There are always new and innovative technologies that are introduced to the world of sports – and none more so than horse racing. There is now technology used in training techniques and training equipment, but the use of tech keeps on growing. In fact, some are even now using a biomechanical sensor, attached to the horse’s leg, which can monitor its movement, providing data on its stride length, gait and general fitness level.
When you see the implementation of such devices, you start to realise how much the industry has changed and how much it will continue to change in the future.
From high-end video technology to fitbits for horses, the horse racing industry has embraced all different technological advances that are changing the sport. Here, we will be looking at the most exciting new innovations and how they are game changers.
Sensors and Data Analytics
Two of the most exciting innovations are sensors and data analytics. Data analytics collects and analyses large sets of data to provide insights and help to make better decisions. Getting information is essential for everyone, from those looking to bet on Grand National horses to those looking to train and ride the horses.
These analytics can help to optimise training programs, detect early any health problems and make better decisions when choosing which races should be entered. They can use wearable technology and biometric measurement tools to monitor the animal’s vital signs and check their performance during training sessions and races.
This can help a trainer identify any signs of injury, fatigue or any other physical problem. In turn, this can help them to adjust strategies and training plans.
Then we have biomechanical sensors, which can track the horse’s movements and provide information on its stride length, gait and overall fitness levels. This information can also help trainers to optimise a training program, put together a better race strategy and ensure that the horse is in the best physical condition possible for its races.
There are a number of different types of sensors available, each having a unique purpose.
First, there is the heart rate monitor which can track the cardiovascular fitness of a horse during its training session. Then there are GPS trackers that can monitor the speed of the horse and its placement during a competition.
These measurements have numerous benefits for horses, including earlier detection of any possible health issues, monitoring the effectiveness of training and improving the horse’s health and well-being. It can mean the horse gets enough rest and recovery and reduces the risk of overtraining and injuries.
In addition, biometric measurements can help to track changes in the body composition of a racehorse – which means that a trainer can adjust the nutrition and exercise routines accordingly for optimal performance.
The Best Tech Products
Here are some of the best wearable and biometric sensors currently used in the sport:
- Polar Equine H10 Heart Rate Monitor: This is a wearable heart rate monitor which can track the horse’s heart rate as it exercises, giving real-time information to its trainers and owners
- E-Trakka System: This is attached to the horse’s saddle cloth and can record the horse’s ECG/ heart rate, stride length and sectional times. It uploads this data to the cloud automatically
- Nightwatch: This is a wearable device which monitors a horse’s vital signs such as respiratory rate, heart rate and movements etc. It can alert trainers and owners if a horse is in distress or if there are any abnormalities
- Holy Stone HS720 Foldable GPS Drone: This is a 4K UHD camera which provides high-quality aerial imagery, helping a trainer to analyse the horse’s stride, gait and form
- Horseware Ice-Vibe Boots: These are boots that combine massage therapy and cold to help reduce swelling and inflammation after intense exercise
- Hylofit: Another wearable sensor which monitors a horse’s heart rate and movement which can help the trainer monitor the training progress and overall fitness
- GoPro HERO11: A GoPro is a camera that can be put on a jockey’s helmet to record race footage, giving trainers real-time visuals of the race
Ultimately, technology means that horses can stay safer and train optimally, meaning that they are in the best form possible for race day, which is better for everyone.