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USEF Safety Task Force Makes Recommendations

Lexington, KY - The Task Force formed by USEF to review current safety procedures at USEF licensed competitions has recently made certain recommendations as part of an effort to monitor safety standards in equestrian sport.  In formulating the following recommendations, the Task Force collaborated with other sports, such as skiing and snowboarding, as to how those sports address safety issues.  This Task Force went beyond its mission as it also made recommendations that address accident preparedness as well as response.  The members of the Task Force were Mr. Andrew Ellis, Co-Chair; Mr. David O’Connor, Co-Chair; Dr. A. Kent Allen; Dr. William Brooks; Mr. Robert Costello; Mr. Derek Di Grazia; Mr. Malcolm Hook; Ms. Shelley Lambert; Mr. William Moroney; Ms. Melinda Roalstad; and Ms. Jo Whitehouse.


The Task Force’s recommendations include:


·                     USEF Eventing Technical Committee’s consideration of a proposed rule change whereby each Eventing competition with 300 starters or more in the previous year must have at least two USEF licensed Technical Delegates.  Furthermore, the Task Force proposed that for all USEF licensed Eventing competitions at the Advanced level and for all USEF Championships at the Preliminary level and above, the Technical Delegate shall be assigned by the Federation. 


·                     The incorporation of a safety and accident preparedness component as well as CPR/AED training for officials and staff in Continuing Education clinics for officials.


·                     USEF onsite review panels for when a critical incident occurs at any USEF-licensed competition.  Furthermore, the Task Force recommends that these panel members be appointed and identified prior to the start of the competition. 


·                     The appointment by Competition Management of a Safety Coordinator for each competition, and to conduct Accident Preparedness and Safety Response briefings for all staff and officials prior to the start of competition.


·                     Examination by the USEF Eventing Technical Committee of expanding the Course Advisor program to begin rating cross-country courses at three levels based on course evaluation and develop a point system based on these levels for the purpose of rider qualification to advance to the next level.  Furthermore, this rating system would be utilized at the Training through the Intermediate levels. 


·                     A proposed rule change whereby a competitor who disregards an official order to stop on course would result in immediate elimination and subject the competitor to further sanctions as provided under the rules of the Federation. 


·                     Evaluation and feasibility mandating a minimum age requirement for jump judges.


·                     Research into the feasibility of rider passports that would track data such as falls, concussions, dangerous riding penalties and yellow cards.


·                     Encouragement to competitors that they recognize their responsibility for notifying competition officials of any pre-existing condition, accident or injury to themselves or their horses, whether competition-related or not, that could affect their performance, safety or judgment during competition.


·                     The development of a Crisis Response Manual, that incorporates the current accident preparedness rules and crisis communication guidelines, which could be utilized by all breeds and disciplines in the event of a critical incident during a competition.



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