25 March 2010

FEI Resolves Eventing Safety Controversy

The rebranding fanatics at the FEI have been keeping busy as resolving major controversies in a single day's work is the new standard. First Clean Sport became Clean Sport: Now With NSAIDs! despite the idiocy of introducing such an over-the-top PR concept at the same time that you secretly redefine it, all while the non-equestrian media are still tuned in due to the manufactured Hong Kong "doping crisis" and you haven't even allowed the opposition at the table for discussion even though the FEI Statutes explicity require it.

Then rollkur/hyperflexion became LDR so that rollkur/hyperflexion could be banned to placate the masses (except the masses didn't buy it). And now rollkur/hyperflexion effectively no longer exists, because accomplished international riders have no need for force and anyhow, Dr. Hilary Clayton says it's biomechanically impossible.

Now the marketing types are on to Eventing.

The progression of the Safety concept in Eventing to Eventing Risk Management has allow (sic) for a clearer more systematic approach to the discipline together with a (sic) understandable vision statement. Representatives of NF/NSOs demonstrated the greatly heightened awareness of risk management shown over the last two years and also the continually evolving nature of Eventing (sic). A Risk management culture can now be identified.
Translation: People and horses are going to die, just accept it and get over it. We'll do our best to keep the uproar to a minimum.

Safety had to become "risk management," because if you have a safety programme, and things still go wrong, then you've got something UNsafe, and that simply won't do. "Risky" is much better than "unsafe," because you riders should have known better than to take a risk whereas if something is "unsafe" some other folks might have some rider responsibility. In other rumoured developments, rider falls will become known as "rider-saddle separations," horse falls will be termed "hoof-ground separations," a deceased rider will be stated to have "attained life-challenged status," and a horse death will be known as "equipment expiry." This follows in line with the FEI's original choice of "somersault" versus "rotational fall." The latter sounds very clinical and negative, while somersaults are a fun thing that kids do. The continued rebranding should go over well, and the masses will never know what is going on. Because we're stupid like that.

FEI Vision Statement for Eventing Risk Management

Eventing constitutes an exciting and challenging all-round test of riding ability and horsemanship within an accepted and acceptable level of risk. Every effort must be made to ensure that, at each level, responsible athletes are participating with progressively trained horses in order not to be exposed to a higher risk than what is strictly inherent to the nature of the competition.