Getting Real About ‘Freak Accidents’ In 3 Day Eventing

Can we just get real for a minute here?  This is, quite literally, the very first image that pops up in a google search for “huge cross country jumps”.

Photo Credit: Horse Paintings By Karen Brenner
Photo Credit: Horse Paintings By Karen Brenner

So, if we are going to call the recent deaths, both human and equine, in this sport “freak accidents”, can somebody clarify that for me? Did somebody trip and fall and all of a sudden find themselves on a galloping horse three strides out from an obstacle constructed of telephone poles that fell out of the sky?

A “freak accident” is when a horse trips and falls in mundane trot work and the rider ends up with a TBI.

A “freak accident” is when a horse suffers an aortic aneurysm and dies in am instant.

But when people build these insane obstacles just so that they can then organize events around running horse after horse at giant obstacles made out of telephone poles, it looks less like a “freak accident” and more like a “foregone conclusion” that SOMEONE is going to die, we just don’t know who, when, or how many.

Gotta say, I think there are other ways to enjoy horse sports that don’t involve running horses at insane nonsense like this, but if you are going to do it, please do not call bad outcomes “freak accidents.”

If someone dies on an event course because they were galloping in the open and a plane flying overhead dropped a piece of fuselage on them, then you can say a freak accident happened on an event course.

But if someone gets tangled up and killed trying to jump over one of these jumps, do not look at the rest of us and go, “Oh, what a freak accident, we have no idea what happened.” Hellloooo, someone got on a horse and ran it at giant obstacles made out of telephone poles. That is what happened.

Written By, Christina Tretter.  Share this on Facebook if you’d like to see the sport of Eventing evolve and develop safer standards for both horses and their riders.

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