Is it irresponsible to run the Horse Trials in 39 degrees C ?? Here in Adelaide tomorrow the forecast is for 39C , and yet the horse trials will still go on. The x-country phase has been shortened , there are misters in operation at the finish, wall to wall vets, ice water, the whole shebang. BUT is it enough!! Are we giving ammunition to the detractors of the sport to fire at will. Is this enough to safeguard the welfare of the horse? An interesting discussion

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Hi Geoffrey,
Check out Megan's blog that we just featured today and it might answer some of your questions. What a coincidence!
Well, I'm surprised that this has only one reply!! I would have though that this topic would have held more interest than that. On the same day there was the annual xmas pageant, it was reported that the pavement temp was 53C . WAY TO HOT FOR ME !!! I was a little disappointed to hear that the start of the xc phase was delayed till 11am instead of the 9am start time , Why, so the pageant could be finished and the people from the pageant might come and watch the HT !! To have them going xc in the heat of the day I think , is rather silly. Its not a good look for the sport.
I live in the South of the USA. During the summer it can get extremely hot and humid. Our big summer festival is the fourth of July (Indepenence Day) with lots of parades (both cities and small towns), usually with a horse section, sometimes preceeded or immediately followed by police cars/fire engines with sirens blowing! Fortunately these parades tend to be in the morning before the asphalt pavement starts liquifying and before the audience starts suffering from heat stroke.
Personally I think that people who compete in heavy performance athletic contests during the great heat are insane. Our pre-air conditioning ancestors were more realistic--they knew that extreme heat could kill.
Since a lot of shows seem to depend on child performers, most shows will happen in the summer-time when school is out. I do not think that the governments will reschedule the school year just so that horses are spared competing in the heat.
Consider it preparation for the summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Only there it may be more humid.
Bit late I know, and don't really have a formed opinion, but:

I spoke to one of the volunteer vets who said that there were minimal issues with the horses who completed, and most horses came through in excellent health considering the heat.

But I guess it does nothing for the sport in terms of spectators (which were at an all time low since Ive been going) and the ongoing viability of the sport, which every single year, is in doubt.

Given the animal rights mob are slowly stamping out the rodeos in South Australia, one by one, it could be closer than we think that they turn on eventing, and holding the Australian International in November might not be the best time.

A bigger issue was that stupid bank with a fence on top which gave the first 4 star riders issues (including elimination by falling off) before they removed the fence. Even then, every horse had to go on top of the bank, and most slipped on the sandy surface.


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