Today’s session of the FEI Sports Forum in Lausanne, Switzerland, focused on risk management in Eventing and Endurance, and delegates were also updated on the work of the FEI Dressage Working Group

Irish company EquiRatings, which signed a four-year deal with the FEI last week, outlined to delegates its ERQI risk management system, which was trialed successfully in Ireland last year.

The trials used the system’s data analysis platform to individually measure the risk of injury to riders and horses of different levels of cross-country courses.

Co-founder of EquiRatings Diarmuid Byrne told delegates today that analysis of past performance helped predict and plan future performance. “It’s about introducing a mind-set of rider responsibility”, he said. “Psychologically we don’t look at risk, and this tool allows us to step in when we ignore it.”

After trials in Ireland last year there was a 66% reduction in falls at national level, and earlier this year British Eventing gave the go ahead for trials of the system this season.

Delegates at today’s Forum were also told that speed and non-compliance with mandatory rest periods were the key risk factors in Endurance. The speakers were Dr. Tim Parkin and Dr. Euan Bennet from the University of Glasgow, who are conducting the FEI’s Global Endurance Injuries Study, and Professor Chris Whitton from the University of Melbourne.

An update was given on the initial findings of the FEI Dressage Working Group which has of late been focussing on the current judging system. It was felt that there was a need to introduce a code of points and to place further emphasis on training of judges across all levels, with a revised multi-media FEI Dressage Handbook to be issued.

FEI President Ingmar De Vos concluded the Forum by saying that there was a lot of work to be done. “The end of the Sports Forum means the start of a lot of work, but this is always a move forward.”

Mike Dunne