OBJECTIVES: To determine the distribution of injuries in the eventing discipline of equestrian sports and the effectiveness of the protective equipment worn. METHODS: Data on all injuries sustained in the cross country phase over fixed obstacles were collected from 54 days of competition from 1992 to 1997. This involved 16,940 rides. RESULTS: Data on a total of 193 injuries were collected, which included two deaths. This represents an injury rate of 1.1%. Head and facial injuries represented the largest group (31%), with one third of these requiring treatment in hospital. All riders were wearing protective helmets and body protectors. CONCLUSIONS: Eventing is one of the most dangerous equestrian sports. Improved protective equipment, which is mandatory for 1999, should reduce the severity of these injuries.
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