Saddle Up Safely
UK HealthCare partnered with the UK colleges of Agriculture, Food and Environment and Public Health and several community partners to launch a campaign to raise awareness of horseback rider safety. The educational campaign began in 2009 in advance of the 2010 World Equestrian Games.
In response to the number of riders admitted to UK's Emergency Department, the campaign aims to increase awareness and educate riders not only in Kentucky, but nationally and internationally, about riding and horse handling safety. Ultimately, the goal is to reduce the number and severity of rider injuries. The campaign's purpose is to help make a great sport safer.
The statistics underscore the need. According to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System's 2007 estimates, millions of people ride horses each year, generating approximately 79,000 emergency room visits, with more than 13 percent of those admitted to the hospital. While injuries to arms and legs are the most commonly treated, neck and head injuries rank second in frequency and are a significant percentage of those admitted.
While motorcycle riders experience a serious injury every 7,000 hours of riding, horseback riders experience one every 350 hours, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is estimated that one in five equestrians will be seriously injured during their riding careers. And novice riders, especially children and young adults, are eight times more likely to suffer a serious injury than professional equestrians. A 2007 American Journal of Surgery article showed that half of patients in the study believed their injuries were preventable and were the fault of the rider.
The campaign features several tools to inform and educate. Included are a series of informational brochures; an interactive website featuring safety tips and stories from riders who were injured as well as a horse rider safety blog, written by Dr. Fernanda Camargo; continuing medical education opportunities for medical personnel and first responders; education-based programs; and a speakers bureau, or auxiliary, comprised of volunteers who will speak to organizations or events around the state.
To visit the website, go to http://equine.ca.uky.edu/saddleupsafely.
The program's Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/Saddle-Up-Safely-188569431176041.
Kentucky Equine Networking Association (KENA)
The Kentucky Equine Networking Association (KENA) was formed in 2010 in a partnership between the Kentucky Horse Council and the University of Kentucky Equine Initiative. The mission of KENA is to provide an educational and social venue for equine professionals and other horse enthusiasts from all disciplines to share ideas and business strategies, and obtain current knowledge on horse and farm management with the principal objective of enhancing individual horse ownership and the horse industry at large.
KENA is targeted specifically to those who participate in breeding and reproductive services, instruction, training, boarding and showing. KENA also welcomes every member of the Kentucky horse community.
KENA hosts six networking dinner meetings per year where qualified guest speakers present on topics of current interest in the areas of horse health, nutrition, facilities management, labor, safety, welfare, sales, marketing and business management, among others.
KENA members gain insights into all aspects of equine health, facility management and business promotion. The exchange of ideas and dissemination of information through KENA involvement provides benefits for our horses and creates opportunities to improve business development and profitability.
The program's Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/KyEquineNetworking.
Kentucky Equine Higher Education Consortium
While Kentucky was on the world stage for 16 days during the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, one display in the Equine Village asked visitors, "Where else for an equine education?" The answer was found in the display itself, the result of a unique collaboration among Kentucky universities and colleges with equine programs.
The consortium of schools banded together to let the world know there is no better place to pursue an equine education than in Kentucky. The state is known as the horse capital of the world, and in the opinion of the universities and colleges that collaborated on the shared display, Kentucky could make a case for also being the equine higher education capital of the world.
There has been national attention given to the unprecedented degree of collaboration between the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky over the last several years on post-secondary equine education conferences, foreign tours and specialized courses, as well as on a variety of broader projects, such as two successful Kentucky Youth Horse Festivals and also the World Equestrian Games.
Programs represented, in addition to UK and UofL, include Asbury University, Georgetown College, Kentucky Community and Technical College System, Midway College, Morehead State University, Murray State University and Western Kentucky University.
Following the Games, the Consortium continued its efforts, showcasing its partnership at Rolex, the All American Quarter Horse Congress and the National Horse Show in 2011. Faculty from the various universities now work together on projects as they arise, and members hold an annual meeting each year.