UK researchers race toward safer conditions for horses and jockeys

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WYMT/WKYT) - Researchers at UK’s Sports Medicine Institute are using state of the art technology to improve safety conditions and performance for horses and their riders. This fills a critical gap in what is growing into a heated issue.

Justify, ridden by Jockey Mike Smith, wins the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes., Photo Date: June 9, 2018 / Photo: ZUMA Press / (MGN)

Sister station WKYT reports that the institute is starting a program it calls the Jockey Equine Initiative. The program is focused on tackling jockey and equestrian protection and performance through technological advancements.

One such advancement is a mechanical horse which mimics the sensations of riding a horse during a race. Researchers say that there is relatively little existing research into jockey safety, and that they want this initiative to fix that.

WKYT spoke to Javier Castellano, a jockey with more than 5,000 races on his record. He is enthusiastic about the direction the program is taking.

"I think it will really help a lot, to be honest with you, because we don't have it too much technology lately, now they try to put everything together and help the jockey move forward," said Castellano.

Though the program is only focusing on jockeys for now, researchers are optimistic about the future.

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