Most Dangerous Sportshere.
The Top Ten
I find it interesting that under all of the comments about horseback riding being dangerous (which it certainly is and it deserves the top spot) no one has mentioned carriage driving. As a former professional carriage driver and current pleasure driver I have to comment that I have seen many horrific and deadly accidents involving horses and carriages, and when compared to my riding career, the accidents I have had driving have been on the more dangerous side than the ones I have had riding. I believe this is because driving employs fewer aids to control the horse- all you have are the lines, your voice, and a whip, whereas when you ride, you have in addition to these things your seat, your legs, your body, and the ability to actually touch the horse. Cross country competitive driving (Combined Driving Events, or CDE) is similar to Three Day Eventing under saddle and is done at high speeds. Carriages flip, horses fall, equipment fails. A lot more can go wrong, and I feel that it is a lot more dangerous than riding because of this. Like all extreme sports, I do it because it is FUN- but like any sport involving an animal, there is unpredictability and danger associated with it, and you can't just think of those big horses at Disneyland pulling the trolley on Main Street any more than you can think of that horse at the dude ranch you rode in the 7th grade as typical. - and I saw two fatal accidents at the same dude ranch that I worked at when I was growing up.
In conclusion, ANY sport involving a horse is number one on the danger list as far as I am concerned- pleasure riding, team penning, barrel racing, cross country jumping, or any of the carriage sports like CDE or driven dressage or even just driving down the road for fun- and should not be attempted by amateurs except under the guidance of an experienced professional. I've seen too many wrecks occur out of ignorance and lack of safety precautions to keep horses off the top of this list.