First aid cover at horse shows

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H&H finds out what level of first-aid cover you can expect at different equestrian events

British Eventing

Dressage phase — a doctor or suitably qualified emergency medical technician (EMT) with portable resuscitation equipment and oxygen on-site.

Showjumping — a doctor and ambulance.

Cross-country — a doctor and a 4WD ambulance with resuscitation and emergency equipment and a paramedic on the course.

British Dressage

National and winter championships — a doctor or paramedic on-site during all competition time and 24hr professional first-aid cover is provided as a minimum outside these times.

Affiliated competition — BD doesn’t stipulate the level of medical/first-aid cover a venue must have to run an affiliated competition; this is down to the individual venue to decide based on their own situation. Organisers must complete a BD risk assessment form.

British Showjumping

Different show venues have their own health and safety arrangements.

BS has no specific minimum provision — it says it depends on your risk assesment and what your insurance provider and local authority require. But it does suggest a first-aider is on-site at all competitions.

Pony Club

Sliding scale of cover to be provided, from designated first-aider and first-aid point at rallies, to an ambulance and paramedic or doctor at national showjumping and
eventing championships.

Unaffiliated shows

The Health and Safety Executive suggests a minimum of four first-aiders for equestrian events, but will depend on size of show and number of spectators.

British Riding Clubs

Club and open dressage and showjumping shows — first-aider.

All cross-country events and horse trials — paramedic or doctor (preferably trauma-trained) and 4WD ambulance.

Area qualifiers dressage and showjumping — first-aiders/paramedic and ambulance.


British Show Pony Society — recommends all area shows have first-aid cover and take advice from a professional provider as to suitable level.

24-hour cover at championships — six paramedics with ambulance and fast-response buggy ambulance during the day and a paramedic and first-aider at night.

For the full feature on first-aid cover at equestrian events, see the current issue of Horse & Hound (24 June, ’10)

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