Equestrian Australia eventing safety focus


Equestrian Australia (EA) yesterday released an Eventing Safety and Risk Management and Statistics Report for the first half of 2019

Produced by the EA National Safety Officer Roger Kane, the report is part of a new approach to risk management in eventing by the Australian body, which says it has “taken a multifaceted approach to risk management in Eventing that involves preventive and protective measures addressing cross country course design and construction, as well as horse and rider competency and behaviour of horse and rider”

The report should be read in full here but some of the main points are;


3 new measures introduced

Sloping front shoulders of spread fences: a rule for 2*/3*/4*/5* competitions in Australia (whether FEI or National) effective July 2019 with the aim of making it easier for horses to free their legs in the event of an error and thus reducing the risk of horse fall.

Concussion Protocol: As well as a change to eventing rules, this change was made throughout EA General Regulations, making it applicable to all disciplines.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Mandatory standards for body protectors and helmet tagging has begun


Updates to Existing Programs

Enhancement of National Athlete Reps program

Equiratings “click through” alert


Foundation Programs

Officials: National Officials Education Program updated to provide the core seminar element

Reporting and Statistics: Data collection at events



While the report advises that the small numbers reported make it ‘difficult to spot meaningful trends’ in some cases, some of the statistics provided include;  

  • A significantly greater % fall rate than the FEI average at the CCX3* level in Australia
  • The 1m 15 level has shown a consistent upward trend as a % of starters for both rider and horse falls over the last 18 months
  • Approximately 13% of all falls were falls on the flat
  • Year on year reduction in horse falls at fences
  • Hospital Admission plus transfer was 3.8% of all falls (slightly higher than 2018 FEI-wide stats for serious injuries as a % of falls of 3.65%)
  • 39 warnings and sanctions – the State of Victoria (representing 27% of starters in Australia) had by far the highest % with 46.15% of the 39 warnings and sanctions issued in the first half of the year


Equestrian Australia has recently announced that a funding grant from Sport Australia will enable the current part-time role of EA National Safety Officer to become a full-time position and this role is now being advertised.

The focus on safety within the sport in Australia has dramatically increased since the deaths of Caitlyn Fischer and Olivia Inglis in 2016. The circumstances of both eventing accidents were examined by the NSW Deputy State Coroner Derek Lee, at an inquest held in May and July of this year with the findings of the inquest to be delivered on October 4th.

EA Chief Executive Officer Lucy Warhurst has said that “While the Inquest has been a challenging time, it has been a constructive process and we await the Coroner’s findings and recommendations which we will respond to in full”