Rotational falls have “halved” since the FEI started collecting data in 2010, but work must continue to lower that number as far as possible, the FEI eventing risk management seminar was told (22 January).
The ratio of rotational falls has decreased from one in 327 starts in 2010, to one in 663 starts (0.15%). FEI stats showed that nearly a fifth (18%) of the 29 rotational falls in 2021 resulted in serious rider injury.
“Rotational falls are absolutely the most serious type of falls we have to avoid,” said risk management steering group chairman Geoff Sinclair, adding while the numbers are low, it is “29 we would love not to have”.
“I don’t think we will ever get to completely preventing them, but we definitely want to watch this very carefully. It’s a little bit higher than it was in 2018 [0.13%] and 2019 [0.12%], definitely something we have to be working on very hard to make sure those are avoided where possible.”
Serious consequences of inaccurate results
Events and federations were warned of the grave consequences of inaccurate results, such as incorrect fall type or faults allocated to the wrong combination, when accurate data is crucial for both improving safety and for minimum eligibility requirements.
“In the past two years, we have had many issues with the results we receive that have not been recorded correctly,” said FEI eventing and Olympic director Catrin Norinder, adding that results cannot be modified after a competition.
“It is becoming a problem and we don’t want it to become a trend.”
Eventing committee chairman David O’Connor added the importance of this cannot be underestimated, imploring those present to take the message to their national federations.
“What we cannot have is to not accurately know what is going on. It affects judgements, it affects riders, it affects horses, it affects everything.”
The FEI defined “serious injury” in 2019, to help with consistency of the information it was receiving. Concussion, too, is reported as a separate category and is an area predicted to have an ever increasing focus.
“Measuring concussion will be an important part of our sport, as it is in all sports. It is even an insurance risk for our sport in the future, I think, so we need to be careful,” added Mr Sinclair.
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