British Eventing will be trialling a pioneering safety tracking system in partnership with EquiRatings.
The EquiRatings Quality Index (ERQI) measures and assists in the management of risk in the cross country phase of eventing.
During a competition each horse builds a ‘data footprint’ through their results. The ERQI system works by assessing a number of factors including prior results, the course strength and rider form to create individual risk profiles for every horse. The ERQI is an entirely objective and mathematical calculation which is proving a very effective tool in the management of risk in the cross country phase. Described by Sport Operations Manager Chris Farr as “one of the most important developments in Risk Management seen in the sport, possibly ever”, the pilot comes following sign off from the BE Board in early March. Before the trial can be rolled out, the first step will be to establish the parameters of the ERQI for horses competing at BE affiliated competitions.
In the coming weeks this will involve EquiRatings and BE analysing competition and results data from recent years to ensure it is tailored specifically to the needs of the sport in this country. Following this initial phase of work a limited trial is planned for later in the 2017 season where the ERQI system will be piloted at specific levels – potentially Novice, Intermediate and Advanced – to determine the resources and processes required to implement and run the full system across all levels of competition in future. The use of the ERQI system could provide BE with an undoubted step forward in rider safety and horse welfare to complement over 15 years of research already undertaken by British Eventing.
EquiRatings was launched in 2015 and founded by Irish international event rider Sam Watson and former commercial lawyer, Diarmuid Byrne, and is the first dedicated equestrian data analytics company.
EquiRatings Managing Director, Diarmuid Byrne, commented; “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work alongside British Eventing and its membership as we tackle together the complex issue of risk in the sport. We are here to reduce falls, and more specifically horse falls, by helping riders and management track form and understand risk. We have a hugely exciting and growing sport and we hope through ERQIs, we can continue to make it as safe as it can possibly be for all the BE membership”. BE National Safety Officer Jonathan Clissold comments: “This is an exciting new tool which will help riders make an informed decision, along with horse-owners, about their horse’s form – on top of the horse’s Minimum Eligibility Requirements – as to whether a horse should progress to next level or not.”