Eventing: Still Living in the Balance, 8 Years Later

What makes an article consistently make the rounds on Facebook, 8 years after its publication? In this case, it’s because the insights in this article still apply today. And that’s sad, because it’s an article we read after a tragedy.

With new eventing deaths coming from around the world, Jim Wofford’s 2008 article Eventing Lives in the Balance still matters. At Retired Racehorse Blog, I’m taking a look at what we can all get from this article about the modern face of eventing.

Retired Racehorse

horse-930942_1280 Skinny fence, determined duo. Photo: Pixabay.

In 2008, veteran eventer and Olympian Jim Wofford wrote the tremendously outspoken article Eventing Lives in The Balance for Practical Horseman. Every year or so this article crops up on Facebook again, reading as fresh and relevant as it did the day it was released–or perhaps more so, because every time it rises up, it’s a rash of eventing catastrophes that awoke it from its slumber.

In the past weeks we’ve lost several horses and riders on the cross-country course. We have to be careful out there, that goes without saying. Eventing was never a cautious person’s sport, which means as riders, the temptation to go to the extreme edges of safety is always there.

Here’s the thing: the contemporary version of eventing isn’t a level playing field for horses or riders. There are hidden dangers to the way short format eventing is designed, and since…

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