Between March 1, 2000 and August 31, 2001, a case-control study was conducted on 12 racecourses in England and Wales to identify and quantify the risk factors associated with horse falls in hurdle races. The cases and controls were defined so that variables relating to the horse, the jockey, the race and racecourse, and the jump could be considered. The cases were defined as a jumping effort at a hurdle flight that resulted in a fall, and the controls were defined as a successful jump over a hurdle at any of the 12 racecourses within 14 days before or after the case fall. Conditional logistic regression was used to examine the univariable and multivariable relationships between the predictor variables and the risk of falling. The risk of falling was significantly associated with the position of the jump in the race, and with the distance and speed of the race. A horse's previous racing experience and history were also significantly associated with the risk of fallng and horses participating in their first hurdle race were at almost five times greater risk of falling than horses that had hurdled before.
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