With the Qatar Goodwood Festival just around the corner, Hartpury is helping to train the next generation of jockeys after investing in the very latest hi-tech horseracing simulator.
The specialist institution – the largest equine educational establishment in the world – has installed a £44,000 Racewood MK10 Racing Simulator to further enhance its exceptional range of world-class facilities.
The hi-tech equipment enables students and their instructors to analyse in detail various aspects of a rider’s performance in real time, to help develop technique and race strategy.
The simulator includes software that enables riders to gain experience ‘riding’ around simulated versions of world-famous racetracks.
The technology will support Hartpury’s two horseracing courses – BSc (Hons) Racehorse Performance and Rehabilitation and BA (Hons) International Horseracing Business – as well as enabling research into rider performance by Hartpury staff and students.
The simulator increases an already extensive range of hi-tech equipment at the Equine Centre, including a £90,000 Racewood Eventing simulator currently used by students, local riding groups and elite riders recovering from injury.
The MK10’s arrival also follows the official opening of Hartpury’s new £8.8 million Sports Academy by Olympic rowing champion Dame Katherine Grainger, featuring equipment such as an Alter G anti-gravity treadmill.
Associate Professor Kathryn Nankervis, Manager of the Margaret Giffen Centre for Rider Performance, said: “The arrival of the MK10 allows us to expand our support for riders to include those involved in Flat and jump racing.
“We hope the combination of the MK10 and the specialist facilities and expertise within our Sports Academy will help many aspiring jockeys improve their fitness and technique whilst also supporting jockeys recovering from injury.
“Multiple sensors provide instant feedback about a rider’s balance, fitness and heart rate, as well as how effectively they’re riding in relation to the stride pattern of the horse.
“We believe it will invaluable to our students and staff working both for practical teaching sessions and as a focus for research.
“We’re continually looking to provide our students with the very latest technology, to ensure they have the best possible experience with us, so it’s a stunning addition to the wide range of equipment we have here.”
Cheltenham Festival-winning former jockey Dominic Elsworth, now a Jockey Coach on the British Horseracing Authority’s jockey coaching programme, said: “I have been using Racewood’s new MK10 simulator at Hartpury over the last few weeks for jockey coaching.
“We are all looking for a competitive advantage and I think it will be great for training both jockeys and exercise riders.
“This state-of-the-art piece of equipment gives great detail into a rider’s balance, technique and coordination whilst supplying instant feedback, overall supplying the rider with a great workout!”
Richard Perham, Senior Jockey Coach at the British Racing School, said: “The opportunity for BHA Jockey Coaches to use the new MK10 simulator at Hartpury to train young jockeys is great news.
“Using state-of-the-art simulators can only drive coaching of jockeys forwards and we are very grateful for the opportunity to link up with Hartpury to do this.”
Amateur jockey Robert Law-Eadie, who uses the simulator four days a week, said: “I find it really helpful for my fitness and my balance.
“It’s great for practising my riding position and how to ‘change’ my hands, as well as helping me to use the whip in the right place.”
In addition to the simulators, the equine facilities at Hartpury include an indoor championship arena, outdoor and indoor arenas, cross-country courses and livery for 230 horses.
Students can choose from a range of diplomas and degrees related to equine studies, as well training as competitive riders alongside their studies.
Picture: Amateur jockey Robert Law-Eadie riding the Racewood MK10 Racing Simulator at Hartpury