Approximately 40-45% of horses are eliminated from international endurance rides globally for various reasons. The overall aim of this large scale global research study was to provide objective data on international endurance rides and to investigate risk factors for elimination due to lameness and metabolic reasons.
The endurance study has been completed. Thank you very much to all who contributed to it, either by sharing experiences or completing questionnaires, your help was invaluable. Below is a summary of our findings. Some of the results have been published; the references are in the bottom of the page. The list will be updated with new publications.
Key findings of the study entitled ‘Descriptive epidemiology and risk predictors for eliminations and completion at international endurance rides’
- This study provides the largest scale descriptive data on FEI endurance rides (30,741 horse starts were assessed) and the most detailed risk-factor (predictor) investigation for elimination for lameness, elimination for metabolic reasons and likelihood of completion; and is the first study to obtain data from endurance competitors
- The percentage of eliminated horses and wining speed at all endurance rides worldwide of 100-160 km distance did not increase between 2008 and 2011
- When all countries were assessed, eliminations due to both lameness and metabolic reasons were associated with the geographical region where the ride was held
- Despite investigation of 33 venue, horse, rider, and environment-related variables in a convenience sample of 24 FEI rides, only few were found to be significantly associated with elimination due to lameness (venue, horse’s experience at greater distance, time since last FEI ride) or metabolic reasons (venue, number of started horses, deep sand or soil)
- This study showed the first evidence of increasing speed decreasing the likelihood of completion. However, the study was unable to detect an association between speed and specific reasons for elimination
- Less frequent racing schedules (>90 days since the last competition) were associated with a decreased risk of elimination for lameness
- Knowledge of variables that affect the likelihood of completion contributes to our understanding of what makes horses successful or unsuccessful at endurance rides
- Data obtained from riders was exposed to bias; female, older and less experienced riders were more likely to complete the questionnaires
- The questionnaire study showed preliminary evidence of association between riders’ predictions and outcome of the ride; riders aiming for achieving the best possible results or qualification were less likely to complete the ride than riders aiming for training; riders who judged the course more difficult after than before the ride were less likely to complete
Nagy, A., Dyson, S. and Murray, J. (2012) A veterinary review of endurance riding as an international competitive sport. Vet J. 194, 288-293.
Nagy, A., Murray, J. and Dyson, S. (2013) Descriptive epidemiology and risk factors for eliminations from Fédération Equestre International endurance rides due to lameness and metabolic reasons (2008-2011). Equine vet. J. Published online. DOI: 10.1111/evj.12069
If you have any questions in relation to poor performance or equine lameness in your horse please either speak with your vet or contact us on 01638 751908.