In December 2020, Dr. Erin Contino, a practicing veterinarian and an active eventer in Area IX, gave a presentation at the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Virtual Convention on advances in safety in the sport of three-day eventing.
Her presentation, which is geared specifically towards veterinarians, begins with an overview of the sport of eventing, for those who might be unfamiliar. As veterinarians, animal welfare is of paramount importance, and so they too are concerned with trying to reduce the inherent risk of the sport. Contino shares national and international statistics on horse falls and fatalities, as provided by the USEA and FEI.
After Contino has defined the problem of safety in eventing, she moves on to share data and information on a number of initiatives that have taken place over the last 30 years to make the sport of eventing safer for horses and riders, from changes put in place to mitigate hot and humid climates, the cardiopulmonary research group, air quality index considerations, increased awareness of footing and conditioning, and rider education and awareness. She also talks about how rules affect horse safety and how the EquiRatings ERQI uses data and analytics to assess safety.
Contino then provides information about a few studies that have been done surrounding horse safety. The first study looks at risk factors associated with horse falls. The study collected data over a five-year period and recorded over two million jumping efforts. The second study looked at how a horse's dichromatic vision could be accommodated to improve jumping performance. The third study looked specifically at the efficacy of frangible devices in preventing rotational falls.
In the final USEA Classic Series event of 2022, three horse and rider pairs rode their way to the top of the podium in the Training, Novice, and Beginner Novice 3-Day divisions offered during the Ram Tap Horse Park Horse Trials which took place November 18-20 in Fresno, California.
US Equestrian opened a bid process for one event to host the Advanced level in Area 3 on Week 10 for 2023-2027 due to an event cancellation. The bid process was conducted in accordance with the 2023-2027 U.S. Eventing Calendar CCI4*-L, CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, & Advanced Policies and Procedures. The USEF Eventing Strategic Calendar Review Task Force made recommendations to the USEF Eventing Sport Committee who made recommendations for final approval by the USEF Board of Directors.
Concluding the 2022 Area Championships season was the Area X Championships held during the SAzEA H.T. which took place November 19-20 in Tucson, Arizona. Three Championship divisions were offered, allowing three horse and rider pairs the opportunity to conclude their 2022 eventing season by being crowned champion!
“The highest priority must be given by instructors to developing in their riders a correct, balanced, supple, effective, and independent seat for dressage and for jumping.” - “Teaching Principles” in the new ECP Eventing Handbook by the Levels