Cross-country deaths, injuries concern equestrian federation

May 12, 2007

The world governing equestrian body is formalising a safety group to look at preventing serious injuries and deaths in eventing.

The FEI is seriously concerned by the fatal accidents which have occurred in the sport over the last months. The FEI does not have the authority to manage and oversee national events.

The Eventing Safety Cross Country Working Group has been made into a permanent FEI Safety Sub-Committee, which will be led by international rider and course designer David O'Connor. The Committee membership will include riders, course designers and trainers of the leading Eventing nations. The Committee may invite experts from other disciplines and sports as the need arises.

The FEI Headquarters have set up a specific Eventing safety database and compiled a comprehensive report of all the figures relating to falls on Cross Country at international events.

The role of the FEI Safety Sub-Committee will be to analyse the figures, trigger specific investigations (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 produce concrete recommendations. Ensuring that the strictest international safety requirements are applied to the national level will also be part of their mission.