Is Eventing at a Crossroads?

In general, Combined Training/Eventing doesn’t get much press on a national level. It is a great sport that tests your riding ability in three phases — dressage, cross country jumping and stadium jumping.

It is a shame that what has put eventing into the spotlight is the recent (and severe) injury of Darren Chiaccha, an upper level event rider, and a series of other incidents. It is important that the sport be run as safely as possible so I hope that this coverage galvanizes the community into making positive changes, rather than creating a backlash against eventing. Landing on the front page of the New York Times, certainly will generate discussion about the sport; currently it ranks 2nd in the list of topics most emailed today.

Equestrians’ Deaths Spread Unease in Sport

Personally, I’ve never competed beyond the Novice level and have only schooled as high as Training. At those levels, the fences do not ask very technical questions and the speeds required to complete the courses without time penalties are not excessive. Essentially, it is a blast. Competing at the upper levels of the sport are very different; changes to the format have given more weight to the dressage portion of the competition and it seems as if courses are becoming more technically challenging.

I agree that it is time to look carefully at the sport, but I hope that any resulting changes come from those within the community who have the experience and the insights to build on the success of the eventing tradition.

One thought on “Is Eventing at a Crossroads?

  1. i agree! we are getting a lot of backlash but people need to remember these people choose to do this sport and they understand the dangers and accept them, i hope these changes are positive and do not suffocate the sport into a million safety regulations that make it into something different then it is

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