Ever felt like you were clearing the wings and wondered just how much height your horse gave that fence?
Well competitors at the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping final in Gothenburg, Sweden, (23-28 March) will be able to find out.
Chalmers University of Technology, which is also in Sweden, has developed a “smart fence” for the show.
Equipped with sensors that register the distance between the pole and the horse’s hooves, the results will be displayed to the audience during the competition.
“Our vision is that the technology developed will be used as a training tool [in the future] to find the most effective way of jumping,” said a statement from the university.
A group of eight students from seven different courses at Chalmers came up with the fence, which won a design competition at the university.
They worked to find materials that were light, without making it prone to fall, making sure the sensors register the “correct” data — the horse’s legs, not its tail.
They also had to make sure the wireless data transfer did not interfere with other technology at the equestrian centre.
Who is in the final?
Laura Renwick, the sole British competitor at this year’s final, rides the 10-year-old gelding Bintang II.
The pair secured their place with a double clear at the Bordeaux qualifier in February, where they finished sixth.
The Brit is up against 37 combinations from 18 nations, including Ireland’s Denis Lynch and reigning champion Steve Guerdat from Switzerland.
A number of other past winners are also hoping to reclaim the crown.
The 2011 victor Christian Ahlmann from Germany is on the list as is 2012 champion US rider Rich Fellers and 2014 title holder German rider Daniel Deusser.
World number one Simon Delestre from France will also have his sights set on the title.