Horse Racing Adapts to Using New Technology


LEXINGTON, Ky. – Technology has become a necessity in most people’s daily lives, and many industries, including sports, have benefited from technology as well.


What You Need To Know

  • Measures improve safety for horse and jockey
  • Online betting is more convenient than in-person betting
  • Less controversy around photo finishes with new sensors
  • Improved data can be used to better predict odds

The way athletes train, spectators watch, and referees officiate has all changed because of technology. Horse racing is one sport that has been slow to adapt to using technology but has recently incorporated it more while still adhering to many of its traditions.

A few ways technology in horse racing has changed in recent years include aiding in safety, mobile sports betting, photo finishes, and improving data, according to an article by industry expert Jon Stettin from Past The Wire

“Technology now plays a hugely important role in horse racing,” Stettin said. “As more innovative ideas enter the sport, we can expect to see horse racing become an even safer sport for both the horse and jockey.”

SAFETY

A horse overheating after a hard-run race has long been a big risk to their health and safety. Using the technology of thermal imaging cameras, vets can accurately and regularly check the temperature of horses after a race and take action to cool them down before it becomes a serious issue, Stettin said.

Medical equipment similar to that used on humans, including MRI scanners, X-rays, and endoscopes can also help diagnose injuries and diseases earlier and faster.

Combining all of its efforts, the British Horseracing Authority has been able to reduce equine fatalities by around 30 percent in the past few years, according to Stettin’s column. 

MOBILE SPORTS BETTING

Wagering has always been a part of horse racing, and some people see it as part of the experience of visiting the track.  

“For more than a century, betting at races would be done at the track with totes and bookmakers that advertised the odds for each horse on a board. Transactions would be handled in cash, and there’d be a scrum among racegoers as they made sure they got their bets placed on time,” Stettin said. “While this type of betting still takes place, technology has added new ways for people to place wagers on horse races. Mobile betting can be done at the track or from anywhere else, making it much more convenient.” 

It also means customers can more easily compare odds, pay with their debit cards, and keep track of all their betting slips, he said. 

Many larger brands also offer other products, such as the option to play online casino games, take part in lotteries, and even bet on esports, creating a better experience for customers.

PHOTO FINISHES

Horse racing is a sport that throws up many close finishes that can make it incredibly difficult to…



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