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Posted by Christine Armishaw on 19/08/2020.
Photo by Matthias Zomer

Tribute to the Healthcare Professionals Tirelessly Contributing to Eventing

Equestrian Australia (EA) has been supported for some time now by a group of very devoted and knowledgeable equestrian healthcare professionals.

In June 2017, a group called the EA National Medical Consultative Group (EANMCG) was formed, along with the engagement of Roger Kane (NSO).

At this time, many of these healthcare professionals were all already actively volunteering in their States, to provide and coordinate medical cover at Eventing competitions. Many were linked to the Eventing community through their family or own participation in the sport. 

Due to their expertise and interest in Eventing, some of the healthcare professionals within this group volunteered countless hours of their time. They work together as an expert healthcare group to send recommendations to the coroner about minimum medical skill-sets and equipment for Eventing medical coverage.

In 2019, Magistrate Derek Lee, Deputy State Coroner reported 31 findings for safety improvements in the sport of Eventing. A key area for amendment was to improve event medical coverage and process, as outlined by the EANMCG. This wonderful group of healthcare professionals also put forward their ideas and expertise to draw up a set of medical response policies and protocols for use at Eventing competitions. These were well received by organising committees.

The first items considered within this standard of medical response protocols included, but were not limited to:

  • incident response target times
  • minimum skill-sets or qualifications required for medical support at events
  • minimum equipment and drug requirements

Many of these healthcare professionals continue to contribute to our equestrian sport as volunteers, alongside their busy day-to-day medical practices, specialist clinics, surgery, university lecturing or management of emergency departments.

The EANMCG has representation from most States of Australia (except NT). These wonderful volunteers are happy to give their time to attend meetings, review documents and continue to put their ideas forward in order to improve and lead health and safety matters for EA.

In more recent times, the National Safety Manager for EA called upon the EANMCG to assist in the development of the EA Guidelines for Resuming Equestrian Training and Competition Activities in a COVID Environment.

Despite this being slightly sideways and not what they would usually tackle within equestrian sport, they all embraced this challenge, knowing we needed to work together on this project, in order to manage a safe return to equestrian sport amidst the unknowns - not to mention the ups and downs of us all learning to live with COVID.

Many of these healthcare professionals, who give their time as volunteers, are front-line workers dealing with COVID on a daily basis. This is what makes this group of people very special.  

Next time you meet one of our volunteer EANMCG team members at an equestrian event, remember without these special people, it would be very hard for us to ride and enjoy our sport.

We encourage you all to take the time to say ‘thank you’, grab them a coffee or bottle of water and let them know how much you appreciate their time and contribution. 

Thank you EANMCG from the National Safety Manager and all of our EA members.

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