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Animals 2016, 6(11), 65;

Horse Injury during Non-Commercial Transport: Findings from Researcher-Assisted Intercept Surveys at Southeastern Australian Equestrian Events

Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Tennent Drive, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand
School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, University of Adelaide, Roseworthy SA 5371, Australia
Appleton Institute, Central Queensland University, Adelaide SA 5034, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Clive J. C. Phillips
Received: 27 July 2016 / Revised: 11 September 2016 / Accepted: 17 October 2016 / Published: 25 October 2016
Full-Text   |   PDF [228 KB, uploaded 25 October 2016]   |   Review Reports


Equine transportation research has largely focused on the commercial land movement of horses. Data on the incidence and factors associated with horse injuries during non-commercial transportation (privately owned horse trucks and trailers) is scant. This study surveyed 223 drivers transporting horses to 12 equestrian events in southeastern Australia. Data collected encompassed driver demographics, travel practice, vehicle characteristics, and incidents involving horse injury. Approximately 25% (55/223) of participants reported that their horses were injured during transportation. Of these 72% were owner classified as horse associated (scrambling, slipping and horse-horse interaction), 11% due to mechanical failure, and 6% due to driver error. Horse injury was not significantly associated with driver age, gender, or experience. Participants that answer the telephone whilst driving were more likely to have previously had a horse injured ( p = 0.04). There was a trend for participants with <8 hours sleep prior to the survey to have experienced a previous transportation-related injury ( p = 0.056). Increased trailer age was associated with a greater number of injury reports (r² = 0.20; p < 0.04). The diversity in trailer models prevented identification of the importance of individual design features. This study highlights the potential for horses to sustain transportation injuries in privately owned vehicles and warrants further study to address this risk to their welfare. View Full-Text
Keywords: horse; equine; float; trailer; truck; injury; driver; transportation horse; equine; float; trailer; truck; injury; driver; transportation
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).

Supplementary materials

  • Supplementary File 1:

    Supplementary (ZIP, 474 KB)

  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
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    Description: Survey S1: A Horse Transportation Survey_Trailer, Survey S2: A Horse Transportation Survey_Truck, Survey S3: Survey of Horse Injury During Transportation

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Riley, C.B.; Noble, B.R.; Bridges, J.; Hazel, S.J.; Thompson, K. Horse Injury during Non-Commercial Transport: Findings from Researcher-Assisted Intercept Surveys at Southeastern Australian Equestrian Events. Animals 2016, 6, 65.

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