British Eventing announced today that the organization will pilot the EquiRatings Quality Index (ERQI) at specific levels in the 2017 season. Chris Farr, British Eventing Sport Operations Manager, called ERQI “one of the most important developments in risk management seen in the sport, possibly ever.”
ERQI measures cross country risk by creating profiles for horses and tracking their individual performances. Based on collected data, the horse is assigned a numeric value for each level of competition that indicates the likelihood of that horse completing cross country without faults.
The ratings are easy to understand using a “traffic light” color code reflective of the numerical values. A green rating is satisfactory and the horse may compete at that level. An amber rating means the combination meets the minimum standard for the level but warns of increased risk. A red rating is insufficient and the combination does not meet the minimum standard to compete at that level.
The BE board signed off on the partnership earlier this month, and BE will now work closely with EquiRatings to analyze competition and results data from recent years to tailor ERQI specifically to eventing in Britain.
A limited trial is planned for later in the 2017 season to pilot the ERQI system at specific levels, possibly Novice, Intermediate and Advanced. BE’s goal will be to determine the resources and processes required to implement and run the full system across all levels of competition in future.
“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,” BE National Safety Officer Jonathan Clissold said.
EquiRatings Managing Director Diarmuid Byrne added: “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.”
British Eventing will become the second National Federation to use the ERQI system. The first, Eventing Ireland, saw a 56% reduction in horse falls at the national two- and three-star levels in 2016, with a 66% reduction in horse falls at the national two-star level alone.
The USEA is also exploring implementing the ERQI system and has been sharing data with EquiRatings for several months, with a goal to introduce new associated member services in the near future.
“At this point in time we envision our members signing into their USEA online services account and having access to a straightforward ERQI score associated with each registered horse on their profile,” USEA CEO Rob Burk told EN. “Additional interesting analytics are also possible and we are working with EquiRatings to look at all of the possibilities.”