Demographic Profiling of elite dressage riders.

Lucy Dumbell, Jenni Johnson, Donna de Haan

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review


Although it is commonly believed that equestrian sports differ in the demographic profile of their participants, and certain socio-economic groups may be under-represented, very little research into equestrian sports exists. The aim of this paper was to provide demographic profiling of participants in elite level dressage and compare profiles across levels of disciplines. Data were collected from 157 competitors, across three levels of competition at one Dressage festival in the UK. Three case studies provided demographic profiling data each representing one level of competition. Across all levels of competition there were more female competitors than males although as the levels of competition increased the proportion of male competitors increased resulting in female : male odds ratios of 8.09 at lower levels of competition to 1.56 at highest levels. As the level of competition increased the likelihood of the rider being the owner decreased; at lower levels of competition 91% were sole owners of the horse which decreased to 63% at the higher levels of competition. Age profiling and sport participation support unique ‘early start-late specialisation’ Long Term Athlete Development model of equestrian sport. Commentary on equestrian sport is to date based on the absence of empirical data. This paper provides the first demographic profiling of elite level Dressage and demonstrates the unique demographic profiling of those involved in equestrian sport.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-24
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Sport and Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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