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The risk of a horse-and-rider partnership falling on the cross-country phase of eventing competitions

Murray, JK, Singer, ER, Morgan, KL, Proudman, CJ and French, NP (2006) The risk of a horse-and-rider partnership falling on the cross-country phase of eventing competitions Handbook of Environmental Chemistry, Volume 5: Water Pollution, 38 (2). pp. 158-163.

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Abstract

Reasons for performing study: Fatalities resulting from horse falls occurring during the cross-country phase of eventing competitions initiated epidemiological investigation of the risk factors associated with horse falls. Objectives: To identify variables that increased or decreased the risk of a horse fall during the cross-country phase of an eventing competition. Methods: Data were collected from randomly selected British Eventing competitions held in Great Britain during 2001 and 2002. Data were obtained for 173 cases (jumping efforts resulting in a fall of the horse-and-rider partnership) and 503 matched controls (jumping efforts not resulting in a fall). The risk of falling was modelled using conditional logistic regression. Results: An increased risk of a horse fall was associated with jumping into or out of water; taking off from good-to-soft, soft or heavy ground; fences with a drop landing; nonangled fences with a spread ≥2 m; and angled fences. Other risk factors included riders who knew that they were in the lead within the competition before the cross-country phase; an inappropriate speed of approach to the fence (too fast or too slow); horse-and-rider partnerships that had not incurred refusals at earlier fences; and riders who received cross-country tuition. Conclusions: This study has identified modifiable course- and fence-level risk factors for horse falls during the cross-country phase of eventing competitions. The risk of horse and rider injury at eventing competitions should be reduced by 3 simple measures; maintaining good to firm take-off surfaces at fences, reducing the base spread of fences to <2 m and reducing the use of fences at which horses are required to jump into or out of water. Risk reduction arising from course and fence modification needs to be confirmed by intervention studies. Potential relevance: Knowledge of factors that increase or decrease the risk of a horse fall can be used by UK governing bodies of the sport to reduce the risk of horse falls on the cross-country phase of eventing competitions, and reduce the risk of horse and rider injuries and fatalities. As one in 3 horses that fall injure themselves and one in 100 horse falls results in fatality to the horse, we suggest that immediate consideration is given to these recommendations.

Item Type: Article
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Murray, JKUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Singer, ERUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Morgan, KLUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Proudman, CJc.proudman@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
French, NPUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 29 September 2006
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 09:57
Last Modified : 17 May 2017 14:46
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/825807

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