Eventing Safety Update

     With the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event on the doorstep, the family of Darren Chiacchia, the Olympic Three Day Eventer that was severely injured in a fall at the Red Hills Horse Trials, released an update on Chiacchia’s condition.  According to the post on his website, “Darren was able to visit his farm in Springville the last couple days, and is longing for the day when he can stay there independently again. His mobility continues to improve and there is little doubt he will regain his physical coordination and agility. The cognitive side is still a work in progress. He continues to have difficulty sleeping, having only slept 10-12 hours in the last 7 days. However improvements in his ability to relax are noticeable. He is beginning to comprehend the nature and extent of his limitations, fully understanding, after much convincing, that Rolex was not possible this year. His outpatient therapy begins tomorrow and Darren is anxious to participate and ‘get on a schedule'”.
     Before his accident, Chiacchia was planning to take his horse Dun To A T to Rolex.  When he was injured, fellow rider Jonathan Holling offered to take the ride.  Chiacchia’s family accepted and Holling was given the mount.  Holling’s horse that was headed Rolex, Direct Merger, died on course at Red Hills due to pulmonary hemhorage.
     Sadly, in the wake of the positive news about Chiacchia, the United States Eventing Association reported that two more riders were killed on course at two different Events in Europe.  Both Franz Graf and Karen Rodgers were experienced riders who suffered fatal falls.  These last two deaths prompted US Eventing Team Coach Captain Mark Phillips and world renowned course designer Mike Etherington-Smith to write in to the USEA and urge riders to slow down on the cross-country course and give the jumps the respect they deserve.  The entire statement can be found on the USEA website.

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