Researcher Identifies Lack of Risk Management in Horse Industry

“X days since last accident.” It’s a sign hanging at almost every high-risk industry site. Except, it seems, equestrian industry facilities. A researcher looks at why.
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Researcher Identifies Lack of Risk Management in Horse Industry
People working with horses seem to simply accept that, traditionally speaking, equestrianism is high-risk, Chapman said—a mindset that continues to reinforce the industry’s high accident rate. | Photo: iStock
“X days since last accident.” It’s a sign hanging at almost every high-risk industry site. Except, it seems, sites in the equestrian industry.

Working with horses is risky and sometimes dangerous; we all know this. But so is mountain climbing. So is motorcycle racing. So are contact sports such as karate and boxing. And so are certain nonsport professions, such as construction, transportation, and mining.

In contrast to these fields, though, horse-related activities receive less attention to risk management, said Meredith Chapman, who’s a risk management engineer specializing in industrial safety. She’s currently a PhD student at the CQUniversity Rockhampton campus in Queensland, Australia, and presented on risk management in the horse industry at the 15th annual conference of the International Society for Equitation Science (ISES), held August 19-21 in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

Addressing Risk Head-On

People working with horses seem to simply accept that, traditionally speaking, equestrianism is high-risk, she said—a mindset that continues to reinforce the industry’s high accident rate

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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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