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“It’s good that eventing is a sport that you can make a living in one way or another, but there’s responsibility that comes with it.”


safety in the sport, he stresses. “There was a jump at Carolina where you jumped through the last water, then turned around and galloped back the way you came. It was raining and people were landing and yanking on their right rein and horses were either slipping or falling or riders were popping off. That’s just bad riding. But then I watched Phillip Dutton at the end of the day and it had been raining and sleeting and he just nursed the horse around. I wish you could teach every rider to have that kind of feel for what’s happen- ing underneath you.” Marilyn says she has no doubt


that the sport has become safer. “From my judging all over the world and watching competitions, there are many times I’ve seen a frangible pin go that I know would have been a serious accident,” she adds. “In the U.S. they are investi- gating why falls happen, finding out if it’s more often with riders who don’t have coaches and encouraging people to find coaches before they start competing.”


A Positive Image As the sport grows, so does the responsibility of its expe- rienced competitors. Jon feels that while the sport has become safer, riders need to be more conscientious in today’s modern connected world. “Obviously, with


NEW FEI LEVELS


social media and technology, eventing is not only physi- cally growing but its exposure has grown,” he says. “As a competitor, with that instant communication and access to videos, I think the responsibility of the competitor to do the right thing and make the right choices is more impor- tant. It really only takes one moment of poor judgment and you can get branded for something you’re not. I think it’s good that eventing is a sport that you can make a living in one way or another, but there’s respon- sibility that comes with it.” By publishing studies like


Ambulances are always available on site for horses and humans at FEI horse trials.


Eventing Risk Management Programme Statistics, the FEI is striving to not only focus on ways to make the sport safer but to keep this information transparent and available to participants. “By increasing safety, putting out the statistics of what happens and how it’s improving, we will


improve our reputation,” Marilyn says. “Most sports do not report data on injuries so the statistics are not being kept. The FEI is really leading the way in recording this data, and we’ve got to commend them for stepping forward and running these studies.” “One of their biggest priorities is risk management in


According to the new FEI levels introduced in 2018, the one-star will be equivalent to the modified level, which is between training (3’3”) and preliminary (3’7”) levels with jumps at a height of 3’5”, with show jumps 2” higher at all levels for the FEI levels. The two-star will be equivalent to the old one-star, and so on, with the addition of a five- star level as the highest level of the sport.


New Categorization for 2018 CCI 5* (Long)


CCI 5* (Short) CCI 4* (Long) CCI 4* (Short) CCI 3* (Long) CCI 3* (Short) CCI 2* (Unified) CCI 1* (Unified)


30 May/June 2018


Existing Levels in 2017 Olympic and WEG Format


New level – cross country (CIC 3*), dressage and jumping (CCI 4*) CCI 3* CIC 3* CCI 2* CIC 2*


CCI 1* and CIC 1* New introductory level not existing in 2017


every aspect: educating the riders, the judges, the course designers and the TDs,” she continues. We have to attend a seminar every three years and every seminar there’s a course on risk management and we’re always talk- ing about reduc- ing risk. Officials are always encouraged to pull up a rider if they feel they are dangerous. If a rider gets two verbal warnings (which will be written into the TD report), they receive an auto- matic yellow card and will be sitting on the sidelines for a while.”


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