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Research Case studies

Gender and equestrian sport


Kate Dashper

Equestrian sport is unusual in that it is one of the few competitive sports in which men and women compete against each other on equal terms at all levels of competition, and so it offers an interesting site for exploring gender relations within sport and leisure. The initial part of this research project, funded by the journal Gender, Work and Organization, was a three-year ethnographic study focusing on professional equestrian sport and found that, despite the absence of formal gender segregation and barriers, men continue to perform disproportionately well at the elite levels of the sport. The second part of the study, funded by Leeds Beckett University, was a three year study of leisure equestrian subworlds, which are much more female-dominated and offer opportunities for women to engage in active physical cultures that challenge some traditional views of femininity and female physicality.

Research outputs

  • Dashper, K. (In press, 2013) Beyond the binary: Gender integration in equestrian sport. In M. Adelman and J. Knijik (eds.) Gender and equestrian sport. Springer.
  • Dashper, K. (2012) ‘Dressage is full of queens!’ Masculinity, sexuality and equestrian sport. Sociology. 46(6): 1109-1124.
  • Dashper, K. (2012) Together, yet still not equal? Sex integration in equestrian sport. Asia-Pacific Journal of Health, Sport and Physical Education. 3(3): 213-225.
  • Dashper, K. (2010) ‘It’s a form of freedom’: The experiences of people with disabilities within equestrian sport. Annals of Leisure Research. 13(1): 86-101.
Kate Dashper Equestrian

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