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United States Equestrian Federation

I would like to thank you for taking the time to talk to me yesterday regarding my deceased mare Picante.
Your credentials are very impressive
and I would certainly feel confident if you were handling Picante’s case.
D. Largeteau,
Axens North America

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Title: "Eventing Injuries - The different opinions as to why we have seen an increase"
Author: Allyson Nelson

There is a debate as to why a rise in injuries to both the eventing horse and rider has recently occurred.

Three day eventing competitors claim that this increase in the accidents is due to a paralleled inflation in novice competitors.

They believe that as the interest to the sport escalates more people enter the events, unaware of the skill needed and the risk involved.While others say that the riders are focused on qualifying for the next competition and loosing sight of the welfare of the horses.

Pushing them to hard can lead to fatigue and medical problems. Dr. Catherine Kohn, VMD, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, researched equine fatalities in event horses between 1996 and 2008, and found 51 fatalities due to collapse or injury.

Another Veterinarian Dr. Kent Allen, DVM, believes that these horses could be suffering from exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage. He feels this could be appearing now because of the increased speed and difficulty of the courses.

This is not the first time the public has taken interest in the safety of this sport. There was another cluster of deaths in 1999.
After this the British organizers invented a special jump pin that would cause the rail to collapse upon impact.

NAES   This would highly decrease the number of rotational falls (the horse summersaults over the fence). These are the most common fall and also the most dangerous for both horse and rider.

These pins have been available since 2001, but are not used on all possible fences due to cost. They cost an average of $70 per fence; with 20-40 fences per course many feel this is cost prohibitive.

The one similarity between everyone involved and viewing the sport is the gut wrenching feeling received in the pit of every stomach when an awful fall is witnessed.

Something needs to be done before more horses need to be euthanized.

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