Comparing subjective and objective evaluation of show jumping competition and warm-up arena surfaces

E. Hernlund, A. Egenvall, S. J. Hobbs, M. L. Peterson, A. J. Northrop, A. Bergh, J. H. Martin, L. Roepstorff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

The development of safety and quality standards for equestrian surfaces needs to be based on objective, repeatable measurements which allow comparisons between surfaces. These measurements should incorporate the assessment of surface performance by riders. This study provides data from objective and subjective assessment of functional properties of high-level show jumping competition and warm-up arenas. Twenty-five arenas in nine international show jumping events were evaluated by mechanical in-situ testing with a surface tester, rider assessments using visual analogue scales (198 riders provided 749 arena evaluations), descriptions of arena constructions and by laboratory tests of surface material. Mixed models were used to present subjective evaluation of rider perception of the functional properties for each arena while controlling for rider and event. The association between objective and subjective assessments were also explored creating mixed models, controlling for rider and event. Mechanical measurements of impact firmness, and to a lesser extent cushioning and grip, had a significant positive association with the riders’ perception. Responsiveness as assessed by the Orono biomechanical surface tester (OBST) was negatively associated with the riders’ perceptions, which suggests riders and the OBST had different concepts of this functional property and that further developments of the OBST might be necessary. Objectively measured uniformity showed no useful association with riders’ perception. Even though arena assessments were made by top level riders, a substantial inter-rider variation was demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-57
Number of pages9
JournalVeterinary Journal
Volume227
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to acknowledge the Swedish-Norwegian Foundation for Equine Research and la Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) for providing financial support for the study. We express our sincere thanks to all riders participating in the study. We also thank Dr. Stéphane Montavon for helping with translation of the questionnaires and Isabelle Fredricson, Carolyne Tranquille, Linda Klein, Muriel Sacks and Alexandra Blaser for assisting with data collection at the events. Preliminary results were presented orally at the FEI sports forum in Lausanne, Switzerland 28–29 April in 2014.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Authors

Keywords

  • Biomechanical surface test
  • Equestrian arena
  • Functional surface properties
  • Show jumping
  • Subjective assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Veterinary (all)

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