RACES is the Research and Consultancy in Equine Surfaces, a world-leading collaboration at Myerscough College, working in partnership with Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Central Lancashire.The research team has established global standards for assessing the various ground surfaces used for equestrian events and their implications for performance, equine welfare and equity in competitions. The group has built one of only three biomechanical hoof rigs that simulates a horse landing on a surface in gallop in order to measure load and vertical and horizontal deceleration on impact, but has also, uniquely, developed a torque rig that measures rotational shear. Used in combination, these two instruments are capable of assessing any surface for factors such as firmness, responsiveness, cushioning, grip and uniformity. The International Federation of Equestrian Sports (FEI) has since adopted the team’s mechanical measurement techniques in its quality monitoring system for elite equestrian events worldwide, an endorsement that the team at Myerscough hopes will lead to improved elite horse welfare.


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