The FEI Eventing Independent Audit into cross country horse falls | An Eventful Life

The FEI Eventing Independent Audit into cross country horse falls


The FEI Eventing Independent Audit by Charles Barnett “An Audit into Eventing Incorporating an Analysis of Risk Factors for Cross Country Horse Falls at FEI Eventing Competitions” has been published and is now available on the FEI website.

Charles Barnett, the former Chief Executive of Ascot Racecourse, was instructed by the President of the FEI to assess the ways in which the risks associated with falls on the Cross Country phase of Eventing could be minimised

At 95 pages long it may be a good read for the plane ride to Rio but the Executive Summary gives an overview until you get time to digest in full (view the full report here)


“This report deals principally with the collection of data, safety, riders and their qualification, officials, and the appeal of the sport and its future.

There are a number of headline recommendations some of which are already under consideration but the key ones are as follows:

• An improvement in certain aspects of the data collection process;

• Annual, detailed analysis of all the data collected and a comparison of this analysis to previous years;

• The dissemination of the findings of this audit in relation to horse falls since 2010 to key stakeholders, in particular, course designers in so far as fence types are concerned;

• The dissemination of the findings of this audit to riders in order to increase their awareness of the issues directed related to them, such as the relevance of the age of their horse to the category of the event, the higher risk of falls in championship events, and the impact of rider speed in Cross Country;

• The further development of officials worldwide and the appointment, and payment, of Course Designers and the Ground Jury at 4* and 3* events by the FEI centrally rather than their appointment by the organisers from an FEI approved list;

• The appointment and payment by the FEI of an assistant to the Course Designer at 4* and 3* events;

• The televising of all 4* and 3* events and the broadcast of this to spectators at the events;

• A way of making it easy for spectators to follow the sport by proper branding on the riders and a means of identifying the relative positions of the riders at each stage of the competition, most importantly the cross country phase;


• The establishment of a working party to consider radical and shortened versions of the sport to enhance public engagement and produce results of competition in real time”