At the 2013 International Large Animal Rescue Conference (ILARC) in Australia, Dr. Chris Riley of Massey University in New Zealand predicated his presentation with photos of injuries sustained by riders and students and asked a very difficult question to the audience: “What is the price of learning and love for animals? Should a student be willing to die for their work and learning?” 

The room full of veterinarians, students, and emergency responders at Roseworthy Campus of Adelaide University positively wiggled with whispers and nodding heads, the audience acknowledging that these things do happen.

Risk assessment and management are a fundamental part of emergency response agencies, which normally consider a “near miss” event to be fundamental to changing standard operating procedures (SOP).

Many horse and vet types take a polar opposite approach–using the “red badge of courage” approach of experience gained through exposure and hopefully survival. Thus attitudes to equine-related incidents are often based on fear and risk aversion (especially at the corporate level) and may result in knee-jerk SOPS instead of evidence based concerns. This reliance on anecdotal evidence as to how dangerous it is to work around large animals has been spotty and commonly the expertise to stay out of danger is based on experience (which is unfortunately often associated with injury).

When Roseworthy Campus was building their brand new console.log('scenario 2');