The FEI Eventing Risk Management Steering Group held its first meeting at FEI headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland this week. Chaired by the USA’s David O’Connor, the group has been set up to look at ways to minimise risk factors in Eventing, with a focus on coordinating risk management initiatives on a global basis.

The Steering Group brings together an extensive breadth of experience and expertise:
  • David O’Connor (Chair), former FEI Bureau Member and Olympic Eventing champion in Sydney 2000
  • Mike Etherington-Smith (GBR), international cross country course designer and equestrian consultant
  • Daisy Berkeley (GBR), FEI Eventing athlete representative and international athlete
  • Rob Stevenson (CAN), former international Olympic athlete, cardiologist and Canadian National Safety Officer
  • Geoff Sinclair (AUS), FEI Eventing Technical Delegate and former President of the Australian Equestrian Federation
  • Staffan Lidbeck (SWE), FEI Veterinarian and Swedish Eventing team coach
  • Laurent Bousquet* (FRA), international Eventing athlete and coach of the Japanese equestrian team
  • Philine Ganders* (GER), FEI Level 3 Eventing Steward and member of the German National Federation
The 19 October meeting established the framework for the group’s work, which includes investigating new ways to reduce horse falls, and identifying factors to decrease the number of serious injuries to athletes and horses using research studies from around the world relating to risk management.

Other key areas for the group are the evaluation of statistical analysis gathered to date, including athlete qualifications and performance history, and a review of fence design. Safety equipment, the education of athletes and officials, and the roles and responsibilities of officials will also be reviewed.

The group will ensure worldwide communication and sharing of information, with the FEI as the point of contact for research ideas.
“The meeting was a great starting point for the group,” Chair David O’Connor said. “There are a tremendous amount of questions to be asked and we are all very serious about trying to find answers to those questions.

“I think it is a good forward step for the FEI, building on the extensive work that has been done over the last 16 years since the Hartington Report through to the recent Charles Barnett report and recommendations.”

* Laurent Bousquet and Philine Ganders did not attend the first meeting, but will be part of the steering group.
Jack Burns