The HABRI Foundation is calling for research proposals to investigate the health outcomes of pet ownership and/or animal-assisted activity or therapy, both for the people and the animals involved. To learn more, visit close

You are here: Home / Journal Articles / Look Before You Leap: What Are the Obstacles to Risk Calculation in the Equestrian Sport of Eventing? / About

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

By Denzil O'Brien

View Link (HTM)

Licensed under

Category Journal Articles

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.


Katie Carroll

Date 2016
Publication Title Animals
Volume 6
Issue 2
Publisher MDPI
DOI 10.3390/ani6020013
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal roles
  3. equine programs
  4. Equine sports
  5. Events
  6. Horseback riding
  7. Horses
  8. Human health
  9. Injuries
  10. Mammals
  11. risk
  12. safety