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Posted by Christine Armishaw on 18/02/2021.

Health and Safety Update February 2021

With 2021 well underway we have already achieved some historical milestones. EA is finally out of VA, we have our new Board in operation and now athletes are making sure their trusty steads are ready for training and competition.

NEW Incident/Accident/Near-Miss Reporting Process

EA is very excited to see the NEW Incident reporting process for Events and Coaches from 1st January 2021 now being utilised on a regular basis.

This reporting process is going to enable EA as a National Sporting Federation to analyse reported incidents/accidents and even ‘near-miss’ information, for all equestrian disciplines and Coach training activities.

When we can monitor what is going on during human-horse interactions, we are more likely to be able to manage risk, make informed health and safety decisions and change what is needed to keep our athletes and horses safer, by having a more accurate and up-to-date risk profile.

Well done everyone and keep up the great work.

National Safety Manager FEI Eventing Forum (2021) Report for 2020

We have submitted the FEI Eventing statistical report for 2020 on 4th January 2021. Despite having a reduction in Eventing competitions for 2020, we identified some general findings:

  • From a total of 32 events, there was a total of 6,892 cross country starters. This resulted in 214 rider falls and 13 horse falls.
  • They main mechanism of falls was related to 1) horse refusal and 2) rider lost their balance
  • From all reported falls only 3.3% were minor injuries for both riders and horses
  • 20% of all falls were on the flat
  • 29% of the 185 jump falls occurred at a combination fence

Additional falls in both Jumping and Dressage highlighted:

  • 47.7% occurred in the jumping phase, with 19.5% being identified in the warm-up area
  • 16% occurred in Dressage (inc warm-up) and
  • 7% occurred in the cross country warm-up area

EAs First Athlete-Participant National Survey

Our National Athlete-Participant health, safety and welfare survey has now been completed (ended 31.01.2021) via the EA website and social media platforms, with a total of 176 EA members participating.

We are looking forward to analysing these results, hearing what is important to members and sharing the findings.

Stay tuned to the website and social media as soon we will be releasing a survey for our wonderful Officials, Organising Committees, Affiliated Clubs, Coaches and Volunteers to identify their Health, Safety and Welfare ideas, issues or concerns.  

New Medical Service Provider (MSP) National Register

The EA National Medical Service Provider (MSP) (e.g. all event doctors, paramedics, first-aiders, and any registered nurses) register has been populated and continues to grow.

EA has over 90 listed MSPs, with many now using the incident reporting Form 08, pre-event MSP service agreement and equipment audit requirements, especially for Eventing.

So far, 16 MSP have purchased the triplicate incident reporting booklets, with others choosing to access the free online JotForm.

EA plans to commence a support program for our MSP which will include the following:
a) training for Medical Service Providers (MSP), e.g., incident reporting and consistent data collection processes

b) access to an auditable framework of MSP’s and

c) provide support and training for the EA MSP in our health and safety risk management and reporting requirements

Thank you to our Eventing Medical Consultative Group and many of the MSP who participated in the development of this process and documentation.

National Concussion in Sport Protocols, Reporting and Training Program

National Concussion Protocols, Education and Training materials are near completion.

Testing of this reporting process through the online platform, MyEA, has now finalised and the process of listing active athletes with a ‘concussion-on-hold’ status is now accessible to all EA members.

A trial of our new National Concussion training was completed in January 2021.

Two streams of training presentations will soon be available:

  1. EA National Concussion Training in Sport Presentation for Officials, Coaches, OCs and Clubs and
  2. EA National Concussion Training in Sport Presentation for Athletes.

EA has a total of 49 athlete members who have already registered, which is great and demonstrates our athletes interest in caring for themselves. However, we need many more.

Please go online and register your interest in the new Concussion Training, as we do have more than 50 participants in our sport throughout Australia and it is a mandatory sporting requirement for us all to manage concussions.

Phase 2 Audit completed for 31 Coronial Recommendations (Eventing)

We have just completed a comprehensive Phase 2 desktop audit of all 31 Coronial Recommendations.

The purpose of this audit was to:

  1. Validate what recommendations have been completed with evidenced-based outcomes
  2. Identify areas for further review and actions
  3. Assist in the process of EA as a National Sporting Federation to reinstate funding from Sport Australia

This year I am very keen to get out-and-about and participate and interact with many of our other Equestrian Disciplines.

We have some exciting projects ahead for 2021 and, with your support as members, officials, volunteers, organising committees and coaches, we can achieve great outcomes for our Equestrian Sport.

COVID doesn’t impact on us staying in touch: Welcome Australian Eventing Forum (AEF)

Due to COVID restricting our face-to-face contact in 2020, a group of innovative Technical Delegates (TD) started the forum called AEF.

This group of four like-minded Officials wanted to stay-in-touch and talk about Eventing. The online platform for communications has now grown to over 600 members (including some based overseas).

The AEF is not an official EA body but does draw on the goodwill and resources of EA, the Eventing Discipline Committee and other interested parties to present on topics of interest to the group members.

Other members of the group include interested officials, riders, coaches and people who just 'love the sport of Eventing’.

Recently, the AEF provided an information session on Concussion (85 AEF members in attendance), on how the new EA reporting processes apply to Eventing.

The introduction was delivered by Dr Vince Roche and Dr Tess Goodwin, who outlined the current requirements as reviewed and updated by myself in 2020. This training is not the official EA Concussion in Sport training that is yet to be delivered and endorsed by EA, it was basically and entrée for the AEF members of what is yet to be presented.  

It is fabulous to see that members are keen to learn and continue to be passionate about managing the risks within our equestrian sport.

Key Health and Safety messages for 2021

  • Always reflect on lessons learnt and focus on what we can do better
  • Listen to each other, take time for someone else and their opinion
  • Equestrian is a multi-disciplined sport, let's share our knowledge and work together with a unified approach
  • Happy, healthy athletes and horses is our main goal. Let’s not get caught up in the unnecessary and unkind turbulence  

Thank you for your support in 2020.

Meredith Chapman

EA National Safety Manager

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