By Charlotte Dekker
Photography: KWPN

On Wednesday, March 3, the first successful assessment day of the biomechanics pilot project took place at the KWPN Centre. This pilot was set up in cooperation with EquInnoLab, accredited knowledge and innovation centre for equestrian sports which specialises in measuring the biomechanics of both horses and riders.

Ralph van Venrooij of the KWPN explains: “The KWPN heads the WBFSH rankings in all three disciplines. To take the lead is one thing, to maintain that position requires effort and investment. As a studbook we owe it to our breeders to continously develop and innovate: This is the only way to achieve our ambition to maintain the leading position and make progress in breeding. Globalisation also impacted breeding, and further professionalisation has allowed for increasingly more opportunities. The horse industry remains relatively conservative, while in the human science they have extensive experience with biomechanics: The science of movement of the joints, muscles and limbs of humans and animals.”
During the test day in March, 30 EPTM mares (EPTM/ Mare Performance Test is an ability test for young horses) were recorded with the innovative camera systems of EquInnoLab. The mares were given so-called markers on their bodies that reveal anatomical structures which are important for mapping a horse’s movement. As in the regular studbook inspection, the exterior was assessed and the horses were shown in walk and trot. After that, the horses were allowed to go to the inside arena where they were judged on their free movement and free jumping. All these parts are recorded by high-speed cameras, and with the help of the markers the results can be analysed by EquInnoLab. By recording the horses both standing and in movement we gain a lot of insight into the horse’s movement mechanism... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber

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