How do we share our learnings effectively?

I have been pondering a couple of questions since Rolex, and I think they are worth sharing and discussing.

  1. Why were there no Mim NewEra Clips at Rolex?
  2. How do we share new ideas and concepts on “frangible fence design” effectively and efficiently?

I will start by saying neither of these questions is meant as a criticism but purely as points to generate debate. Personally I seek out frangible fences and always aim to have a real understanding of the thinking behind their use, the device incorporated and what will happen if they are deployed.

I think this is good practice for everyone involved in our sport, we all need to know and understand more about these devices.

So back to Rolex, I have had a good look at the fence photos and only the frangible pin was used, both in traditional and reverse installation.  The double corners caused a number of issues on the weekend including these incidents below, the second of which ended up being the most serious of the weekend with a dislocated elbow.

So the question I ask myself, is could the either situation have given a different result if the Mim device was used instead of the pins? Personally I think yes, the Mim installed on both front and back could and should have collapsed in both situations. But most course builder and designers, or even TDs have never seen such a fence.  I have, at Adelaide last year and I did a video for Eventing Nation on it with TD Andy Griffiths, (while the sound is terrible in parts) and it show how a frangible corner can be built.

So how do we share this information and knowledge in the future?

Thanks

John

Risk Management & Frangible Device meetings

Hi guys,

Just a quick post to let you all know I have not forgotten about these meetings and reporting on how they went. They were on 27, 28, & 29 of January. To date the “Cone of Silence” has been most effective and I have almost no information.

What I do know is that at least one other person tried to participate in the FEI Risk Management Meeting and despite a demonstrated track record in the area of Eventing Safety was excluded. Additionally, there are whispers of discontent amongst some present and the whole “cone of silence”. Hopefully this will lead to some change and more open and transparent discussions in the future.

I can’t even tell you if the ProLog guys were invited to the second TRL meeting after being excluded from the first despite the fact that the FEI stated the meeting included all known manufacturers of frangible devices.

As of now, I have no other information to share.

If you have more information and would like to share it anonymously with me drop me a line, your confidence will be respected 100%.

eventingsafety @ gmail.com

In the meantime, please rider safely and wear your helmet.

A turning point? I hope

Sebastian Steiner died on 18 September 2010

Sebastian Steiner died on 18 September 2010

In a little over two week there will be two meetings of critical importance to the future of Eventing.

The first on 28 January is a follow up to a meeting that occurred on the 10th of November. This meeting is working on “discuss the possible creation of industrial standards for frangible/deformable Cross Country fences to be used in FEI competitions”.

This is exciting. What is not exciting is that very few people participated in the meeting, the meeting is not open to all concerned or it seems anyone outside the United Kingdom bar a select few from Europe and the USA.

In addition, the minutes from this meeting have not been published publicly for the wider Eventing community, the goals, papers and responses are locked away in a secure part of the FEI Family website.

One can only hope that they will release further information following the 28 January meeting.

The second very important meeting is the annual gathering of all National Safety Officers at Greenwich on 29-30 January.  This meeting too, does not encourage input from outside the select group of NSOs and others by invitation (mine it seems got lost in the mail).  I am confident that at the NSOs meeting they will discuss the aforementioned industrial standard for frangible/deformable cross country fences at the NSOs meeting.

What I hope is, will we turn the corner, will we move away from the situation of paranoia, closed doors, secret meetings and secure password controlled minutes?

Will we see publicly for the first time, a written simple and concise plan, that outlines in plain English (and French as well as many other languages), our goals, KPI’s and statistics for moving forward.

I am not hopeful, it only takes five minutes on Google to know that this conversation was happening, in the same tone, with big plans in the late nineties.  Have we improved? I think so, have we learnt anything, technically & scientifically YES, from a Public Relations and Management point of view, it seems not.

I recently came across a list, it is a list that will chill the bones of any Eventer or Eventing supporter.  The list contains the names and details of EVERY death of a rider, that has made it into the public domain since about 1997. Some of these names I have heard before but many I hadn’t.

For me personally, this list and the people whose lives were lost in our sport, this is why I do this, stick my neck out.  Unfortunately, every year on average just under four lives are lost in our sport.

2010 was an average year as we said goodbye to Dirk Grouwels (48) of Belgium in March, Elena Timonina (16) of Russia in May, Robin Donaldson (64) of Great Britain in September and Sebastian Steiner (22) of Austria in September.

I hope, dream and pray (I’m not very good at it) that 2011 will not be an average year.  Will we find some miracle cure in 2011 in the Industrial Standards?  I don’t think so, but I do hope that we can be more open, inclusive and forthright about the challenges our sport faces and how we will tackle this as a team.

Can we continue to add names to this horrific list and look at ourselves in the mirror and honestly say with hand on heart, I did everything in my power to stop adding to this list.

Believe me I haven’t forgotten about our horses and those that have given there lives for the sport.  Personally I have been around to see three of these, three too many and I know how tragic it is.  But, if we can’t get motivated enough to stem the list of human deaths, how can we even start on the list of horse deaths.

One final thing I ask, I want to ensure that this plea is read by every single person who will be in those meetings.  Please share the list as far and wide as possible, post it to your Facebook, email it to your Eventing contacts or Tweet it, whatever you can do to help spread the word will be truly appreciated.

Hopefully in late January, we can move past the excuses for not doing something, focus on the list of the past and prepare a plan for the future.

If you can bear it, there is a fairly comprehensive list on Horsetalk of both horses and riders.

Eventing Radio Episode 106

Boyd Martin is fresh from his mission in France, Jennie Brannigan is still celebrating her win at Galway Downs and Gill Rolton has a recap of the Australian International all right here.

Eventing Radio Episode 106 – Show Notes and Links:

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Badminton – Leading the way and stepping up to the plate

Recently I leveled a direct criticism at all of the Four Star Events as NOT one included any in depth information of any kind on their website as to the safety devices used on their XC course.  My premise was that as the Four Stars, riders and other event organisers look up to them so seeing that a 4* is doing it would help promote to others to do more too.  Only one event responded to my criticism and in fact, they promised to do something about it.

That event was Badminton and last night I received this live to the story, where Badminton Director Hugh Thomas talks about safety.  I applaud Badminton, for taking the lead, I will also be preparing a story on the safety utilised at Adelaide last week.

Thank you Hugh and thank you to Monty White, who produced the video.

This is the full story on the Badminton Blog, and below is the interview with Hugh Thomas

The Mim NewEra Team are hard at it

At maximum height 120cm the Mim adjustable Post and Rail

At maximum height 120cm the Mim adjustable Post and Rail

Mats Björnetun and Anders Flogård of MIM Construction Frändefors Sweden are never happy with just letting things roll along.  Having developed, tested and rolled out samples across the globe, Mats and Anders have both been working hard at demonstrating how flexible their product is.

I mentioned in my last post that the Mim NewEra seems to have been pigeonholed in the US as a device to make a table frangible.  This device is so much more, in fact I have not seen a table used apart from the one at Chat Hills.

What I have seen is

  • a vertical gate
  • upright skinny and the video clip on this post demonstrates how competition durable the Clip system is

And now we have this, a frangible post and rail that is adjustable in height, YES adjustable, it can be used for a lower end national class one weekend and the next be rolled out for a 4*, in my time I have not seen a fence this flexible.  Thanks again to Anders and Mats for helping to change the way we think about XC fences.

With dressing and some good ground anchors, this could be used at an Event near you.

Side on view of the Mim Team's Adjustable Post and Rail

Side on view of the Mim Team's Adjustable Post and Rail

At mimimum height of 85cm the mim adjustable Post and Rail

At mimimum height of 85cm the mim adjustable Post and Rail

 

A diversion from the normal program

Good morning People, it is 5.15am here in Australia and I am about to post something about Dressage and Jumping. Thought I better explain myself. Pretty simple really, there will be some great WEG coverage coming from the Horse Radio Network over the next three weeks of WEG and I have done a deal with Glenn The Geek to carry all four WEG (Olympic discipline) shows. So from now until the end of WEG you will find the following Horse Radio Network shows right here.

The 2010 will be produced daily during the games and will feature a full days wrap plus special guest and lots of fun from Samantha Clark and Glenn The Geek. The Eventing, Dressage and Jumping Shows are each hosted by Chris Stafford and will feature four special WEG shows (basically one at the end of each day of relevant competition).  So the good news is you won’t have to go far to get daily results, goss and the feeling of WEG.

I can’t wait and am so sorry I won’t be there myself.  There is one other place I recommend you check out for a bit of fun around WEG.  The Equestrian Australia Team have flown Hamish Cargill and Dave Campbell over to do their own warped (very Aussie) reporting on the games and will be dong regular spots of H & D TV on youtube, this is their first video.  Many more to come.

Finally, if you or any of your friends travel to WEG and see any frangible fences or anything else relating to safety in Eventing please drop me a line with any photos or videos to eventingsafety@gmail.com thanks again John.