DOI: 10.3390/ani14010038 ISSN: 2076-2615

A Comparison of Devices for Race Day Characterization of North American Turfgrass Thoroughbred Racing Surfaces

Peter R. Schmitt, Wayne Sanderson, John (Trey) Rogers, Tyler J. Barzee, Michael (Mick) Peterson
  • General Veterinary
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Both pre-race meet and daily turf surface condition measurements are required by regulations adopted as part of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA). The Orono Biomechanical Surface Tester (OBST) is the primary device used for characterizing a racing surface and is used for the pre-meet inspections. Tools that are better suited for the daily testing of turf surfaces are also needed to meet the new federal regulations. The purpose of this study was to compare five simple tools commonly used in turf applications to the OBST. Data were collected with each of the six devices at plots chosen to approximate the current and potential compositions of North American turf racetracks. Correlations and linear regression models were then established between the simple tool measurements and the parameters measured by the OBST. The moisture probe was found to be the primary device for race day characterization due to its strong correlation to OBST measurements. The Longchamp Penetrometer is also prioritized for daily measurements due to its established correlation to horse performance and injuries. The Clegg Impact Hammer provides further improvement of the linear regression model. The Turf Shear Tester and GoingStick® were not found to correlate well to the biomechanically based device.

More from our Archive