The FEI Eventing Risk Management Steering Group held its first meeting at FEI headquarters in Lausanne (SUI) last week.
Chaired by David O’Connor (USA), the group has been set up to look at ways to minimise risks in eventing, with a focus on coordinating risk management initiatives internationally. International cross country course designer Mike Etherington-Smith (GBR), FEI Eventing Technical Delegate and former President of the Australian Equestrian Federation Geoff Sinclair (AUS) and FEI Veterinarian and Swedish Eventing team coach Staffan Lidbeck (SWE) are all involved in the Steering Group.
“We all love this sport and acknowledge that it carries inherent risks, but we owe it to everyone in the eventing community to do everything we can to make it as safe as possible for our athletes and for our horses,” said Chair David O’Connor.
The meeting established the areas to investigate such as new ways to reduce horse falls, and identifying factors to decrease the number of serious injuries to athletes and horses using research studies from around the world relating to risk management.
“The sport has suffered such terrible losses this year and these affect us all very deeply. The wide-ranging expertise of the members of this group will play a crucial part in our ongoing work to make the sport as safe as possible,” said FEI Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez.
The Steering Group will produce a list of recommendations to the FEI Eventing Committee by the end of February 2017 and a presentation of the group’s findings will also be made at the FEI Sports Forum in April next year.