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Animals 2016, 6(2), 13; doi:10.3390/ani6020013

Look Before You Leap: What Are the Obstacles to Risk Calculation in the Equestrian Sport of Eventing?

South Australian Spinal Cord Injury Research Centre, Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre, 207 Hampstead Rd., Northfield, SA 5085, Australia
Academic Editor: Kirrilly Thompson
Received: 27 October 2015 / Revised: 8 January 2016 / Accepted: 2 February 2016 / Published: 16 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horses and Risk)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [673 KB, uploaded 16 February 2016]   |  

Abstract

All horse-riding is risky. In competitive horse sports, eventing is considered the riskiest, and is often characterised as very dangerous. But based on what data? There has been considerable research on the risks and unwanted outcomes of horse-riding in general, and on particular subsets of horse-riding such as eventing. However, there can be problems in accessing accurate, comprehensive and comparable data on such outcomes, and in using different calculation methods which cannot compare like with like. This paper critically examines a number of risk calculation methods used in estimating risk for riders in eventing, including one method which calculates risk based on hours spent in the activity and in one case concludes that eventing is more dangerous than motorcycle racing. This paper argues that the primary locus of risk for both riders and horses is the jump itself, and the action of the horse jumping. The paper proposes that risk calculation in eventing should therefore concentrate primarily on this locus, and suggests that eventing is unlikely to be more dangerous than motorcycle racing. The paper proposes avenues for further research to reduce the likelihood and consequences of rider and horse falls at jumps. View Full-Text
Keywords: horses; eventing; risk; falls; injury; riders; human−animal relationships; human−horse relationships horses; eventing; risk; falls; injury; riders; human−animal relationships; human−horse relationships
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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O’Brien, D. Look Before You Leap: What Are the Obstacles to Risk Calculation in the Equestrian Sport of Eventing? Animals 2016, 6, 13.

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