The FEI published the Endurance report 2015, you can read it on the FEI website here.
Page 12 of this report contains the numbers of fatalities in Endurance (see the graph):
But these published numbers contain no details about these fatalities: countries, events, names of horses. Maybe, FEI keeps it secret.
Because the FEI didn’t disclose detailed information in its report, we have parsed the public database of the FEI and found some details.
This is the list of Endurance horse deaths that we found in the FEI database (click image to enlarge):
Now let’s compare the ratio of dead horses to the total number of registered horses in specified country for specified year.
For example, we all remember the tragic accident during WEG 2014 in Normandy, France, where Dorado from Costa Rica died. It is just one dead horse. But Costa Rica itself had only 16 registered horses in 2014 for Endurance. So, one death per 16 horses gives us the stunning ratio of 6.25%.
Ok, now let’s see another tragic accidents. In 2012 one horse died in Portugal and yet another horse died in Netherlands. Portugal had 62 registered horses and Netherlands had 61 registered horses. Thus, this accidents gave us the ratio of 1.61% and 1.64% accordingly. It’s still terrible numbers.
In New Zeland there were horse deaths for three consecutive years. And the ratio in New Zeland was between 1.47-1.54%.
These numbers are so high just because of a so small number of horses, registered in these countries for Endurance discipline.
In South Africa there was 3 horse deaths in 2013, but there was 539 registered horses, so their death ratio is only 0.56%.
Now let’s look at most popular Endurance countries.
Spain had one horse death per 482 registered horses in 2014, ratio is 0.21%. Italy had two horse deaths in 2014 and one horse death in 2015, with having more than 400 registered horses. So, death ratio in Italy is 0.48% in 2014 and 0.22% in 2015.
France looks better. There was one horse death in 2010, in 2012, in 2016. France has almost 1000 registered horses for Endurance, so French ratio is very small: 0.10-0.11%.
UAE has the biggest number of registered horses for Endurance, much more than any other country. There are about 5.000 registered horses competing every season in UAE
We must understand that the more horses are started, the greater the risk of injury.
Death ratio in UAE was 0.36% in 2010, 0.18% in 2011, 0.29% in 2012, 0.31% in 2013, 0.11% in 2014, 0.16% in 2015 and 0.12% in 2016.
So, death ratio in biggest Endurance countries, such as France, Spain, UAE and Italy is very slight (click image to enlarge):
And, on the other hand, small Endurance countires have a larger percentage of horse deaths.
Of course, all the deaths are just tragic accidents.
Equestrian sport is risky by its nature. Unfortunately, sometimes horses die during competitions. Even riders die, it is sad fact but we accept it.
Nevertheless, Endurance is not the deadliest equestrian sport. There are more deaths in another equestrian sports.
But that is another story.