Equestrian Canada (EC) is pleased to announce a partnership with data analysis and statistics company, EquiRatings, to provide direct support to the EC National Team Program – Eventing High Performance Squad.
Dr. Rob Stevenson, Chair of the EC Eventing High Performance Advisory Group, said the decision to partner with EquiRatings is a strategic one ahead of the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Mill Spring, NC, where the Canadian Eventing Team will look to secure qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, JPN.
“We’re trying to achieve a certain result on the international stage,” explained Stevenson. “Our result will be more predictable and consistent by using key performance indicators (KPIs) and measurement tools to ensure our athletes are achieving the best possible results with their horses.”
The CICO 3* FEI Nations’ Cup™ Eventing, held July 7-9, 2017 at Great Meadow International in The Plains, VA, served as the first test case for EC’s new partnership with EquiRatings.
The team of Lisa Marie Fergusson, Selena O’Hanlon, Jessica Phoenix and Waylon Roberts produced three sub-60 finishing scores to secure second place in the Nations’ Cup. The result marked a notable high performance milestone, as it was the first time in more than six years that Canada produced three sub-60 scores at a major team competition at the highest level of the sport.
“Partnering with EquiRatings means Canadian athletes are now competing with themselves within the sport,” Stevenson said. “Much of the distraction of ‘what does this result or score really mean?’ is disappearing. Our athletes now have a baseline to understand what they need to achieve with each horse at each competition.”
Diarmuid Byrne, Managing Director of EquiRatings, said the result at Great Meadow is an example of the potential that comes from having customized benchmarks and targets for every horse and rider combination.
“Use of data in mainstream sport is very well known, well used and well respected,” said Byrne. “It’s a tool that is commonplace in every other sport, and up until recently it’s been very difficult to apply the use of data to equestrian sports. EquiRatings has been able to change that. Our role with our high performance clients is to understand their strategy to improve performance and provide them with the analysis and targets to make this happen.”
In addition to high performance analysis, EquiRatings is also leading the charge for safety in eventing, recently partnering with the FEI to implement the EquiRatings Quality Index (ERQI), which seeks to reduce risk within the sport.