do. Jump design, rider, education, horse suitability, etc. Everyone has been touched by a loss somewhere in the sport. This is deeply personal and there is so much we can do to improve for the future.”
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.
USEA podcast host Nicole Brown chats with Interim Eventing Chef d’Equipe and Team Manager of the U.S. Eventing Team Bobby Costello about the Silver Medal Performance put forward by the U.S. Team at the 2022 FEI Eventing World Championships.
There is still time to experience the long format of three-day eventing this year, by competing in a fall USEA Classic Series Event! The USEA Classic Series offers long-format eventing at the Beginner Novice, Novice, Training, Modified, and Preliminary levels, and there are still a few left on the fall calendar in various Areas.
This story first appeared in the August 2022 issue of Sidelines Magazine.
I have had many young horses in my time, and one thing I’ve learned is that it’s rarely the perfect, easy baby that becomes the next superstar. In fact, I’ve always considered it a positive to have the well-behaved youngster throw a little bit of attitude my way, as I believe that it takes fight to become a great event horse.