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Title: Descriptive epidemiology and predictors for eliminations and completion at international endurance rides
Author: Nagy , Annamaria
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2013
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The overall objective of this thesis was to provide evidence-based data on descriptive epidemiology of Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) endurance rides worldwide and to identify ride, rider, horse and environment-related risk factors for eliminations due to lameness and metabolic reasons and predictors for completion. In the retrospective study, data on all endurance rides of 100-160 km distance in 2008-2011 worldwide were collected from the FEI website. In the prospective study (2011- 20 12), venue, rider and horse-related data on a convenience sample of 24 FEI rides of any distance in four countries were collected from the FEI website; data on weather and terrain were collected at the venues. Data on riders' expectations and experiences were collected from riders using self-completed questionnaires before and after the ride. Statistical analysis included investigation of risk factors using multivariable logistic regression for the three outcomes: elimination for lameness, elimination for metabolic reasons and completion. Mixed-effect logistic regression models and marginal models were used to account for repeated measures of horses and riders. Agreement between riders' prediction and official results was assessed with kappa statistics. Bias in questionnaire completion by riders was assessed with mixed-effect logistic regression including rider as a random effect. The results of this thesis provide the largest scale descriptive data on international endurance rides and the most detailed risk-factor (predictor) investigation for elimination for lameness and metabolic reasons and completion, and this is the first study to obtain data from endurance competitors. Contrary to my hypothesis and common belief, the percentages of eliminated horses and wining speed at all endurance rides worldwide .of 100-160 km distance did not increase between 2008 and 2011. When all countries were assessed, eliminations due to both lameness and metabolic reasons were associated with the ,, geographical region where the ride was held. Investigation of 33 venue, horse, rider, and environment-related variables in a convenience sample of 24 FEI rides, revealed only a few to be significantly associated with elimination due to lameness (venue, horse's experience at longer distance and time elapsed since the last FEI ride) or metabolic reasons (venue, number of started horses, deep sand or soil). This study showed the first evidence of increasing speed decreasing the likelihood of completion. However, the study was unable to detect an association between speed and specific reasons for elimination. Results indicated that less frequent racing schedule might increase the likelihood of completion and decrease the risk of elimination for lameness, Knowledge of variables that affect the likelihood of completion contributes to our understanding of what makes horses successful or unsuccessful at endurance rides, The questionnaire study showed preliminary evidence of association between riders' predictions and outcome of the ride. Data obtained from riders was exposed to bias; female, older and less experienced riders were more likely to participate. In conclusion, this thesis provides large-scale evidence-based descriptive data ' on the endurance competitions worldwide, which can be used for education of endurance officials and veterinarians, The risk factors identified may help to increase the likelihood of completion at endurance rides and thus ultimately improve the welfare of endurance horses. The results of this thesis and the experience gained from data collection can be used for future studies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available