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A prospective cohort study to investigate risk factors for horse falls in UK hurdle and steeplechase racing.

Pinchbeck, GL, Clegg, PD, Proudman, CJ, Morgan, KL and French, NP (2004) A prospective cohort study to investigate risk factors for horse falls in UK hurdle and steeplechase racing. Equine Vet J, 36 (7). pp. 595-601.

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REASONS FOR PERFORMING STUDY: Equine fatalities during racing continue to be a major welfare concern and falls at fences are responsible for a proportion of all equine fatalities recorded on racecourses. OBJECTIVES: To identify and quantify risk factors for horse falls in National Hunt (NH) racing and to report the frequency of falling and falling-associated fatalities. METHODS: A prospective cohort study was conducted on 2879 horse starts in hurdle and steeplechase races on 6 UK racecourses. Any horse that suffered a fall at a steeplechase or hurdle fence during the race was defined as a case. Data were obtained by interview and observations in the parade ring and from commercial databases. Multivariable logistic regression models, allowing for clustering at the level of the track, were used to identify the relationship between variables and the risk of falling. RESULTS: There were 124 falling cases (32 in hurdling and 92 in steeplechasing) identified. The injury risk of fallers was 8.9% and fatality risk 6.5%. Duration of journey to the racecourse, behaviour in the parade ring and weather at the time of the race were associated with falling in both hurdle and steeplechase racing. Age, amount of rainfall and going were also associated with falling in steeplechase racing. CONCLUSIONS: Falls at fences are significant contributors to equine fatalities during NH racing. Potentially modifiable risk factors identified were the condition of track surfaces and journey time to the racecourse. POTENTIAL RELEVANCE: It is hoped that information from this study may be used in future interventions to improve horse and jockey safety in racing. The study has also identified areas requiring further research, such as equine behaviour and its effect on racing performance, and the effect of light conditions on jumping ability.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Pinchbeck, GL
Clegg, PD
Morgan, KL
French, NP
Date : November 2004
Uncontrolled Keywords : Accidental Falls, Age Factors, Animal Welfare, Animals, Athletic Injuries, Cohort Studies, Great Britain, Horses, Logistic Models, Odds Ratio, Prospective Studies, Rain, Risk Factors, Safety, Sports, Surveys and Questionnaires
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 10:10
Last Modified : 24 Jan 2020 18:37

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