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Effect of horse sex status on British Eventing competition performance: an observational study between 1998 and 2016


To test the hypothesis that gender affects horse scores in eventing competition, data on the scores and points awarded to 681 horses was collected from the British Eventing website. Equal numbers of mares, geldings and stallions were used, all foaled during or after 1994 and aged 4–10 years. The study included five levels of competition (BE90, BE100, Novice, Intermediate and Advanced) and investigated differences in mean phased scores, total scores and rank in competition. Additionally, the mean and median ‘BE points per competition’ of each gender were compared. Significant differences in performance between genders were found at all levels except Advanced. Differences were highlighted in average phased and total scores, rank and median points per competition. There was an overall pattern of stallions and geldings outperforming mares, though this was not found to be true at all levels. The only area in which mares were found to perform significantly better than geldings or stallions was showjumping time penalties at BE90.

  • horses
  • exercise
  • behaviour

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