USA Today Sports/Reuters
AT ROYAL Ascot it can be hard to see the horses for the hats. Still, during this annual horse-racing event in the UK – which took place last week – the world’s top thoroughbreds and riders compete for a prize pot that this year totalled more than £6.5 million.
It’s a dangerous sport. More than 150 of the UK’s 14,000 racehorses are killed each year and thousands more are injured. Many deaths are due to overexertion or fractures that result in a horse being put down. A device that monitors a horse’s well-being during a race could help reduce fatalities.
The Equimètre, made by start-up Arioneo in Paris, France, fits into the girth – a strap around a horse’s middle that keeps the saddle on – and records data such as heart and respiratory rate, plus acceleration and speed. It also monitors conditions such as humidity. The Equimètre then compares the stats with past performances.
“This tool will give trainers information they don’t have today,” says Arioneo co-founder Valentin Rapin. “It can prevent overtraining.” The device could also catch common injuries such as inflamed shins, which can cause stress fractures. “The early detection of problems can only improve diagnosis,” says Hervé Moreau, a horse vet based in La Ferté-Saint-Cyr, France.
This article appeared in print under the headline “Wearable tech for racehorses can prevent injuries”
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