What makes an elite equestrian rider?

W. Lamperd, D. Clarke, Inga A. Wolframm, Jane Williams

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)
    607 Downloads (Pure)


    Eight international riders from Olympic equestrian disciplines, participated in semi-structured interviews investigating developmental factors which they felt had helped them achieve and retain elite status. Key factors were present across the variable rider journeys to elite status. Riders demonstrated a natural aptitude for horse sports, a desire to learn combined with exposure to environments which fostered confidence and skill development: access to elite and
    developmental horses, observing elite riders, access to coaches and parental support. Riders consistently questioned the status quo of their practice: through partnerships with multiple horses, self-development and horse-development, and were motivated and driven, with a clear belief that they would achieve success; attributes that remain once elite status was achieved. Success appears initially motivated by participation in equine sports for fun and as rider
    investment was rewarded by winning, with associated financial benefits. When elite status is attained, motivation and definitions of success become focused more upon the relationship with their horse and the constant challenge of developing their own and their horses’ skills. Elite status appears associated with a successful philosophy that underpins rider’ practice: the way riders’ think, ride, train and run their business, underpinned by distinct individual philosophies. These factors combined help riders remain successful at the highest level of their sport.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)105-118
    Number of pages13
    JournalComparative Exercise Physiology
    Issue number3
    Early online date16 Sept 2016
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Equine


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