Performance analysis of show jumping rounds at a national pony competition

Cassandra Gluck, J. M. Williams, Shannon Pratt-Phillips

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Performance analysis is utilised by coaches and athletes to identify areas to work on in training and to identify strengths in athlete performance in various sports. However, performance analysis is not commonly used within equestrian sports. The purpose of this study was to evaluate minors and their ponies competing in show jumping at a national pony competition to see if course variables affected performance. All jumping rounds were watched online. Type of faults (e.g. rails, refusals, time faults, fall of horse and or rider), type of fence (e.g. vertical, oxer), approach angle, section of the course where fault(s) occurred and round time were recorded. Spearman’s Correlation assessed if round time was correlated to total faults and a series of Kruskal-Wallis analyses determined if significant differences in faults occurred between sections of the course, where these existed, post hoc tests established where differences occurred between rounds. There was no significant difference in total faults across the 4 rounds of competition and no meaningful correlation between round time and total faults (r = 0.34; P=0.008). There were no differences between fence type and faults although more faults occurred at verticals (51.7%, n = 46 faults at verticals versus 48.3%, n 43 at oxers; P=0.610). Faults were more likely to occur during the final quarter of the course (32.6%, n = 29) when compared to the first quarter (23.6%, n = 21; P=0.028). These results showed that faults were more likely to occur in the final quarter of a round. The information gained from this performance analysis could be beneficial to inform training or riding strategies, especially when preparing for a competition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-405
Number of pages7
JournalComparative Exercise Physiology
Issue number5
Early online date29 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sept 2023


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