At its heart, the sport of horse racing has remained more or less the same since its inception.
A group of horse owners want to see which horse is the fastest, so they decide to race each other. They hire some people to get the horses into top condition, and then they hire some other people to ride the horses. The horses race around a track for a predetermined distance and a winner is declared.
However, the technology that has advanced along the way has changed the game for the better. More advanced timers have allowed races to be timed to a fourth of a second, then to a fifth, and finally to a hundredth. Tote boards have allowed bettors to track changes in odds in real-time. Medical advances have greatly reduced catastrophic outcomes for horses and jockeys alike, and enhanced drug detection capabilities have made great strides toward reducing the amount of cheating that goes on behind the scenes.
What are some up-and-coming technological improvements that are set to bring the Sport of Kings to the next level?
Though these technological advances may not be the flashiest or the most obvious, advances in safety are obviously key for keeping the sport- and its participants- alive and well.
Although a horse’s riding equipment, called tack, may not look much different than it did a century ago in the eyes of a lay fan, it has undergone several significant advances in recent times. Modern materials are more lightweight than traditional leather, meaning that a horse can travel faster while under less strain. Stirrups, which are the jockey’s foothold in the saddle, are also now often designed to detach from the saddle in case of a fall, which keeps the jockey from becoming entangled in the horse’s legs.
Speaking of jockeys, their equipment has undergone a transformation as well. Helmets have evolved to give increased protection while becoming more comfortable and aerodynamic. Riding boots are now crafted with breathable materials, making it less likely for jockeys to overheat mid-race.
Other new advancements are geared toward predicting- and therefore preventing- catastrophic injuries in horses. Churchill Downs and Santa Anita Park, two of the most popular and prestigious racetracks in the United States, have each unveiled a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanner. These PET scans provide information on how a horse is standing up to the rigors of the sport at the cellular level, which can help trainers and veterinarians develop treatment plans for minor injuries and prevent them from becoming more problematic.
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Bringing Horse Racing To Everyone
Horse racing, a sport that is older than the United States itself, has happily embraced the digital age.
The advent of social media has helped expand horse racing. Through social media apps such as Facebook, X, and Instagram, racetracks are able to share clips and coverage of races almost instantaneously with more or less anyone in the world. They are also able to share human interest clips connected to the sport, such as photos and videos of the top older horse Cody’s Wish and his namesake. This helps spread positive engagement with the sport as a whole.
In addition, betting apps allow serious and casual bettors alike to engage with tracks around the world from the comfort of their own homes. Anyone with a mobile device can now stream races worldwide through apps such as TwinSpires.com, all while placing bets. You can find more information here: twinspires.com/betting-guides/what-do-horse-racing-odds-mean
Less experienced horseplayers can use the apps to get expert tips from professional handicappers, while those who are more seasoned can pore over Past Performances and statistics for each track, jockey, and trainer. Payouts are safely delivered to each user’s account as soon as race results are made official.