Measurement of Racetrack Surface Using Instrumented Horseshoes

The University of Melbourne

  • Project code: PRJ-006479

  • Project stage: Closed

  • Project start date: Monday, August 1, 2011

  • Project completion date: Saturday, June 1, 2013

  • National Priority: HOR-Thoroughbred diseases and parasites


Recently developed, novel instrumented horseshoes will be used to measure quantitatively, the interaction between the hoof and track surface in racing Thoroughbred horses. Using measurements from different track surfaces, under different conditions, we will identify track parameters which most affect hoof biomechanics. Conversely, we will identify the aspects of hoof biomechanics which limit performance or which lead more readily to injury or breakdown. This data will form the basis for improving the methods that are used to classify training and racing track surfaces in the Thoroughbred racing industry and will complement ongoing work in this laboratory to identify ways of preventing breakdown and improving performance in Thoroughbred racehorses.


Thoroughbred Horses

Research Organisation

The University of Melbourne

Objective Summary

Measure hoof biomechanical parameters on different tracks under varying conditions;
Relate hoof biomechanical parameters to existing methods of track surface measurement;
Identify any parameters of hoof biomechanical performance which are not well-predicted by existing methods of track surface measurement; and
Recommend alternate measures of track surface measurement which may account for the observed variations in hoof biomechanics.