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Posted by Equestrian Australia on 05/06/2017.
photo credit Julie Wilson

Making Eventing Safer in Australia

Equestrian Australia (EA) is pleased to announce the Making Eventing Safer Committee has approved its next project which is another step towards the overall aim of enabling Australian Eventing competitions to adopt world’s best safety management practices.

The Making Eventing Safer Fund, kicked off by the generosity of Willinga Park’s Terry Snow, will see $45,000 distributed to States to support the roll out of frangible devices at all EA events across Australia. This funding will be matched by State Eventing Committees meaning a total of $90,000 will be spent on improving safety.

Frangible devices are manufactured in Sweden and the UK and can be fitted to many types of cross-country fences. Whilst horse falls cannot be completely avoided, the use of frangible devices allows the fence to drop on contact therefore helping to prevent a horse from falling.

The Equestrian Australia Making Eventing Safer Fund was introduced following the deaths of two young NSW based Eventing riders, Caitlyn Fischer and Olivia Inglis, last year. EA and Terry Snow are passionate about the development of Equestrian in Australia and devoted to making the sport safer for riders and horses.

Dual Olympic medallist, course designer and coach Stuart Tinney applauded the Making Eventing Safer initiative.

“Terry’s been a wonderful supporter of getting this in place. It’s very exciting to be able to introduce more safer fences to Eventing and now we are encouraging the clubs in each state to get involved and get course designers to incorporate this into their designs,” Tinney said.

Learn more about frangible fences from Stuart Tinney in this video:

The introduction of frangible devices complements a range of other safety initiatives that have been put in place so far this year:

  • The appointment of part-time National Safety Officer (NSO) Roger Kane, an experienced FEI (International Equestrian Federation) Technical Delegate, who will enable the latest safety improvements from around the world to be assessed and, if appropriate for Australia, implemented at all national EA and FEI events. His very focused aim is to reduce horse falls on cross-country which is measured carefully at every FEI/EA event worldwide each year.
  • Australia’s top course designers met in February to share their knowledge to help ensure that the cross-country courses they design meet the latest world safety standards for prevention of horse falls.
  • With the recent publication of FEI cross-country design guidelines which reflect the latest learnings globally in designing cross country courses, a version specifically for EA classes (105cm and lower) is being developed and will soon be released.

In further positive news for Eventing safety, the FEI has established a Risk Management Steering Group with the specific aim of reducing horse falls, particularly rotational horse falls which cause the most serious accidents. The group of eight experts from around the world is chaired by David O’Connor USA Olympic Gold Medallist and includes Australian Technical Delegate, Geoff Sinclair. The group met with 80 of the world’s top Eventing officials including riders from around the world in Ireland last February to discuss safety.

The Risk Management Steering Group has since put forward its recommendations to the FEI to improve Eventing safety. These recommendations include frangible pins, Equiratings, coaching, officials training, video analysis and communication with riders/coaches/course designers and officials. 

Australian based clubs that are running EA/FEI events can access funds for frangible pins and Mim clips via their relevant State Eventing Committee

Making Eventing Safer Resource Page 

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