Friday, 31 December 2010

Are Fat People Dangerous?

One of the major themes for 2010 in eventing has been safety, and British Eventing's final magazine of the year devotes many pages to safety, but just when I was beginning to think that British Eventing were at the top of the tree when it comes to safety in eventing and I was feeling pretty proud of the sport we run in this country, Chairman of the BE Safety committee, Jonathan Chapman, starts another epidemic of foot in mouth!

Monday, 27 December 2010

The Great British Boxing Day Meet

One of my favourite things about Christmas is when it's over! No, not really, but I do have terrific memories of the Boxing Day meet: children and ponies decorated in tinsel, a great way to resume normal life after the indulgence of the festive season, but also celebrate with friends, on horseback, riding across country, and just a couple more drinks!  All over England hunts meet at local pubs in the countryside or on high streets the day after Christmas, spreading good cheer, sausage rolls, and glasses of port.

Now more than ever, as the ban on hunting remains in place, it's important that everyone shows their support for hunting as a way of life, and as a huge part of the fabric of our countryside and livelihood of so many.   This year, due to Boxing Day falling on a Sunday, most hunts met on Monday 27th December, and this despite frigid temperatures, hard frosts, and plenty of snow on the ground in most places.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Hats, Safety Pins & Riding Safely | Education, Education, Education

Have Fun Cross Country But Be Safe
Eventing has become very safety conscious over the last 5-10 years, and quite rightly so in light of fatalities that occurred in the preceding years. An Australian Assistant Technical Delegate, John Lechner, even devotes an entire blog to eventing safety, and so vehemently champions the safety mantle he's known as "Eventing Safety John". (he scares me!) Anyway on to my point for this post.....

A number of things in recent weeks have been discussed or published on the safety topic, and then there's a visit I made to America earlier this year, and a somewhat eye opening spectacle at a one day event.

Dressage | Not As Safe As It First Looks
Firstly, the subject of hard hats in the dressage phase was raised again recently, this time by ECOGOLD. I have to admit, although I've not always worn a hat myself in the past (I do now) whilst working on the flat, I've always found it a little ridiculous that all the teaching and education we do from Pony Club right through to young riders, hammers home "always wear a hard hat", yet in upper level competition (where our role models sit) we throw caution to the wind. Perhaps the safety forum planned for January by Riders4Helmets will tackle some of these points.

But then I have always found Eventing really doesn't seem to take dress code seriously at all, my favourite gripe at the moment is the ridiculous bibs situation, in which case I really don't see why we have top hats in the Dressage phase, so perhaps it's time to make hard hats mandatory purely for dress sense!