Academics in Australia have created a database for recording eventing falls that they hope to share with fellow federations around the world.
The Safety for Horses and Riders in Eventing (SHARE) database was created by the Research Centre for Injury Studies at Adelaide’s Flinders University, using data from all Australian national and international competitions between 2001 and 2006.
In total, 1,732 riders fell during that period. Each faller was asked to complete a questionnaire, and reports made by course officials were also used to create a picture of safety in the sport.
“The database allows the accidents to be cross-referenced by a number of criteria, including experience of rider, type of jump, nature of fall, weather conditions, injuries suffered and what the rider felt caused the fall,” say the authors, Dr Raymond Cripps and Denzil O’Brien.
In the past, the Equestrian Federation of Australia, in common with many other federations, had no central database of competitions, starters, results, falls or injuries.
But at the International Equestrian Federation’s (FEI) eventing safety conference in Copenhagen (news, 24 January), it was decided that national data should be included in the FEI’s annual accident report and national federations were asked to feed information to the FEI.
FEI spokesman Malina Gueorguiev said: “The Australian database differs from the FEI’s because they focus on the consequences of falls, whereas we are trying to establish why falls happen.”
But she added that any investigation into eventing safety is welcomed.
This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (3 July, ’08)