100 Deaths Per Year

In the USA:

7 million people ride horses.

78,279 people visited hospital ERs in 2007 due to horse riding injuries.  15% of thoses injuries were head injuries , 11,759.

Concussions account for about 5 percent of emergency room visits, a figure that is more than double that for other major sports.

Over 100 deaths per year are estimated to result from equestrian related activities, with 10-20 times as many head injuries occurring for each fatality.

In the UK:

A Cambridge University Study of 1,000 riding accidents found the following:

1 injury for every 100 hours riding for leisure riders.

1 injury for very 5 hours riding for amateur racing over jumps.

1 injury for every 1 hour of cross country eventing.

Riding a horse you are 4m / 13 ft. above ground. Horses at top speed can travel at 65kph/ 40mph.

Riding is a sport that involves danger. There is no way around that fact. As the Cambridge study shows you are less at risk if you are just a leisure rider quietly out hacking on the trails than if you are an eventer galloping over a cross country course and leaping over death defying obstacles. I have purposely chosen to not show photos here of some of the disastrous falls that horses and riders take on cross country courses.  Instead I have chosen a sequence of photos from a Puissance competition in Wellington Fl.  for this weeks World Press Photo Challenge. The wall is 7ft high. The top will break away if the horse hits it.

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37 Comments Add yours

  1. athling2001 says:

    What a fence! Not me:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Not for me either but the horses and riders who do the Puissance jumping are specialists and I think both horse and rider like doing it.

      Like

  2. saraannon says:

    Inexplicable falls in cross country continue despite much improved courses. This mysteriously happen to coincide with the increasingly popular fad of using crank nose bands on event horses, strapping their mouths tightly shut. There have not been any studies I am aware of, but since a key factor in horse’s proprioreception is the delicate hyoid bone that hangs between their lower jaws and is connected to all sorts of important parts including the horse’s mouth and tongue, I have to wonder if it is more than coincidence.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Very interesting point you raise. Thank you . There is a much higher awareness of how the bridle fits the horse and how the various pressure points affect the horse. Bridles are now being Re designed with these things in mind. I am not an eventer and had not been aware of the crank nose bands. Many dressage horses have them on double bridles but they do not need to be tight. I have mine loose enough for a good two fingers( at right angles not parallel to the nose) to easily fit in. You certainly raise a good point.

      Like

      1. saraannon says:

        Cranks noise bands does seem to be a recent trend and I was totally appalled when I heard about it not long ago. THat is poart of the reason I decided to comment. The more peopel are aware the more mlikely change can happen….
        The ISES has developed a little plastic thingummy that can slide between the horse’s nose and the nose band with standard markings to measure exactly just how tight a nose band is. They want to standardize the two finger rule. Sad to say, so far there is not much of a market for it as if yet!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. anne leueen says:

        I have noticed at tack checks in competition that the TDs do not really check the noseband with fingers at right angles. . Too bad the plastic marker has not been made a requirement for TDs at shows.

        Like

  3. Anna Love says:

    Wow, that horse was unbelievable! But then they should not be used for something like this when they all do the work, get tired and people get to benefit the most. Sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      This competition is indeed impressive. I was there and took these photos so I can assure you that this horse and the others in the competition were not forced or tired. If they hit the wall and knocked off the bricks at the top ( which come away when the horse hits them) they did not have to do the jump again. The horses were all enthusiastic about it. I can assure you if they were not they would have refused to try the jump. I appreciate your concern and sadly there are many horses in the world who are treated badly but these high performance athletes have a very good life.

      Like

  4. Helmets save lives no matter what you are doing. Safety should always come first.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I tend to think of Christopher Reeve whenever I see this topic. He was injurred in nearby Culpepper.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      That was such a freak accident. I understand that his horse refused a fence and he came off over its head but caught his hand in the crown piece of the bridle and that twisted him into landing in a way that caused the spinal cord injury. Such a shame. He seemed like a nice person.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Those statistics are astounding.
    Really people, did you reflect on that?!!
    ” 78,279 people visited hospital ERs in 2007 due to horse riding injuries. 15% of thoses injuries were head injuries , 11,759.”
    Absolutely mind boggling numbers to me. And that’s over 10 years ago. Now, lets take out of the equation the improvements in helmet technology. Also take out the Super AWESOME trend of increasing numbers of riders wearing their helmets at ALL times. Still, I don’t know if it makes a huge dent in the statistics… It is a huge price we pay, when things go wrong.
    After MANY years of riding, I’ve only had one concussion, and it was strange, from the ground, not riding. Sometimes regardless how careful we are, things will happen… Helmets on every time! OK everyone?!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Absolutely agree with you on the helmets! The most tragic no helmet story (for me)is Courtney King Dye. No helmet, horse trips , she falls and a talented young Olympian is permanently disabled!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes. I followed the story for over a year in horror. An absolute one of a kind tragedy 😢

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Elizabeth (HorseLover4Ever) says:

    Very interesting!!!! 🙂 It does amaze me how many people don’t (or won’t) wear helmets while riding….just wearing a simple helmet could maybe save your life!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Akuokuo says:

    Glad you pointed out the risks. I shall remain a spectator– at least in this life 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. After seeing all of these, I have to say I now admire the courage of those who ride, more than I have ever done. I too shall remain a spectator and a fan of horse-riders.
      It seems, it is no longer the sport of royals. It is the sport of the bravehearts.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Akuokuo says:

        Indeed! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  9. Those stats are very interesting and I count myself very lucky when I only had one accident during hundreds of hours of leisure riding, including over jumps and cross country :o)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Well I think that we were both lucky I had one fall that resulted in a concussion and another that only resulted in torn breeches when I did cross country as a teenager.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. nathaswami says:

    That is why it is called the sport of the royals.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      I always thought that was because the Royals could afford to have horses especially race horses.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Great stats. I never knew that about this sport. I have had 8 concussions myself and they are for sure 0 fun!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Oh my 8 is a lot. I’ve only had one when I was a teenager and came of a horse and headfirst into a jump. Take good care of yourself and avoid any more knocks to your noggin!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I have been doing well! haha I think my last one was in high school nearing ten years ago now. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  12. OMG. That wall is so high. I can’t believe they got over it. Does the horse like doing this?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      There are horses that have a particular talent for the Puissance jumping. If the horse didn’t like it he or she would not do it well and they would find a different job for the horse. This horse loves his job I think.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Interesting post- more than relevant to the weeks topic

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you. I don’t want to put anyone off riding but it has to be remembered that there is an element of danger in it.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. No- I absolutely agree. One should go into it well informed. That’s also the best defense when you know the wide spectrum of the sport…

        Liked by 2 people

  14. These stats are amazing.
    OMG!
    Shiva

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Don’t be too alarmed Shiva, the very dangerous riding disciplines like the cross country skew the statistics. I am a dressage rider and the risk is much lower. But horse riding does come with risk that can’t be denied.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Oh I See!
        But Anne Horse is such a beautiful animal. I just love to keep seeing them.
        And you are lucky to be with them most times.😃
        Shiva🎶

        Liked by 1 person

      2. anne leueen says:

        Yes Shiva, they are beautiful and intelligent animals. The danger is due to the fact that they are big and as prey animals they sometimes will move quickly to get away from a danger. Also we humans often make mistakes in what we do with them . But I would not give up my relationship with horses. They bring so much joy!

        Like

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