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  • Samantha Hamilton

Biometric Analysis In Equine Sports: A Growing Field Of Innovation




Having been domesticated thousands of years ago, horses have an integral place in human cultures across the world. Given that the primary utility of a horse was the increase in speed that it afforded to mankind and the drive of human selection to breed our domesticate species to emphasise their most useful traits, it was natural that equine sports would arise. These, of course, were centred on the speed of the animals from the very earliest days, which continues today. The highly competitive nature of sports pushes the optimisation of horse performance beyond that of nearly any other domesticated species. This goes for breeding but also for the optimisation of training.

The advent of computing has brought significant advancements in medical technology. Many devices and processes have been developed that enable medical professionals to monitor various physiological markers of health in their patients. Additionally, computing has allowed more complex data storage and analysis of biometric data, allowing competent professionals to identify more relationships between specific underlying physiological factors and overall health.

These technologies have already begun to find applications in equine sports. Some biometric analysis takes the form of recording physiological change over weeks and months of training to assess the health of an equine athlete. However, these are still highly specific to each trainer and currently beyond the scope of public discussion. But there is a growing market for shorter-term biometric data collection hardware for equine sports, particularly in the form of heart rate monitors and other similar forms of data collection during training exercises. These are paired with analysis software to compare performance over time and between specific training protocols. Companies such as Arioneo already offer these services to horse trainers, but the market is still growing and open to innovation. In particular, the size of monitors may still require further reduction in most cases in order to optimally reduce the weight and impact on the range of motion that any attachments to an equine athlete have, this may bring performance more in line with race conditions.

This area has a significant opportunity to appreciably improve the standards of the industry with closer analysis and more bespoke adaptation of regimes to the circumstances of each equine athlete. At Minerva Innovation Group, we have already helped to provide R&D tax claims for several horse trainers employing biometric analysis in the appreciable improvement of their training protocols. The specific application of biometrics to the conditions of a single yard may present an opportunity to contribute to a potential R&D tax claim.

Many horse trainers may not be aware that they qualify for R&D tax credits, and any potential for innovation is worth exploring.

If you, or anyone you know, want to discuss our R&D tax and/or R&D grants services in more detail, please contact us via info@minervainnovation.co.uk or 0141 378 4969!

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