While I was out at the 41st annual Whidbey Island Horse Trials, I snagged one of their handy dandy show programs from the office. It had the typical sponsorship listings, schedules, food menus, and cross country maps… but it also had a list of every participating horse and rider, including some cool statistics like the horse’s color, sex, year of birth, breed, and height.
Of course, my innate sense of curiosity demanded that I be able to suss out any trends in the data, so I spent a couple of afternoons painstakingly entering all of the info into an Excel spreadsheet so that I could sort, manipulate, and display the data in a more approachable format.
Without further ado, here’s what I found out:
299 total entries
Push the Button
The Bear King
Top 6 Horse Breeds
- Thoroughbred — 117 horses, 39.1%
- Hanoverian — 18 horses, 6.0%
- Oldenburg — 16 horses, 5.4%
- Holsteiner — 13 horses, 4.4%
- Connemara — 11 horses, 3.7%
- Dutch Warmblood — 11 horses, 3.7%
# Horses by Birth Year
% Horses by Height
Fun fact: 52.2% were some variation of bay or brown.
Pile all of that data together and this tiny sample says that the quintessential eventing horse is a 7 to 12 year old dark bay/brown Thoroughbred gelding that measures somewhere between 16 and 16.3 hands high. AND LO AND BEHOLD, GUESS WHAT I JUST BOUGHT?