Bramham International Horse Trials 2019 – Equestrian Injuries

Mr Guy was delighted to part of a multi-agency team to provide emergency medical cover to the Bramham Horse Trials. The weather was predicted to be quite poor but turned out to not be as severe. Many spectators braved the initial wet weather and were rewarded with a great show of riding talent at the cross country. Fortunately for the medical teams the inclement weather reduced some riskier behaviour and several riders went for less risky alternative routes instead of the higher risk fences.

Mr Guy and Dr Holmes ready to pounce with an ambulance team next door.

Cross country horse racing is one of the highest risk sports. The main concern being the amount of energy that is absorbed when riders become unseated when they travel at high speed from a tall animal. All riders now have air bags attached that go off when they are unseated and most riders are quite short of breath when they go off. Due to the mechanism of injury the riders can sustain a multitude of significant injuries in particular serious head, spinal, and long bone injuries. The trauma team above is one of a series of teams who work together to cover all the fences on the day.

A recent article in the BMJ looked back at a 10 year period of horse related injuries presenting to a Level 1 Trauma Centre. Injuries sustained fell in to two main categories – falling from a horse 68% and being kicked by a horse 17%. 88% of the injured were female however males who presented showed a significantly higher likelihood for a serious injury. Head injuries were the most common injury (33%) and also the most likely to cause hospitalisation and need surgery. For full link to article: https://bmjopensem.bmj.com/content/bmjosem/4/1/e000408.full.pdf

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