The prevalence of pain in international female event riders during competition, in the United Kingdom

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    Eventing is one of three Olympic disciplines of equestrian sport, the only sex-integrated summer Olympic sport. At Rio 2016, 34% of Eventing competitors were female and within Team GB the odds ratio of a representative being female (compared to male) was 3.33, the highest of all the disciplines. To compare the prevalence of event riders at the international level competing with pain between the sexes. Thirty-one four-stage questionnaires were completed by international event riders (FEI CCI *, CCI **, CIC ***) at the Hartpury International Horse Trials, UK. Participants included 18 female riders and 13 male riders, with an age range of 18-55 years. Ninety-six percent of international event riders competed while experiencing pain. All female riders reported pain, giving a significant association between gender and pain (X2 = −.479, p =.006). Fifty-five percent of riders felt that their pain affected their riding performance. Pain was perceived to influence performance by affecting fatigue, their concentration, and anxiety levels. Ninety-six percent of riders reporting pain used medication to alleviate their symptoms. This high incidence of international event riders who compete with pain could potentially increase the risk of a serious or fatal fall in the cross-country phase. One in five equestrian athletes is seriously injured during their riding career (Ball, Ball, Mulloy, Datta, & Kirkpatrick, 2009) with Eventing widely considered the most dangerous Olympic equestrian discipline. This research self-reports riders' perceptions, which may affect the data.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalWomen in Sport and Physical Activity Journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


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