Have you ever considered the technology that goes into horse racing? Maybe you assumed there was none – or almost none. The horse runs around to track, eats the right stuff, and shows us what it’s made of once it’s on the track. That might have once been the way to do it, but a lot of racing horse trainers are looking for anything that gets them an edge and turning to technology for that edge. Take a look at some of the ways you might see technology get involved with horse racing below.
Nowadays, racehorses look more akin to Iron Man with the amount of tech they’re wearing. They can get wearables, much like your own Fitbit or Apple Watch that will analyse their health regularly. These sensors monitor a horse’s speed, gait, fatigue levels, and other metrics that all contribute to the strength and ability of the horse.
Additionally, telemetry analytics give details of a horse’s condition, including various factors in their fitness and health, so that trainers can optimise it into a trophy-worthy horse.
But the ability of the horses isn’t the only factor at play here. There is also the entertainment factor to think about. Spectators in the stands and watching at home want to be able to see every hoofbeat, every bead of sweat, getting them to that finish line. Lately, there has been a lot of experimentation with drone footage.
Drones can simultaneously get an overhead shot of all the action in a way that standing cameras can’t reach and can get close enough to the action to see everything going on, all with angles that cannot be replicated by standing cameras.
High speed cameras
Speaking of entertainment, what is more entertaining than the slow-motion shot? It’s entertaining in boxing when a punch lands just perfectly, it’s entertaining in football when a ball slides right past the goalie, and it’s entertaining in 32red horse racing when you can practically feel the hoofbeats through your TV screen. All of that is due to high-speed cameras that can help to analyse the horses on the track, including their gait, stride length, and racing style.
For breeders, technology plays a part as well. DNA analysis and genetic testing is a big factor in advancing horse racing in order to create the ideal horse. Genetic testing can ensure a racehorse has no inherited conditions so that it’s in better health for longer, avoid the genetic issues that bred dogs are known for, and ensure that a horse has the highest genetic markers for factors like cardiovascular efficiency, bone density, muscle composition, and metabolism.
In much the same way that a pilot might train for a flight or a race car driver might train for a race with a virtual reality setup, VR can be used to train jockeys. Jockeys use VR to replicate the race riding experience and build muscle memory so that they’re ready for the racetrack.
But all of this tech can also help out the bettors. If you’re looking to make a bet on a horse, it might interest you to know that the jockey is training with VR or the horse has genetic testing regularly done. You can access digital race programs to get detailed information on horses, jockeys, trainers and upcoming races.
The thing that will help bettors most, however, is predictive analysis. Algorithms can be developed that analyse the performance of the horse and jockey and generate predictions on the outcomes of races.
For a sport that is pretty grassroots and down to earth, there are actually a lot of ways that technology can get involved. It can create healthier, stronger horses, better training opportunities, and a more entertaining view for a more thrilling race.