Equestrian activities

An estimated 233,000 Australians aged 15 and over participated in equestrian activity in 2019–20.  Around 2,460 injury hospitalisations were attributed to equestrian activities1,910 female and 550 male. This was a similar number to the previous year. For those aged 15 and over, the rate of hospitalisation was about 876 per 100,000 participants.

The highest number of hospitalisations was in the 15–19 age group (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Age distribution of injury hospitalisations from equestrian activities, 2019–20

Column graph showing the age distribution of injury hospitalisations.

Source: AIHW NHMD.

For more detail, see data table A14.

About half of these hospitalisations were fractures (51%) (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Injury hospitalisations from equestrian activities, by type of injury as a proportion, 2019–20

Bar graph showing the proportion of injury hospitalisations by main type of injury.

Note: Type of injury is derived from the principal diagnosis.
Source: AIHW NHMD.

For more detail, see data table A25.

There were 230 hospitalisations for concussion—195 female and 35 male.

The main injury was to the trunk of the body in a third of cases (33%), and the head and neck in almost a quarter of cases (24%) (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Injury hospitalisations from equestrian activities, by body part injured, as a proportion, 2019–20

Outline of a person with body regions labelled, marked with the percentage of hospitalised injuries for each region.

Note: Body part injured is derived from the principal diagnosis.
Source: AIHW NHMD.

For more detail, see data table A26.

Perhaps unremarkably, about 9 in 10 of these hospitalisations were reported to have been caused directly by an accident with a horse (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Cause of injury as a proportion when specified, hospitalisations from equestrian activities, 2019–20

Bar graph showing the proportion of hospitalisations by cause of injury when specified.

Source: AIHW NHMD.

For more detail, see data table A27.

Seasonality and COVID-19

Three years of monthly admissions data suggests that equestrian activities are less seasonal than many other sports. COVID-19 may have disrupted these activities in April 2020, but not as severely as for many team sports (Figure 5).

Figure 5: Injury hospitalisations from equestrian activities by month of admission, 2017–18 to 2019–20

Line graph with 3 lines for 3 financial years of hospitalisations by month of admission, showing an apparent drop in admissions in April 2020 compared to previous years.

Notes
1. Months have been standardised to 31 days.
2. A scale up factor has been applied to June admissions to account for cases not yet separated.

Source: AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database.

For more detail, see data table B3.