The FEI has signed a four-year deal with equestrian data science company EquiRatings to help improve safety in both eventing and endurance.
EquiRatings will analyse data from the FEI database, which has been collected over the past 10 years, to measure and help manage risk for both horses and riders.
This information includes competition and veterinary data as well as statistics on fences, falls and injuries.
The focus will be on implementing the EquiRatings Quality Index (ERQI) at all international horse trials, starting with CCI4*.
The ERQI is a ratings system that helps assess the risk of horse fall across country. Eventing Ireland piloted the scheme last year and had a 66% reduction in horse falls at national two-star level. British Eventing is also trialling it this season.
“Managing risk in equestrian sports is a collective responsibility and we are delighted to be working alongside the FEI as we all play our part,” said EquiRatings director Diarmuid Byrne.
“This official partnership shows the ongoing commitment of the FEI and the FEI risk management steering group to new measures and tools.
“We will also be working with a number of national federations around the world in 2017 to implement ERQIs at national level.”
EquiRatings and the FEI will work on specific projects at the request of the FEI eventing committee and the risk management steering group.
The agreement also involves the organisations working together on endurance horse welfare and data analysis projects.
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FEI secretary general Sabrina Ibáñez said the collaberation is part of a “holistic approach to risk management”.
“The ERQI is both a powerful tool for understanding and predicting risk in both eventing and endurance and brings a new layer of insight into the decision-making process at a global governance level,” she added.
“We have worked with EquiRatings in the past, but formalising this partnership provides us with a platform to move forward with more concrete analysis of the FEI’s data, and gives valuable insight into performance and risk.
“It also has the potential to contribute greatly to the promotion of our sport and the way in which it is consumed by fans.”
EquiRatings will be giving a presentation on data analysis during the FEI Sports Forum on 11 April.
Don’t miss Horse & Hound’s 27 April issue for an exclusive EquiRatings guest column