Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 11-16-2020



Equestrian related injuries account for 45% of sports related traumatic brain injuries in the United States. Equestrian related trauma causes more injuries than motorcycle or auto racing. Stratification of the injuries sustained in horseback riding accidents has only been described in papers detailing EMR review of single Level I trauma centers or a few regional hospitals. The aim of this study was to stratify the different types and severity of equestrian injuries on a national level.


A 10-year review (2007-2016) of the National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB) was conducted to identify injuries due to horseback riding. Injuries were separated into head and neck injuries (HNI), extremity injuries (EXTI), thoracic injuries (THORI) and abdominal injuries (ABDI). Data points examined included: ethnicity, intensive care unit (ICU) length of stay (LOS), hospital LOS, ED disposition and ventilator days. Logistical regression, chi-squared and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to analyze the data.


Nationally, 24,791 adults were injured in equestrian related trauma. In descending order, THORI accounted for 9,189 (37.07%) injuries, 6,560 (26.47%) suffered EXTI, 5,689 (22.95%) sustained HNI, and 3,353 (13.52%) experienced ABDI. HNI caused 237 (74.83%) deaths while 59 (18.03%) were caused by THORI. Riders were more likely to die from HNI compared to EXTI (OR, 55.93; 24.08-129.89 95% CI; p


Annually, over 2,000 equestrian related injuries resulted in presentation to a trauma center in the United States. While THORI were most commonly identified, HNI resulted in the highest mortality and ICU LOS. These results support the focus on prevention of HNI in equestrian sports.

Academic Level

medical student

Mentor/PI Department


Included in

Trauma Commons



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