The implications for safety in Eventing

I’m with John (yes there are two John’s; “John” – he runs Eventing Nation and is a Media Mogul and myself “ES John” – EventingSafety John, check out my bio here).  I am jealous of the attention that Coren is getting for her Robert Dover comments.

Since I started the whole Eventing Safety website, facebook and twitter thing earlier this year I have been trying to get the Eventing Community to react.

Robert Dover disappoints me.  He hasn’t read my stuff, and doesn’t see fit to include me at all in any of his rants (in a positive or negative way, to be honest either is fine).  I salute you Coren Morgan; between yourself and Mr. Dover, you, in a few short days, have achieved what I have failed to do in the last nine months.  GET EVENTERS TALKING ABOUT SAFETY.

When you read Robert’s rants, yes they are rants, there is actually some truths behind them. 

Can we defend ourselves and our sport? Absolutely!
 
Are we doing enough? Not even close!!!!
 

Before you storm off in a Dover-like hissy fit hear me out.
 
Individual Federations are doing some great work, and I would put the USEA & USEF up there with British Eventing as the organizations leading the pack.  No doubt about that, I am awaiting the publishing of a session from the USEA Convention before I publish my next story on my EventingSafety blog.
 
BUT!!!

NO SINGLE FEDERATION OR THE FEI CAN DO THIS ON THEIR OWN.

Key people from the US, UK and the Mim NewEra guys got together with FEI big wigs about 6 weeks ago, and they made some important decisions and have a timeline and plan.  Where are the minutes and that plan?  Not up publicly on the FEI website or anywhere else, they have been sent to a select few and further information will be in a Private secure section of the FEI website.  There should have been a press release and a hyperlink to more information sent out worldwide.

Check out the FEI Eventing Risk Management page, it is pitiful.  This is exactly why I started my website–the fantastic information that is out there is fragmented, hard to find and difficult to decipher as much is written in bureaucrat speak. The FEI is usually great at press releases but unfortunately lets itself down when it really counts.

Let me tell you, as a TD, my greatest nightmare is losing a horse or rider at an Event. I do EVERYTHING in my power to avoid both, at every occasion I get including writing comments like this.

What Mr. Dover fails to acknowledge is all the great things being done to help mitigate the issues.  We have horses dying on XC from heart conditions, these same horses would, and do drop dead in paddocks from their conditions.  But the USEA has a Cardiovascular Study underway to find out why and to see if it can be prevented.

As some people have pointed out in both the comments on EN and Dover’s World, dressage is not without its fair share of abuse.  Has Robert done a rant about, Rollkur? Don’t know, don’t care, but sometimes it hurts to look in your own backyard. We Eventers do and we can be proud of that.

Keep up the rage people, ask more questions of those in power at a local, national and international level and things will be begin to change.

So what are the implications for our sport from this exchange of opinions? Personally I think they are all good, because we are discussing the issue publicly, being candid and tackling the issues head on.  This is great for our sport.

So hopefully next time Mr Dover google’s himself over coffee, this post will come up. Hopefully he takes some time, reads my blog, sees the wonderful things that are happening in Eventing Safety and then lets go with a considered and balanced spray on our sport.

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