A preliminary analysis of factors that result in faults in amateur (90-120cm) showjumping

  • Williams, J. (Speaker)
  • Merlin Perlo (Speaker)
  • David Marlin (Speaker)

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation at Conference


    Showjumping is the most popular equestrian discipline governed by the FEI. Success is defined as a clear round (0 faults) within a defined time or in the quickest time possible. Showjumping coaches and riders believe certain factors, e.g. fence type and approach, during a jumping round can influence performance. This study aimed to evaluate if factors anecdotally associated with performance in amateur showjumping influenced competitive success. Data were collected for all rounds in 11 showjumping classes (range:90cm to 120cm), at a British Showjumping show in the South-West of England. Jumping effort number (incremental), type (e.g. upright, oxer), approach line (straight vs. not-straight), canter lead (correct or not), total penalty score and the distribution of faults for every quarter of the course were noted. A total of 4055 jumping efforts were reviewed (no faults: 91.8%; n=3721, faults: 8.2%, n=334). Fence level variables were analysed through univariable analysis to inform multivariable model building across all classes and for 5 height categories: 1: <95cm, 2: 100-105cm, 3: 110cm, 4: 115cm and 5: 120cm. Final models were refined using faults/no faults as the dependent variable using a backwards stepwise process, likelihood ratio: P<0.05. Across all classes, three factors were found to be significant in the final model: canter lead, fence type and class level; model predictability was excellent (ROC: 97%). Combinations that approached a fence with an incorrect canter lead were 5.9 times more likely to score faults compared to those on the correct rein (P=0.0001). Faults were 98.8% more likely to be incurred at a vertical than at an oxer (P=0.002) and combinations competing in 100/105cm classes were 7.8 times more likely to score faults than those in 90/95cm (P = 0.033). In contrast, few significant factors within height categories were identified preventing model fitting. In category1 an incorrect canter lead was 4.9 times more likely to result in faults (P=0.0001). For category 2: jumping efforts 3, 6, 9, 14 (uprights) and 13 (oxer/combination) and in category 3: jumping efforts 1 (oxer) and 2 (upright) all increased the risk of scoring faults (P<0.03) compared to the final fence. No factors were found to be significantly associated with scoring faults for categories 4 and 5 (P>0.05). These results identify differences in performance factors exist between height classes in non-elite showjumping. This information could be used to develop coaching and training strategies designed to address risk factors in the sport, enhancing horse and rider performance.
    PeriodJun 2019
    Event title26th Equine Science Symposium
    Event typeConference
    LocationAsheville, United States, North CarolinaShow on map


    • performance analysis
    • equestrian sport
    • competition strategies
    • rider
    • horse