Cross-Country Conundrum


Cross Country (X-Country) is one of three phases in Three Day Eventing competitions.  X-Country consists of approximately 15 outdoor hurdles composed of natural-looking elements, and the rider must maneuver a galloping horse around the course within a certain time frame. 



This New York Times article (2008) discusses the 2006 riding death of a young woman from my area.  Her parents contend that their 17 year old daughter's death was a wrongful death on the grounds that "the death was caused in part because the course was made more dangerous to make it more 'thrilling' to spectators."
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Is this a classic case of "assumption of the risk?"  Or were the course makers deliberately creating an unreasonably dangerous course for the sake of excitement?

I made the personal decision that X-Country was too risky for my taste.
Yet I feel my personal decision should not be forced onto other consenting adults; however, I would like to see a comprehensive evaluation by X-Country experts of what constitutes a safe course or not.  The evaluation should be drafted into concise written standards, then followed by X-Country course hosts.  Failure to adhere to those standards would give rise to negligence per se.

Riders should never participate in a higher level that they, or their horse, are unprepared to complete safely and successfully.