Horse-riding competitions pre and post covid-19: Effect of anxiety, srpe and hr on performance in eventing

Sabrina Demarie, Christel Galvani, Veronique Louise Billat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the present study was to quantify the impact of training restrictions, due to COVID-19 sanitary emergency, on physical and emotional strain of horse-riding Eventing competitions before and after eight weeks of lockdown. Performance was assessed by the penalty points attained, anxiety by the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2, strain by the Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) method. Moreover, Heart Rate was continuously monitored for fifty-four female national level Eventing horse-riders. Lockdown decreased performance outcome of horse-riders in Eventing competitions up to six weeks, with the Dressage test being the most affected discipline. Performance in Dressage was strongly related to both anxiety and session-RPE. After lockdown, Show-Jumping and Cross-Country courses were shorter allowing RPE to remain stable, session-RPE to significantly decline and cardiovascular strain not to exceed pre-lockdown values. In conclusion, emotional stress in Dressage and workload in Cross-Country should be carefully managed by equestrian Eventing stakeholders when planning training and competitions after a period of lockdown. Moreover, sRPE appears to offer a practical method of monitoring riders load during training and competition and could also be of use for home-based training during any future sport activities restrictions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8648
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Competition
  • COVID-19
  • Horse-riding
  • Rate perceived exertion
  • State anxiety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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