Scientists Studying Accidents to Reduce Horseback Rider Fatalities

With better risk evaluation in the industry and a heightened understanding of equine behavior and learning, some rider deaths could be prevented, said a risk management engineer specializing in industrial safety.
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reducing rider fatalities
With better risk evaluation in the industry and a heightened understanding of equine behavior and learning, some rider deaths could be prevented, said Chapman. | Photo: iStock

Sarah Waugh died falling from a horse. Not in an open field by herself. Not on a slippery, high-traffic road. Not trying anything crazy, daring, or risky. The 18-year-old pre-veterinary student sustained fatal head and neck injuries riding a lesson horse during an organized beginner’s level class.

The horse, Dargo, was a 4-year-old Thoroughbred that had raced six weeks before the accident, placing seventh in a field of 10.

With better risk evaluation in the industry and a heightened understanding of equine behavior and learning, tragedies like Waugh’s death could be prevented, said a risk management engineer specializing in industrial safety

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Passionate about horses and science from the time she was riding her first Shetland Pony in Texas, Christa Lesté-Lasserre writes about scientific research that contributes to a better understanding of all equids. After undergrad studies in science, journalism, and literature, she received a master’s degree in creative writing. Now based in France, she aims to present the most fascinating aspect of equine science: the story it creates. Follow Lesté-Lasserre on Twitter @christalestelas.

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