The Sport Information Resource Centre
The Sport Information Resource Centre

Equestrian Canada – Spruce Meadows along with the therapeutic product innovator, Back on Track Canada and leaders from the sport and emergency medicine community, announce the formation of a national consortium committed to increasing concussion and mental health awareness across the Canadian equine industry. Leaders from the Western and English riding communities have come together to design and initiate the delivery of Canada’s first Symposium on Brain Injury and Mental Health in the Canadian Equine Industry, slated for October 11th at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Alberta.

“It’s challenging to put a figure on just how many Canadians suffer from brain injuries,” says Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti, one of the country’s leading medical experts and educators on injury prevention and the Symposium’s keynote speaker. “They don’t all present for care, especially the milder it is. The trouble with a brain injury is that you don’t appear to be injured, (but) it is a leading cause of death.

Brain injuries affect thousands of Canadians annually — most especially those within the sports community — and potentially carry $10 million per patient in economic impact for the country, says the former President of the Canadian Medical Association and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. “There’s an ambulance, there are doctor visits and follow-ups, the person’s IQ may be impacted to the point where they’re unable to work,” he affirms. “Certainly, if its a youth, their parent will have to take time off from work. It can break up families and cause divorce. “There’s a lifetime impact to brain injuries that add up.”

Prevention is the safest and most effective way to save lives, Dr. Francescutti continues. “The thing I ask all patients when treating for injury from an accident is, ‘did you think it would happen to you today?’ Accidents and injuries always happen when you least expect it.

Symposium workshop leaders, speakers, and panelists are being drawn from a roster of recognized experts in the equine world. The one-day event is designed to equip participants with resources they can take back to their respective horse-riding communities and put into daily use. “We want to provide a toolbox of resources to all Canadian equine organizations, so they can better deal with the critical issue of rider health and wellness,” says Dr. Blaine Bugg, President of the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine Team.

“Equestrian Canada (EC) is delighted to have been asked to be a part of the continuing conversation surrounding concussion awareness. Although there have been strides made, there is still a lot of work to be done to help athletes and their support teams, in all sports, be armed with the information they need. EC would like to thank the consortium’s founding members for making this Symposium possible,” says Jon Garner, Director of Sport with Equestrian Canada.

The consortium’s founding members include Equestrian Canada, Spruce Meadows, the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Med Team, the Canadian Pro Rodeo Association, the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, Benson Concussion Institute Inc., Ty Pozzobon Foundation, Back on Track Canada and others.

“We are excited to bring together a diverse representation of the Canadian riding communities in this unprecedented initiative to improve rider safety and long-term mental health in our $13.5 billion industry,” says Tobi Simms CEO of Back on Track Canada.

All Canadian equine organizations will be invited to join the consortium to raise nationwide awareness of the prevention of brain injuries to riders, how to identify related mental health issues, and where to find appropriate resources to deal with them.

About Spruce Meadows:
Based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Spruce Meadows it the creation of the Southern family who built a Show Jumping complex at the foothills of the Alberta Rocky Mountains. It was in 1976 that the first Spruce Meadows Tournaments were held, with annual spectator attendances reaching over 50,000 by the end of the decade. Today, Spruce Meadows boasts one of the greatest outdoor equestrian venues in the world and offers an incredible experience for riders and fans alike. Spruce Meadows focuses on the organization and hosting of show jumping tournaments of unmatched quality for junior, amateur, and professional athletes in a manner that reflects basic family values in a clean, green and welcoming environment that welcomes the horse and encourage the breeding and training of quality sports horses and the teaching and the development of athletes. For more information on Spruce Meadows, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.

About Back on Track:
Back on Track® Canada is a product innovator in therapeutic human, horse and dog products that are specifically designed to positively impact chronic pain and athletic pain symptoms using a functional fabric called Welltex®. Established in Sweden in 2000 by a medical doctor, Welltex® is the fusion of bio-ceramic minerals with fabric thread resulting in a piece of fabric with the ability to absorb near-infrared energy waves of the body (the body’s heat signature) and release them back into the body as far-infrared energy waves. The latter are emitted back into the tissue to a depth of several centimeters, resulting in vasodilation which increases blood circulation and oxygen delivery on a cellular level. The result is a non-invasive pain management tool which may help relieve muscle tension and strengthen the body’s own ability to reduce inflammation, manage pain, and heal injuries. Back on Track® products perceptibly combat pain and boost strength and dexterity whatever the species. Thousands of users worldwide testify to the power of Welltex® which was first on the market and remains at the forefront of therapeutic fabric technology with a wide selection of products. Back on Track has also incorporated MIPS technology into their new line of horse-back riding helmets. Biomechanical specialists developed MIPS which stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. It has been scientifically proven to increase concussion safety greatly. Visit www.botcanada.com.

For more information contact:

Annette McLeod
Back on Track Canada
annette@botcanada.com
C: 250 574 7474