Changing times for endurance

  • Global Positioning Systems (GPS) could revolutionise endurance riding andsignal the end of the days of the lone battle against the elements.

    Researchers have harnessed satellite technology to monitor each competitor’s exact position on the track.

    More crucially, information on the horse, such as speed and pulse rate, can also be checked second by second, which could prove useful for vets and officials in wake of the problems at the World Equestrian Games in Jerez.

    The system was piloted for the first time in the UK last season by a team from BritishTelecom at the Hilton Herbs Alfred’s Tower ride.

    John Hudson, chairman of Endurance GB and organiser of the Alfred’s Tower Ride, says: “Last year, we trialled a GPS tracking system, based on a solution provided by BT for the Volvo Round the World Yacht Race. While BT is no longer operating in this market, I’m convinced that a good system would add greatly to spectators’ enjoyment, as they would be able to view riding positions and speeds in real time.

    “If it were possible for the technology to be linked to start, finish and vetgate timings as well, it would also significantly assist with event administration.”

    Read the full story in this week’s Horse & Hound (22 May), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.

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