Safety Rule Revised for 2008 Olympics

Equestrian safety rules will be revised for the Beijing Olympics to protect riders from head injuries.
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Equestrian safety rules will be revised for the Beijing Olympics to protect riders from head injuries.

June 6, 2008 -- The safety rules have changed for the 2008 Olympics, placing new restrictions on the number of falls a rider can sustain, according to an Associated Press report.

Horse and rider teams will be eliminated from competition after one fall by either in the cross-country or show jumping disciplines, the FEI governing body said Friday. Current rules allow riders a second fall.

"The reason for the change is firstly medical given the difficulty to evaluate the gravity of a fall, which can result in a mild concussion,'' the FEI said in a statement, according to the AP. "A subsequent lapse in judgment exacerbated by a concussion could result in serious injury.''

The ruling was approved by the FEI and the International Olympic Committee, and follows a conference on eventing safety held by the federation in January in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The safety rule goes into effect August 1, one week before the games begin.