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FEI Eventing Safety Committee Holds First Meeting

The newly created Safety Sub-Committee of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) held its first meeting in London, England on June 18, 2007.

This committee, chaired by Olympic gold medalist and course designer, David O’Connor, The Plains, VA, includes Britain’s Chris Bartle, International Rider and Trainer of the German National Eventing Team; Laurent Bousquet International Rider & Chairman of the French National Federation Safety Commission and Trainer of the Belgium National Evening Team; Yogi Briesner, Trainer of the British National Evening Team; Andrew Nicholson, British-based New Zealand Olympic event rider; Britain’s Michael Tucker, International Eventing Technical Delegate and Course Designer and FEI Eventing Course Director.

The FEI Safety Sub-Committee has now been formalized as a standing Committee reporting to the FEI Eventing Committee. It is intended that the Committee meet twice a year; the next meeting will take place at the end of this year.

The objective of the inaugural meeting was to define the Committee’s mission as well as its frame of work. The role of the FEI Safety Sub-Committee is to:

- Identify all areas of concern;

- Investigate or trigger specific investigations;

- Manage all issues related to Eventing Safety by recommending rule updates and policy changes in the sport;

- Communicate on all findings.

Prevention, analysis and management will be part of each discussion for all issues raised.

During the first meeting, the Committee reviewed the following specifics – all proposals need further consideration by different bodies:

PREVENTION:

- Ensuring that the strictest international safety requirements are applied to the national level;

- Development of diversified safety devices for Cross Country construction;

- Promoting research on riders helmets;

- Reviewing of trends in Course Designing;

- Stopping horses on Cross Country course;

- Reviewing of number of refusals on Cross Country;

- Training of fence stewards;

- Introduction of a National Eventing expert to be the liaison between the National Federation (NF) and the FEI in relation to all safety issues;

- Review of FEI Officials education and qualification;

- Qualification of riders at national level before entering low level international events;

- Promotion of FEI Eventing safety database and reports on all the figures relating to Eventing international events.

ANALYSIS:

- Monitoring of statistics (i.e. specific combination of fences, analysis of riders or horses falling several times during a year, events with abnormal number of falls, etc.), and follow-up with FEI Officials and NF’s;

- Inclusion of veterinary information on horses in a safety database;

- Review of serious accidents and procedures.

MANAGEMENT:

- Communication and follow-up of safety program;

- Planning of safety educational seminars.

Courtesy: The HorseTV Channel News, http://www.horsetv.com

 

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