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An analysis of injuries resulting from professional horse racing in France during 1991–2001: a comparison with injuries resulting from professional horse racing in Great Britain during 1992–2001

Abstract

Background: It has been previously shown that professional jockeys suffer high rates of fatal and non-fatal injuries in the pursuit of their occupation. Little is known, however, about differences in injury rates between countries.

Aim: To determine the rate of fatal and non-fatal injuries in flat and jump jockeys in France and to compare the injury rates with those in Great Britain and Ireland

Method: Prospectively collected injury data on professional jockeys were used as the basis of the analysis.

Results: Limb fractures occur four times more often in both flat and jump racing in France than in Great Britain. Similarly dislocations are diagnosed 20 times more often in flat and three times more often in jump racing. This difference is surprising given that French jockeys have fewer falls per ride than their British counterparts in flat racing, although they do have more falls than the British in jump racing. Similarly concussion rates seem to be higher in French jockeys, although there may be a difference in the diagnostic methods used in the different countries. By contrast, soft tissue injuries account for a far smaller percentage of injuries than in Great Britain.

Conclusion: There are striking differences in injury rates between countries which may be explained in part by a difference in track conditions—for example, harder tracks in France—or different styles of racing—for example, larger fields of horses per race in France.

  • horse racing
  • injuries
  • fractures
  • dislocations
  • concussion

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