How you can help Boyd Martin and the Team at True Prospect Farm

UPDATE The horses that were hospitalized are showing real signs of progress in the last 36 hours. Check. Out this story on Eventing Nation for more info.

I cannot express in words the heartbreak I experienced this morning upon hearing the tragedy that has occurred at True Prospect Farm. The lives of all involved in this terrible incident will be irrevocably changed.

What can we do? Well reaching out and supporting our friends is going to be of critical importance over the weeks and months ahead. The other thing we can do is to donate.

At this stage for those of us in Australia or other parts of the world outside the USA, the easiest way is to donate to the True Prospect Recovery Fund. I have done this myself and urge you to do the same if you can.

Below are the details of the five ways you can support. Although some are only useful to those in the USA.

It’s important to remember that the tragedy at True Prospect this morning affected an incredible number of people.  Those who lost horses and their families will bear the brunt of the trauma, but everyone at True Prospect who was there last night will remember those moments for the rest of their lives.  Indeed everyone in the eventing community feels some loss today that so many great horses are no longer with us and at the sorrow felt by their connections.  

The eventing community is banding together today to help out.  Everyone who can help is on scene at True Prospect and New Bolton assisting in the relocation of the surviving horses, the recovery of the injured horses, and helping everyone involved.

As part of the recovery, there are multiple ways we can all band together from across Eventing Nation to help out.  If you are anything like me, you have felt a little helpless today hearing about the tragedy but not being there to help out.  Here is a quick guide to the relief funds and other ways to help out, please help spread the word: 

1) Boyd’s website has posted a link to a True Prospect/SCES relief fund set up through SCES that allows for tax-deductible donations.  The site explains: “This relief fund is a general fund set up to help everyone at Windurra LLC and True Prospect Farm, as well as our owners and riders who have been impacted by this tragedy.”  [Boyd’s blog and donation link]

2) There is also a True Prospect Farm Fire Recover Fund directly from True Prospect Farm.  You can pay with either a credit card or a Paypal account. [Information on the fund and donation link]

3) Denny Emerson is donating half of his royalties from his new book “How Good Riders Get Good” to help with the recovery.  Click here to buy the book.

4) PRO is putting together and online fundraising auction–we’ll have more details on that as it develops.

5) Everyone can also make donations through the American Horse Trials Foundation.  Boyd, Caitlin and Lillian are already listed there, and donations are tax-deductible. As will all AHTF donations, be sure to write the riders name on a note with the check, not the actual check.

The American Horse Trials Foundation
221 Grove Cove Road
Centreville, MD 21617
Phone: (443) 262-9555
Email: ahtf@att.net

As a final good news note, we have been getting a lot of emails checking on Remington–he was turned out overnight and is fine.  Go donate.

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Horse World Gives Back

Horse World Gives Back is bringing the horse world together in a fund raising drive to benefit the people and horses affected by the recent flooding and tornadoes all throughout the country. Let’s show the world the what a caring and compassionate people we are!

Horse World Gives Back has been organized by the Horse Radio Network and many of their media partners.

USEF to support frangible devices

Occasionally I get some really good news sent to me very anonymously, sometimes it isn’t so good, but this one is.  For many years the USEF has been a leader in the introduction of Frangible Devices in the sport of Eventing. They are one of the few Federations to require Frangible Devices on certain types of  fences and also one of a very few that actually subsidize the  cost of using the devices.

Until now the USEF has only funded the British developed Frangible Pin. But a little birdy tells me this is all about to change.  As of very soon, the USEF will broadly support “Frangible Devices” and will subsidise the cost of the Mim NewEra System and I believe the Prolog, (while the Mim is a definite, I am not 100% sure on the Prolog).

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

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

I honestly believe that the Mim system is the best available product on the market today.  This is great news for US Eventing and I hope that the leadership shown by the USEF will be adopted by of other Federations including my own which lags behind in this area.

This change for the USEF will be reflected in changes to the design rules in the US that mandate the use of Frangible Pins on certain fences to more broadly Approved Frangible Devices.

Congratulations to the USEF for being world leaders in this area, as I understand it the push for this change came from the very top.

Lets hope we see more of this.

ESJ

2011 FEI Risk Management Seminar Minutes and Reports

My apologies for not getting onto this earlier but I have been away in sunny Florida.

So the FEI have released the minutes, participant list, presentations and fall statistics from the meeting held in late January. We must remember that this annual meeting is primarily National Safety Officers and is called the “FEI Eventing Risk Management Seminar”.

I must say up front that I was told in no uncertain terms prior to the meeting that the meeting was not about frangible devices or moves to develop an industrial standard. Well this seems to be exactly the case. I found a total of three references, in all of the eight documents published. All of these references were passing and include NO detail at all.

Personally I see this as a glaring omission and I will explain why.

For at least the last 12 months and for longer, but perhaps more anecdotally, we have been compiling data on the types of frangible devices used, types of fences they were used in, did they deploy or did they fail to deploy.

These are important statistics, there is NO statistical information included in the FEI Statistic on falls, fences and injuries that identify frangible devices. Just so I am being clear, there is absolutely no statistical information released by the FEI on the use of frangible fences.

I believe this information is critical to our plans and future direction. Let me explain a little first. At an FEI Competition, the TDs and CD need to fill in an extremely detailed form outlining the details of every fence included in the competition. Using this information we should be able to identify if you are more likely to have a horse fall off a left or right bend, in or out of water, up or down a hill, at a portable or fixed fence and also at a frangible or non-frangible fence.

We can also identify using the report, the profile of fences that have a statistically higher chance of causing a horse fall. We should also be able to identify if a particular profile of fence has a lower chance of producing a horse fall if a frangible device is used (and perhaps even which type of frangible device has the lowest chance of a horse fall).

All of this information is important for Officials to understand when analyzing a course and for CDs when preparing a course. Failure of frangible devices to deploy is also important information, especially when the resulting fall results in serious injury or worse. I can think of four really famous examples of failure to deploy in the last 12 months.

Was the failure to deploy a case of the perfect storm of bad circumstances or simply, a less appropriate device being used?

What I do know is that this type of information need not be highly sanitised to the point the information becomes useless, but disseminated to the people who need to know, firstly the NSO’s and secondly to the Officials who are the Individuals responsible and are responsible when something goes wrong.

I really do hope that more time was spent on discussing frangible devices and that some lost report suddenly appears on the FEI website, but I do not hold out much hope. It seems we are destined for another year of sanitised, compartmentalised and fragmented information about the sport.

One other issue I see with the statistics is that they only represent the FEI competitions. I know there are issues with getting complete information from National Federations, but hey, a complete picture on the sport would be nice. For instance the report mentions that there have been seven rider fatalities in the last 7 years. Unfortunately when you add the national competitions into the mix that number goes from 7 to 27 almost four times the rate.

Statistics are important and we must continue to work on them, however we need to extract and disseminate more meaningful and practical, applicable data that a Course Designer or Technical Delegate can use in the field where it really matters.

The documents can be read and downloaded on the FEI website here.

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.

Eventing Radio Episode 117 by Bit of Britain

The U.S. Coaching position closed this week and we hear from three more applicants for the position; American Jimmy Wofford, Australian Andrew Hoy and Britain’s Leslie Law. Kerry Millikin is back in the co-host chair so tune in right here…
Eventing Radio Episode 117 by Bit of Britain – Show Notes and Links:

  • Show Host: Chris Stafford
  • Co-Host: Kerry Milliken
  • Photo Credit: USET
  • Guests: Jimmy Wofford, U.S. Olympian, trainer, author and former Canadian team coach – http://jimwofford.blogspot.com
  • Guests: Andrew Hoy, six-time team and individual Olympic medalist, Rolex, Badminton and Burghley winner: www.hoyteam.com
  • Guests: Leslie Law, 2004 Olympic Individual Gold Medalist, trainer and new father: http://www.leslielaweventing.com
  • Guests: The 2011 PRO Tour schedule – www.professionalriders.org : March 25-27: Southern Pines II, Advanced ~ Raeford, NC April 7-10: The Fork ~ CIC3* ~ Norwood, NC June 9-12: Bromont ~ CCI3* ~ Bromont, Quebec August 4-7: The Millbrook Horse Trials ~ Advanced ~ Millbrook, NY September 16-18: Plantation Field ~ CIC3* ~ Unionville, PA October 13-16: Dansko Fair Hill International ~ CCI3* ~ Elkton, MD November 4-6: Galway Downs ~ CCI3* ~ Temecula, CA

Please visit our sponsors as they make this show possible:

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Eventing Radio Episode 116 by Bit of Britain

David & Karen O’Connor join Chris and Max to explain the philosophy behind David’s bid to become the next US team coach & Chef d’Equipe and what that would mean to both of them. Laura Kraut and Samantha Lendl join Karen as they explain a new PRO Derby Cross event taking place in March. All that and more on this week’s show so tune in right here…

Eventing Radio Episode 116 by Bit of Britain – Show Notes and Links:

Please visit our sponsors as they make this show possible:

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