Equestrian injuries presenting to a regional trauma centre in Ireland

  • Ali Abdulkarim
  • Fiachra Richard PowerEmail author
  • Peter Coffey
  • Eoin Sheehan
Original Article



The Irish equestrian industry provides over 12,500 full-time jobs and contributes in excess of €454 million to the Irish exchequer annually. For such a vital industry, there is a dearth of information relating to equestrian-associated injuries.


The aim of this study was to determine the demographics, characteristics and outcomes of equestrian-related injuries presenting to the emergency department of a regional trauma centre in Ireland over the course of 1 year.


Retrospective analysis of all 30,700 presentations to the Emergency Department of the Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore in 2013 was performed to identify specifically equestrian-related presentations. Patient demographics, mechanism of injury, radiology results, management and follow-up data were collected and analysed using Microsoft Excel software.


A total of 149 equestrian-related presentations were identified during the study period. There were significantly more females involved in equestrian injuries than males (58 vs 42%). Falling from a horse contributed to significantly more presentations and admissions than any other cause. Thirty-six percent of presentations were associated with a radiological abnormality. Types of injuries identified included skeletal fractures (27.5%), joint dislocation/subluxation (5%), concussion (7%) and splenic laceration/intraperitoneal haemorrhage (1%). Admission to the unit or transfer to tertiary care was required for 18% of the equestrian injuries. Only 43% of presentations were discharged back to primary care from the emergency department.


This study identifies a high incidence of morbidities associated with equestrian presentations. In addition, we recognised populations at risk of specific injuries and describe high-risk mechanisms of injury.


Emergency department Equestrian Mechanism Orthopaedics 


Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

For this type of study formal consent is not required.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Trauma and Orthopaedic SurgeryUniversity Hospital WaterfordWaterfordIreland
  2. 2.Department of Trauma and Orthopaedic SurgeryMidland Regional Hospital TullamoreTullamoreIreland

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