EquiRatings Quality Index FAQ

1. Who are EquiRatings?

EquiRatings are a global sports data and technology company for equestrian sports. They analyze performance data and provide ratings, statistics and content to meet the needs of event organizers, media, and governing bodies around the world. EquiRatings have designed a data-driven risk analysis tool known as the ERQI which promotes rider responsibility and horse welfare in the cross-country phase of eventing.

2. What is an ERQI?

ERQI stands for EquiRatings Quality Index. It is a risk management tool that assigns a value to each horse in the system. An important point to remember is that the ERQI attaches to the form of the horse and not the rider. The ERQI is calculated as a probability, a number between 0 and 1, with horses closer to 1 showing statistically higher levels of performance in the cross-country phase. ERQIs will be displayed to the horse’s profile in color code, without any numbers.

3. What is the key principle of ERQI?

The key principle of this system is that consistent high performance in the cross-country phase reduces risk. Horses which have a higher number of cross-country faults on their records are competing with significantly higher risk than others. The goal is to help raise rider awareness around this and to encourage responsible campaigning of horses in the USEA system.

4. Why is the USEA using the ERQI system?

EquiRatings have worked behind the scenes with the USEA for eight months and provided clear evidence that the past performance of each horse, what is known as the ‘data footprint,’ can be used to assess risk. The ERQI system is designed to allow USEA members track and monitor risk in a tangible way. The USEA is committed to safety and this partnership with EquiRatings will ensure that in addition to a number of other initiatives, we are assessing what the performance data is telling us. By providing every horse with an ERQI, riders will have a visual indicator of risk at a specific level. Rider responsibility is a huge part of making eventing safer and the ERQI is another tool to make decisions easier for riders. One of the key advantages of the ERQI system is the removal of subjectivity from the assessment of risk.

5. How is the ERQI calculated?

The ERQI value is calculated using an algorithm to weight the previous faults accumulated by each horse in the cross-country phase. The ERQI algorithm also takes into account the other competitors in each division and then weights values attaching to the faults accordingly. It is based on the results data of every USEA event.

6. What else can I use the ERQI system for?

The ERQI system is not a tool suitable for assessing anything other risk at the specific level. It is not an indicator of likely success in the competition. Eventing is a sport of three phases. ERQI takes no account of either dressage or time penalties in any way. Many horses who compete in the red zone will not accumulate faults, however they are competing with a higher level of risk.

7. Do riders have an ERQI?

No, the ERQI only attaches to the horse profile. Many riders will compete on different horses and each horse has its own strengths, weaknesses, and risk profile.

8. How does the ERQI system work?

Every USEA registered horse who has competed in the last five years will be assigned an ERQI based on the analysis of performance results from the last 10 years. ERQIs are generated using the results supplied by USEA to EquiRatings. EquiRatings’ algorithms assign values to every outcome in the cross-country phase. The ERQI value also takes into account the level at which a horse is competing, and the level of performance displayed by all of those who competed in the same class. For example, if a high percentage of riders jumped clear at a particular event, cross-country faults would affect the ERQI more than on a day when a high percentage of combinations had faults. In this regard, the ERQI can react to whether a competition was statistically harder or easier than the average for that level of competition.

9. What do the ERQI colors mean?

The ERQI is a number between 0 and 1 and is a statistical indicator of risk in the cross-country phase, based on the previous results of that horse. In 2018, USEA will display this probability in groupings and by color code (green, yellow, amber, and red). A number of other displays will be investigated over the coming year. The same horse will have a different level of risk at each level of competition. Each color represents the grouping of risk which the horse falls into.

Green: Horse's form currently falls within the normal risk category.

Yellow: Horse's form currently falls within the medium risk category.

Amber: Horse's form currently falls within the above average risk category.

Red: Horse's form currently falls within the highest risk category.

10. If a horse has an Amber or Red ERQI does that mean I can’t compete him at that level?

ERQI is being used solely as an advisory tool in 2018. The USEA has no requirement for a horse to have a green ERQI to enter an event at the level in question. The ERQI should be treated as a guideline and the USEA strongly recommends that riders use ERQI and all the other tools at your disposal to make safe and informed decisions.

11. How often is the ERQI updated?

ERQIs are updated weekly as results are submitted by the USEA to EquiRatings.

12. What is the ERQI for a horse who has never competed?

Data from a wide sample of USEA results gives a statistical baseline for new horses, therefore a horse will have an ERQI after its first results are posted. As additional results are posted and calculated, the specific horse’s ERQI becomes more personalized and accurate.

13. Where do I find my horse’s ERQI?

All associated horses (those you are listed as rider and/or owner) will be listed in USEA Online Services, https://services.useventing.com/services/login.aspx. Once logged in, click on “My Related Horses” in the Horses section of the home screen dashboard.

14. A horse I am competing doesn’t show up on my profile. How do I check his ERQI?

At this time, only USEA Online Services accounts associated with a horse can view the ERQI. You will need to add yourself as a rider or owner to the horse’s record to make this available to you. This addition may require contacting the owner to make the change or submitting a change of owner request with proper bill of sale documentation.

15. I had to retire my horse on cross-country due to lameness, will this affect his ERQI?

The ERQI system will assess the faults incurred before retiring, the same applies in the case of a technical elimination. Retiring and technical eliminations by themselves will be treated like a withdrawal (as if no cross-country jump faults have been incurred) and will not affect the ERQI rating.

16. I missed a fence but didn’t have other faults, what happens to my rating?

From 2018, the objective Is that only jumping faults incurred will affect the rating. Retiring without penalties or technical elimination should not affect your rating. Please ensure that your results have been recorded accurately and report any queries regarding your results to the scorers or the USEA within the allowed time.

17. How many competitions do I have to complete to improve my horse’s ERQI?

The ERQI is an indicator of risk and every run has an effect on a horse’s ERQI. In that regard, it is always moving. Positive outcomes such as clear rounds, ensure that the ERQI is moving upwards. Negative outcomes such as jumping penalties, refusals, and falls will move the ERQI downwards. The amount by which ERQI moves each time is dependant on the strength of the competition, calculated with reference to the other horses in the division and the overall outcome of the cross-country. In this regard, it is difficult to answer the question of ‘how many clears are required to move into each new category?’. It depends on the level, and the strength of each competition.

18. My horse has been clear jumping in his last three competition, why does he have an amber rating?

The ERQI takes into account the entire data footprint of the horse, not just the last three competitions. It also takes into account any jumping fault, at any level. An amber rating may not be because the horse has done anything wrong, simply that there is not enough data yet to move up to green. When a horse moves to a new level of competition it is normal to start on amber and then move closer to green with clear rounds.

19. My horse is a cross-country superstar, how is his rating amber?

The ERQI system is about guiding decision-makers on high-level risk overview. Each of us know from experience that even horses with a long run of clear rounds can be displaying signs of risk to an expert eye, while a horse with less experience, and maybe a learning mistake or two, could in fact be a lower risk horse. We accept that every clear round is not perfect, however, we can only manage what we can measure and in designing a system for the entire country, and indeed around the world, we have to be guided by evidence of the analysis. Horses with fewer clear rounds present higher risk, horses with more penalties present higher risk, and horses with higher numbers of clear rounds present lower risk. There are, and always will be exceptions, and you may well be one of those exceptions, but to design a system, we advise based on the global and national population, not the exceptions.

20. Why is my horse's Preliminary rating a lot lower than his CIC1* rating?

It is intuitively confusing, but the difference in risk between a national one star (Preliminary) and an international one star is statistically vast. How could two courses of the same technicality, size and conditions produce such varying levels of risk? The reasoning behind this global trend has some theories, but nothing conclusive from within the current data available. The answer will hopefully be derived from longer term analysis as the datasets grow, but for now, the ERQI is coded based on the evidence which shows a disparity in risk.

20. I’m not qualified for CIC2*, why do I have a rating for it?

The ERQI works independently of qualification systems, which tend to vary from one federation to another. The rating beings at a neutral point for all levels and then starts to adjust as the data footprint evolves. If a horse has not produced any data to lower the rating (jumping faults, any level) then it will only improve from a risk-neutral position. The system does not make assumptions that a horse will be higher or lower risk than normal, it waits for the data footprint to drive the rating.

21. My rating was green but I fell, what happened?

The ERQI is a risk management guidance tool based on available data. Horses with a successful data footprint (previous clear rounds) are still exposed to a level of risk. A green ERQI is not telling you that you will jump clear, it is telling you that based on your previous performances, you hold less risk at the level.

22. The ratings said I would fall, but I went clear. Surely it was wrong?

The ERQI never says anyone will fall. In the same way as nobody is guaranteed to win, nobody is guaranteed to fall. The ERQI measures risk. There is no category of horse at any level that even comes close to having a 50:50 chance of falling. But, if the average horse fall rate is 1 in 200, the horses with a 1 in 100 and 1 in 50 likelihood of falling are carrying twice and four times the average level of risk.

23. My trainer says I’m ready, but my rating is still amber . . . why?

We don’t have expert eyes on the ground. We work with performance data and create a metric based on every piece of evidence which can be uniform, fair and measurable. That comes in the form of performance results. The ERQI rating is an objective measurement performed using algorithms; just as with sportsbooks and risk analysis in the financial and investment sectors, the algorithms won’t always predict every outcome in every individual case. These forecasting tools are used to allow federations and now riders, understand and manage risk more efficiently and effectively.

24. I have more questions, who do I contact?

For technical questions about the ERQI system (can’t find my horse’s ERQI, etc.) please contact [email protected].

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