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How Technology Has Impacted Horse Racing

Horse racing has been around for centuries. It’s one of the oldest sports in the world and it is
still going strong today, propped up by massive betting interest. The prize money in horse racing at some of the biggest meetings is staggering.

How Technology Has Impacted Horse Racing


Huge horse racing festivals around the world, like Royal Ascot and the Cheltenham Festival
in the UK, continue to headline sporting calendars. Individual races like the Dubai World Cup, Kentucky Derby and Melbourne Cup all generate a great betting interest, as evidenced by the information provided by the source.

It’s a massive global sport and on the surface it is one that doesn’t look as if it has changed much from its early days. But when you take a closer look there have been major changes in modern horse racing and the bulk of it has come through the addition and inclusion of technology.

Data Analysis Integration
The influence of technology is not generally seen by racing enthusiasts. It’s usually a lot more subtle than that, working away behind the scenes in areas like data analysis.

This is not exclusive to horse racing, of course, it’s the same with any major sport you can think of. Technology is used to track everything from fitness, diet, speed and even the bloodlines of horses for genetic traits. The purpose is to try and extract every ounce of advantage possible.

Trainers will use the available data to try and pull out an extra 1,000 of a second from their charges. Data analysis covering everything from race history and conditions can all have a big impact on what races horses are entered for, as well as coming up with highly specific, targeted training plans for specific races.

Training is everything in horse racing. It is the job of the trainer and their support team to get horses in the best shape possible. Understanding the biomechanics of a horse can help tweak things and make positive changes to a horse’s regimen.

For example, it could be trying to sharpen up a horse’s irregular gait by analyzing it and then targeting certain exercises to correct it. This is where technology really comes into its own because horses are not just sent out for gallops and speed work randomly.

Everything has a purpose and technology can dictate exactly what happens to the horse and when. It’s employed to assess current stamina levels and speed meaning that it is jockey, animal and machine all in perfect harmony.

How Technology Has Impacted Horse Racing 1

Riding Equipment

Another area where technology has come into horse racing has been in the gear. Health and safety are top of the list here and understanding and testing different designs of materials and structures for helmets for example, has boosted jockey safety.

Saddles also have to fit perfectly for a horse as well, with better, stronger designs coming along. The equipment itself that is used to track data has gone through revolutionary advances.

Impact tracking, heart rate and speed come from systems and sensors integrated into the equipment. But it is not only the horses that are tracked. Jockeys have to be in top physical shape too. Monitoring everything through AI analysis, gives the trainers tremendous feedback.

Photo Finishes
Everyone loves a nail-biting tense climax to a horse race. When at least two horses can’t be separated by the naked eye, photo finish technology, which was first introduced in the 1930s, has to step in.

Photo finishes used to be decided by an actual photograph taken with film. That naturally took some time to be developed and then presented to the judges. Nowadays, the process is digital, using sensors at the finish posts in most instances, to speed up the accurate final result.

Horse Racing Betting

Betting and horse racing go hand in hand. They have done so throughout history and horse racing betting is one of the biggest areas of the online betting sector. This is another area in which technology has helped revolutionize things.

Data analytics have gotten better and better in presenting more accurate odds to bettors and on faster platforms as well. Mobile betting apps have had a massive effect too as you can show up at a racecourse and not have to get involved in a crush to reach a trackside bookie.

You can just open a secure betting app and snap up the latest odds on your favoured selection. This is all possible due to the rapid advancement of technology.

It’s infiltrated so many areas of horse racing and sports that it’s barely noticeable, but it continues to improve every facet of the sport.

READ: Horse Racing in Nigeria: Is Nigeria missing out with lack of horse racing events?

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