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British Eventing Announce Rule Change on Rider Falls and Medical Checks

Posted on Monday, February 19, 2018 by Heather Dodd

Following continued monitoring of concussion research and Head Injury Assessment Guidelines and consultation with healthcare professions, the Chief Medical Officers for BE and the FEI and British Eventing Officials and Organisers, BE has implemented the rule that any competitor falling during their dressage test or on course of the show jumping or cross country phase will be eliminated and not allowed to continue on course.

The rule change follows feedback from stakeholders, including events, and follows advice from the BE Chief Medical Officer, Judith Johnson; “Post fall assessment of riders may require a thorough physical, mental competence and neurological assessment. This is a time consuming process may need to be repeated after a period of time in order to make a clinical decision whether that rider is fit to compete again that day. We have a duty of care to our members which, in the light of recent guidelines on concussion management, has led to this rule change.”

BE National Safety Officer, Jonathan Clissold, added; “This level of assessment to ensure the safety of riders who wished to complete that phase would also require additional medical staff on site and impact on the structure and organisational framework of an event. However, these checks can be performed outside of the competition area itself to allow riders who have fallen in the warm up to continue in the competition.

“Whilst every effort has been made to enable a rider to continue after a fall in a safe manner; BE and event organisers have worked incredibly hard to provide standards of safety and medical provision for all BE events that are as high as possible and this rule change is essential to ensure that rider safety is maintained. The new rule will also bring BE in line with FEI rules regarding the fall of a competitor which has been imposed by them since 2008.”

Key information:

Riders who fall during their dressage test or anywhere on course in the show jumping or cross country phases will be eliminated and unable to continue.

Riders who fall in the warm up of any phase or before passing through the start of the show jumping or cross country must be checked by a doctor before continuing.

Multiple horse riders who fall off must undergo a fit to ride assessment carried out by the event doctor before being allowed to ride subsequent horses.

A competitor who falls at any stage of the competition must be checked by the event doctor before continuing or leaving site. It is the responsibility of the competitor to ensure compliance with these rules.

A copy of the updated rule changes will be published on the website in the near future.

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