Are faults in International Showjumping associated with fence design?

J. M. Williams, E. Pill, David Marlin

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Performance analysis (PA) analyses factors identified to enhance performance enable informed athlete decision-making in sport; however, despite potential performance advances, application of PA remains limited in equestrianism. In showjumping, fence design is anecdotally associated with fault accrual and competitive success. This study evaluated if this assumption was accurate; 201 combinations attempting 2,995 jumping-efforts across 2nd round European FEI Nations Cup 2017 competition were analysed. Types of fault (e.g. pole down, refusal) were recorded as well as characteristics of the fence design (type: upright, oxer, single, double, groundline, primary /secondary colour of poles / planks, and location to other fences). Combinations jumped clear at the majority of attempts (93.8%; n=2,810) with faults occurring at 6.2% of jumps (n=185). Increased faults were accrued in the second half of courses (30.27% n=56, 69.72%, n=129 faults, respectively) and at upright fences (41.62%, n=77). Chi squared analyses identified fence design influenced fault patterns; faults were more likely at combination fences (P=0.004), at fences integrating a groundline (P=0.001) and constructed of planks only compared to poles and planks (P=0.04). No relationship between fence colour combinations and faults was found. Binary logistic regression (fault vs no faults) concluded that horses were 8 times more likely to accrue faults at combination fences than single fences (P=0.001; CI: 2.31-30.0), and that faults were 5.9 times more likely at doubles compared to single fences or treble combinations (P=0.008, CI: 1.56- 22.14). These preliminary results suggest faults are associated with fence design rather than colour in elite showjumping
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022
Event11th International Conference on Equine Exercise Physiology - Uppsala, Sweden
Duration: 26 Jun 20221 Jul 2022


Conference11th International Conference on Equine Exercise Physiology
Abbreviated titleICEEP2022


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