Panel Discusses Benefits of Wearable Technology


Just like the earth of day to day folks and skilled athletes, wearable technologies has begun to make inroads in Thoroughbred racing.

Speaking at the 10th Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit at Keeneland June 22, the panelists see numerous of the very same applications of this sort of technological know-how and the data it creates that men and women practical experience from a myriad of devices these kinds of as Fitbits, Oura rings, and Apple Watches. Now they want to see it applied to assist continue to keep horses healthy but also crank out revenue for the business.

Dr. Scott Palmer, the clinical director for the New York Condition Gaming Fee, thinks utilizing this sort of technology will allow stakeholders to get a improved perspective of what places horses at greater chance of damage and perform toward preventative actions. 

One this sort of products, StrideSafe, employs a colour-coded system—green, yellow, and red—to demonstrate when the horse is transferring from their person median. The pink symbolizes when a thing wants to be looked at additional. The bigger the deviation into the crimson, the even worse it may possibly be. The coloration procedure is intended to make it a lot easier for less tech-inclined end users.

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All through a exam research at Saratoga Race Program previous 12 months, a horse ran next in a race however his readings ended up in the pink. Only following the cooldown interval did he come up lame. After being transported again to the steady for assessment, a fracture was found out.

“These sensors are useful and scalable for screening products. They are not diagnostic tools, but they are screening gadgets that can detect … some sort of lameness,” Palmer mentioned. “None of these horses were lame prior to the race, definitely, they wouldn’t have been allowed to operate, but we had been in a position to see points come about through the race.”

Palmer thinks the implementation of the Horseracing Integrity and Security Authority up coming thirty day period may perhaps accelerate the use of wearable engineering for the reason that of the concentrate on lessening injuries.

But how a great deal details is plenty of facts?

Whole Performance Details CEO Will Duff Gordon wants all of the information obtainable.

“You want to have each and every horse in every race, giving the same information so that you have bought a dependable set of overall performance information to decide each horse in opposition to when you might be evaluating who’s going to run very well, poorly, or sort a basic safety web,” he mentioned.

Panel moderator Joe Appelbaum, who is president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Affiliation, applied the comparison to baseball which experienced research exhibiting performance efficiency was related to harm avoidance.

Palmer stated, “I’m assured that we are going to find out issues from this engineering that’s likely to help us in conditions of not just trainers producing individual decisions, but racetracks, carding races, and scheduling races.”

Unlike specialist sports this sort of as football and baseball, obtain to that facts belongs to an personal. Allowing it to be shared with 3rd get-togethers will come at a financial charge much larger than in horse racing.

In the Countrywide Hockey League, for example, it had to be collectively bargained among the league and the players’ union to allow for trackers in jerseys so broadcasters could see how quickly players ended up skating.

Gordon explained this sort of technological innovation can at this time be uncovered at 20 tracks in the United States and 80 around the world, with designs to scale up to 100 by the stop of the year. However, the tradeoff is that the technique requirements to be attainable. If only a minimal quantity of tracks can pay for this kind of a procedure, as a result restricting the selection of horses who can provide details, what benefit does it give?

Yet another factor is obtaining info scientists who, making use of committed laptop packages, are equipped to decipher what the information and facts implies. Gordon believes horse racing is “truly at the forefront when it will come to functioning with these huge facts sets.”

Beyond serving to with the welfare of horses, it also gets to be a tool for these wagering on the sport. The info will give bettors the likelihood to not necessarily wager on who wins, but who is the fastest for a section of the race as well as other non-conventional disorders.

Citing how football and soccer teams are investing in staff members to crunch the figures and decipher what they mean for sports betting, Gordon thinks horse trainers are moving in the right route and will have to come across a way to afford to pay for that further wage for anyone to breakdown the information and facts delivered by horses outfitted with wearable tech. 


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