For the last two years, USRider has been working with nationally known large animal rescue expert Dr. Tomas Gimenez in an effort to further enhance the safety of horses and those who travel with horses. Through an innovative research project, USRider and Dr. Gimenez, a professor of Animal and Veterinary Sciences at Clemson University in Clemson, SC, have been gathering and analyzing data about horse trailer accidents. The collected data will be used to formulate recommendations for preventing accidents and enhancing the safety of horses.
Dr. Gimenez began collecting data through a survey in December 2003. The research team also culled data from incidents reported in newspapers and Internet postings.
“Already the data is showing what we had suspected: A great majority of trailer wrecks are caused by incorrect hitching of the trailer to the towing vehicle,” said Dr. Gimenez. “Also, that in most cases, as long as the horse stays inside the trailer compartment, it will survive the incident.”
To ensure a representative sampling of data, more responses to the survey are needed. USRider encourages all horse owners, trainers, emergency responders, veterinarians and others who have somehow been involved in horse trailer incidents to participate in the survey. Visit www.usrider.org to download the survey form.
The information being collected includes type of transport, type of towing vehicle, number and type of horses in transport, cause of accident, results of accident, extent of human and equine injuries and type of personnel involved in rescue. After thoroughly analyzing the data, Dr. Gimenez and USRider will make recommendations on safety improvements and practices for both trailer owners and manufacturers.
In addition to the survey responses, Dr. Gimenez is collecting photographs of wrecked trailers, horse injuries and accident scenes with trailers. The deadline to participate in the online survey and to submit related photographs is November 1, 2005. All material will be kept confidential.
Photographs should be sent to:
Tomas Gimenez, Dr.Med.Vet.
Animal and Veterinary Sciences Department
Clemson, SC 29634