Br J Sports Med doi:10.1136/bjsports-2011-090312
  • Consensus statement

European consensus on epidemiological studies of injuries in the thoroughbred horse racing industry

  1. P-M Gadot4
  1. 1British Horseracing Authority, London, UK
  2. 2FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre, Zurich, Switzerland
  3. 3The Turf Club, Dublin, Ireland
  4. 4France Galop, Paris, France
  5. 5Darley Stud Management Co Ltd, Newmarket, UK
  6. 6Direktorium für Vollblutzucht und Rennen, Köln, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr Michael Turner, British Horseracing Authority, 75 High Holborn, London WC1V 6LS, UK; mturner{at}
  • Accepted 2 October 2011
  • Published Online First 8 November 2011


Reported data for injuries sustained by jockeys in thoroughbred horse racing vary greatly. While the range of abilities and types of racing may account for some variation, the variations result mainly from differences in the definitions and methodologies employed in the studies.

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) facilitated a meeting of experts from the four leading horse racing countries in Europe. Using an approach adopted by the previous consensus groups addressing sports injuries, issues related to definitions, methodology and implementation were discussed and voted on by the group during a structured one-day meeting. Following this meeting, two members of the consensus group produced a draft document, based on the group discussions, which was circulated for review; two revisions were prepared before the final consensus statement was produced.

The definition of injury and the criteria for recording the severity and nature of injuries are proposed for use in future epidemiological studies of injuries sustained by riders and associated support staff in the thoroughbred horse racing industry. Suggestions are made for recording participant baseline information together with recommendations on how injuries sustained during racing and associated activities should be reported.

The definitions and methodology proposed for recording injuries, sustained during thoroughbred horse racing activities will lead to more uniform data being collected. The surveillance procedures presented here may also be applicable to other equine sports such as trotting, polo, show jumping and eventing.


Based on injuries reported to racecourse medical officers in France, Ireland and the UK over the period 1992–2001, jockeys have an incidence of 1–2 injuries per 1000 rides in flat racing and 6–12 injuries per 1000 rides in jump racing.1 Insurance claims from injured jockeys indicate lower incidences of 1 injury per 1000 rides in flat racing and 3 injuries per 1000 rides in jump racing2 but …

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