Thoroughbred industry participation needed for testing, validation

LEXINGTON, KY—The American Association of Equine Practitioners requests the participation of Thoroughbred industry trainers and owners in the impending research phase of the AAEP’s initiative to assist with implementation of wearable biometric sensors to improve early detection of musculoskeletal injuries in Thoroughbred racehorses.

In November 2023, the AAEP Racing Committee released a Request for Proposal soliciting proposals from applicants for a joint project involving the development and application of wearable biometric sensor technologies that would be able to be employed on all Thoroughbred racehorses for all races and recorded workouts in the U.S. Wearable biometric sensors have shown promise in the identification of sub-clinically affected racehorses or those at risk of musculoskeletal injury. 

From 12 submissions received in response to the RFP, six companies have been invited to submit a full-scale proposal detailing their implementation plan for meeting the AAEP’s requirements for the “proof of principle,” or validation phase, of the initiative. 

Each company moving forward in the process has been asked to recruit 100 2-year-old Thoroughbreds to wear their sensor from Jan. 1–Dec. 31, 2025. Data will be collected on each horse during this period and analyzed to determine accuracy of the sensor. 

Due to the large number of 2-year-olds in training and racing that will be required to successfully test six unique sensors, the AAEP encourages racing managers to consider participating in this effort as sensor manufacturers begin recruiting horses for the project. 

“We are very excited for the next phase as it brings the sport much closer to utilizing this emerging technology as another important tool in injury detection and prevention,” AAEP Racing Committee chair Dr. Sara Langsam said. “This effort benefits the entire industry and we hope trainers and owners will embrace the opportunity to participate.”

Return to the May 23 issue of Wire to Wire