The most recent report on hospital-treated horse-riding injuries in Victoria was published 20 years ago. Since then, injury countermeasures and new technology have aimed to make horse riding safer for participants. This study provides an update of horse-riding injuries that required hospital treatment in Victoria and examines changes in injury patterns compared with the earlier study.
Horse-riding injuries that required hospital treatment (hospital admission (HA) or emergency department (ED) presentations) were extracted from routinely collected data from public and private hospitals in Victoria from 2002–2003 to 2015–2016. Injury incidence rates per 100 000 Victorian population per financial year and age-stratified and sex-stratified injury incidence rates are presented. Poisson regression was used to examine trends in injury rates over the study period.
ED presentation and HA rates were 31.1 and 6.6 per 100 000 person-years, increasing by 28.8% and 47.6% from 2002 to 2016, respectively. Female riders (47.3 ED and 10.1 HA per 100 000 person-years) and those aged between 10 and 14 years (87.8 ED and 15.7 HA per 100 000 person-years) had the highest incidence rates. Fractures (ED 29.4%; HA 56.5%) and head injuries (ED 15.4%; HA 18.9%) were the most common injuries. HA had a mean stay of 2.6±4.1 days, and the mean cost per HA was $A5096±8345.
Horse-riding injuries have remained similar in their pattern (eg, types of injuries) since last reported in Victoria. HA and ED incidence rates have increased over the last 14 years. Refocusing on injury prevention countermeasures is recommended along with a clear plan for implementation and evaluation of their effectiveness in reducing injury.