Horse sports make use of new technology
|Horse sports make use of new technology - 30th Mar 2012|
Increasingly athletes and coaches in all sports are making use of emerging technologies to give themselves an edge. In the cross country phase of Eventing penalties apply for too fast or too slow, meaning a better informed rider has an obvious advantage.
Event riders currently measure out the distance they have to travel while they walk the course. They calculate where they have to be at each minute interval in order to be travelling at their desired speed. Speedcheck does this for the rider. They simply set the required speed and the app calculates it for them.
Speedcheck is the brainchild of Brisbane based company Nominate. Founding Director Lloyd Raleigh believes it also has the potential to improve the safety of the sport for riders still honing their skills.
"Many young riders have no idea what speed they are supposed to be going and just go as fast as they can. This approach is simply not safe, with many accidents in equestrian sports being attributable to excess speed. With this app, they can gauge the speed required for a safe round at any level. It's also great for professionals who want to record and playback their rounds," Mr Raleigh said.
It offers professional riders the opportunity to better analyse their performance course by course, round by round, horse by horse – paving the way for improving training regimes and performance.
The Speedcheck app measures the speed as the rider travels and has a built in GPS. The equivalent in a sports watch is likely to set a rider back a minimum of $400 dollars. For less than the cost of a takeaway pizza, the phone app is affordable for everyone from elite athletes to pony club riders.
Mr Raleigh believes apps in sport will be the way of the future.
"The internet was the big thing 10 years ago, but the ability to combine the internet with satellite technology and package it all together in a phone has made the smart phone a must have item all around the world," he said.
Similar apps already exist in other sports like cycling, skiing and running. But none have the features which are specific to equestrian sports. In horseracing, GPS systems are being used but cost $4,000 and upwards per unit.
There are around 6,000 active event riders registered with Equestrian Australia. That market is approximately 25,000 in the USA, with similar figures estimated for Europe.
Speedcheck will be officially launched at the Albury Wodonga International Horse Trials Event on Saturday 24 March.
For more information go to www.competeeasy.com/speedcheck
Twelve years ago the horse competition entry process was dramatically improved by Nominate. The team pioneered the new internet technology taking entry forms from a manual to a digital process. Putting the nomination process online allowed for automation of payments, stable bookings and draw creation. It reduced the leg work for competitors and event organisers alike.
In its first year in business Nominate processed 800 entries in Equestrian. Last year it processed 63,000 entries in Equestrian, Motorcycling, Kart Racing and Sailing. In 2011 Nominate teamed up with Horse Deals Magazine to allow riders to nominate for event and browse the classifieds. Other ventures include www.subscribeonline.com.au which processes memberships for magazines and sporting clubs.