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Differences in elite showjumping performance between male and female riders

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Equestrianism is one of very few sports where men and women compete on equal terms, offering the opportunity to perform comparable studies of male and female sporting performance within the same competition. The aim of the current study was to investigate the proportion and relative performance success of males and females competing at international elite level (FEI Rolex World Cup™) Show Jumping Competition in 2008/2009. Results from 15 leagues and 810 individual competitors (male=566; female=233; unknown=18) were analysed. Non-parametric statistics were used to investigate differences between numbers of males and females competing, final ranks and number of points achieved within the total population and individual leagues. Most important findings showed that significantly more men competed in all leagues (p<0.01); with the exception of three North American leagues where no significant differences was observed. However, no statistically significant differences between male and female riders across the whole population were found for final ranking (Male M=31.0, Female M=31.5, U=62670.500, z=-0.443, p=0.658) or points (Male M=17, Female M=28, U=133.50, z=-2.468, p=0.014). In conclusion, the sport of showjumping the differences in physiology, morphology and psychology between male and female riders are unlikely to affect final performance results.
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Keywords: EQUESTRIAN SPORT; GENDER; SHOWJUMPING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-08-01

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