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.