Eighth Thoroughbred Owner Conference Session Highlights Uses for Biomechanics Data for Selecting Racehorses

October 7, 2021

LEINGTON, Ky. – Biomechanics experts joined the eighth session of the Thoroughbred Owner Conference series on Tuesday, October 5, to talk about how the science of biomechanics can be used to identify top racehorses. The conference series is hosted by The Jockey Club and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and presented by Bessemer Trust, Dean Dorton Equine, Stoll Keenon Ogden, and Stonestreet Farm.

Television analyst Caton Bredar moderated the panel that included Jeff Seder, president and chief executive officer of Equine Biomechanics & Exercise Physiology Inc. (EQB), and Suzanne Smallwood, president and chief analyst of EQUIX. The session was sponsored by Sackatoga Stable, Silver Springs Stud, and WinStar.

Smallwood and Seder talked about how biomechanics involves analysis of various physical aspects of a horse, from its organ function to stride balance at racing speeds, and that they all can affect its speed and soundness. They noted that they are looking to identify subsets of horses that come from groups that have already been selected by horsemen as having potential.

Biomechanics graphic courtesy of EQB. 

Seder shared a video of different horses that were breezing at a 2-year-old sale that pointed out the biomechanics deficiencies that can be spotted using slow-motion videos. He showed how data recorded from horses in motion can be displayed in graphical form and emphasized that EQB uses an enormous amount of historical data to effectively analyze the potential of a horse being evaluated in the present.

“We start with really good horsemen, and then we put an overlay of technology on that,” said Seder.

Smallwood’s team at EQUIX takes physical measurements of yearlings based on proven data models to predict a horse’s growth patterns, racing potential, and overall efficiency. She discussed the different physical measurements, how they can affect a horse’s performance, and examples of top racehorses and stallions that fit EQUIX’s metrics for success.

“You’re still learning all of the time with the biomechanics,” she said.

The next session of the series, “Breeding to Win,” will be held on Tuesday, November 2, at 2 p.m. ET. It is sponsored by Centennial Farms and Equilume Performance Lighting.

All sessions will be recorded and made available to registered guests. There is no registration fee for the live or recorded virtual conference series, but registration is required. Registration information and schedules are available at ownerview.com/event/conference or by contacting Gary Falter at gfalter@jockeyclub.com.

For info on the Best Breeders’ Cup Seminar click HERE

The Jockey Club Press Release

Photo of Suzanne Smallwood courtesy of EQUIX. Photo of Jeff Seder courtesy of Jeff Seder, EQB.

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