Eventing risks laid out in just-published FEI report

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Alyssa Yallop (GBR) comes off One More Step.
© Mike Bain

The jump-by-jump chances of falling or being injured in Eventing are laid out in statistics just published by the FEI.

They show that the risk of serious injury is once every 14,257 fences, with rotational falls easily posing the greatest risk. One in five riders involved in a rotational fall is seriously injured.

The figures also show the rising popularity of the discipline over the last 12 years.

The percentage of falls in Eventing stood at 5.34% in 2017, the figures show, with one rider unseated every 26 starters.

The percentage is identical to that of 2016, and slightly lower than the 5.49% average for the years 2011 to 2016.

The FEI has released a report on Eventing risk management ahead of the FEI Sports Forum in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The figures cover 1* to 4* Eventing, and examined Eventing from 2006 to 2017. They showed a surge in the sport, with the total number of competitions growing 70% during the 12 years, excluding pony competitions.

In 2017, 65% of competitions were short format, with the remainder the long format. By comparison, 59% of competitions in 2006 were short format.

The total number of starters across the 12 years has increased 51%, with an average of 30 per competition.

The distribution of starters per star level remains basically unchanged, with an average of 49.6% for one star, 32.1% for two star, 16.7% for three star and 1.6% for four star.

The focus on the forum will be on the falls and injury data, with part of the second day set aside to discuss risk management in the discipline.

The figures show that falls are much more likely at 4* events, with 13.25% of starters experiencing a fall (about one in every eight competitors). The percentage of falls to starts in 1* to 3* range from 5.47% to 7.72%.

© Adam Wynne

Across the 12 years, the number of falls on the flat have shown a general upward trend, from 3.55% in 2006 to 15.99% in 2017. This mirror the falls at fences over the same period, which have generally declined from 96.45% to 84.01%.

Over the same period, roughly 1 in every 18 starters experienced a fall, most of them involving being unseated as opposed to their mount falling. Each starter had a 1 in 26 chance of coming off their mount, and a 1 in 63 chance of coming off as a result of their horse falling.

Looking at horse falls specifically, across the 12 years there were 201,162 starters, with 3214 horse falls recorded, which represents 1.6%. Of these, 2725 of the falls were non-rotational (1.35% of all starters) and 489 were rotational (0.24%), which represents one rotational fall for every 460 starters.

The trend in rotational falls has generally been down. The average across the 12 years of 0.24% of starters compares to 0.15% in 2016 and 0.15% in 2017.

Across the dozen years, 9942 rider falls were classified as non-injury, representing 4.94% of starters. This equates to one in every 20 starters, or one every 542 fences. In all, a further 715 falls resulted in slight injuries, representing 0.36% of starters. This equates to one in every 20 starters, or one in every 7537 fences.

In the same period, 378 falls were classified as causing serious or fatal injuries. This represented 0.19% of all starters, or one in every 532 starts, or 1 in every 14,257 fences.

In rotational falls alone, the average risk of a serious injury is once every five falls.

The full report can be read here.


One thought on “Eventing risks laid out in just-published FEI report

  • March 7, 2018 at 9:20 am

    I think that the figures you are using in this article are not correct, the falls on the flat have risen over the last 5 years to 15 % of all falls, BUT also include falls in the warmup area which do not happen on the XC???????? could this be hiding a trend of the course being to twisty?????


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