Horse racing first started out in the mid-1650s… and it has come a long way since then. As is the case with many sports these days, horse racing has become highly dependent on the use of technology, making it better than ever.
There are many ways in which technology has transformed the sport – from the nutrition and training of horses and jockeys to the way fans can watch it and bet on it. Here are some of the ways in which horse racing has benefited from technology.
The Photo Finish
Sometimes the finish of a race can be a lot closer than you’d want it to be… so close that it’s difficult to distinguish exactly who won with the naked eye. A lot of money is involved in the sport, not just riders, owners and trainers, but punters. Punters want to know that they will be paid out if their horse wins, even if it is just by a whisker!
Photo finishes were introduced in the 1930s and have been used ever since – although the technology has improved. There is no longer the need to wait for a photo to physically be developed, which could take a long time.
New, hi-tech and sophisticated technology provides an instant answer, making it better for everyone involved.
Live and Mobile Betting
Ever since horse racing began, people have loved betting on the spectacle. However, these days, advanced technology means that we don’t have to head over to the tracks or bookies any more, we can place bets from anywhere we like with mobile betting technology.
So, if you’re getting ready for the upcoming Irish Grand National 2023 betting, you won’t need to wait in line at the bookies or head over to the tracks. Whether you’re watching the race from your local or chilling out at home, you can bet from anywhere.
Live betting is also one of the more recent additions, which means that you can place your bet even after it has started. Live streaming also means that you can follow your bet as it happens.
Better Safety Measures
One of the biggest criticisms thrown at the sport of horse racing is the safety of jockeys and horses. As such, it is essential to make it as safe as possible for all involved.
Although they have introduced measures such as making the track fences brightly coloured and giving the tracks a more simplistic design, which has helped dramatically, they also use technology to improve the safety of those involved.
The implementation of thermal imaging cameras, for example, is vital for a horse’s well-being as it can see whether the horse is overheating after having run a tough, demanding and long race.
This has been an ongoing problem in the past, but now vets can regularly check a horse’s temperature after every race and take action if and when needed.
In addition, those in the industry now also use technologically advanced medical equipment similar to that used on humans. This can help to diagnose injuries and illnesses a lot quicker. Vets often use MRI scanners, endoscopes and X-Rays.
Better Access to Data
Horse racing is one of those sports that is very much data-driven. In order to improve performance and chances of success, trainers, fans and punters are always trying to obtain as much information as possible. As well as the horse’s previous form, people also want to know data on the predicted weather, track conditions, shape and distance of the race track and more.
Using technology, there are now many companies that can provide all this essential information. This includes very important tracking equipment, which works in a similar way to human fitness trackers.
There is also a device that is used to assess the condition of the track, which also comes in useful, as some horses perform much better in certain conditions. There are those that seem to do well on sloppier tracks, whilst others perform better on a hard surface.