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The result – the Fairfax Girth – was later called ‘Team GBR’s secret weapon’ by Horse & Hound magazine, following their success at the Games.

Researchers tested a large number of girths on a variety of horses using Pliance pressure mapping technology and gait analysis to identify the exact location of high-pressure zones and demonstrate the performance improvements when girth pressure is removed.
Fairfax Girth Flatwork Diagram
Fairfax Girth Jump Diagram

The scientific research proved:

  1. Peak girth pressure is behind the elbow, not on the sternum
  2. On the flat, peak pressure consistently occurs at the same point in the stride (where one leg is extended and the other is vertical in contact with the ground).
  3. When jumping peak pressure is on landing.
  4. The Fairfax girth reduces peak pressure dramatically (up to 82*)
  5. In the Fairfax girth design, pressure is NOT transferred to the back edge of the girth
  6. Reducing pressure behind the elbow improves performance by improving:
    • Forelimb extension
    • Knee & hock flexion
    • Gait symmetry

Performance through Science

The research was peer-reviewed for publication in the Veterinary Journal 198-1 (2013) 92-97 and selected for presentation at the BEVA congress in 2012

Fairfax Girth Annotated