A Fitbit for Horses
Until recently, trainers would use a stopwatch and their intuition to assess a horse’s performance in training. This seemed out of keeping with the technological age. Racehorse owners Keith Hanson and Steven Catchpole spotted this fact.
The duo had been watching their own horse in training back in 2011 and realised that there was an opportunity staring them in the face. As a result, the entrepreneurs (who hail from the Northeast), set about developing a new digital fitness device for horses.
The result was , a fully automated system which is like a Fitbit for horses. EquinITy is an equine welfare, training and yard management tool with integrated GPS. It can monitor heart rate, split times, strides per furlong, stride length, speed, location and altitude. Equestrians attach the device to the horse via a lightweight girth sleeve. It highlights improving fitness and can also pick up on deterioration in fitness and health.
The EquinITy device can stream information immediately to any web-enabled device. This means that owners are able to view their horses as they work from anywhere in the world. Many owners are busy business people who are often away and so cannot usually keep an eye on how their horses are doing. Trainers can optimise their programmes to achieve the best results.
Keith Hanson and Steven Catchpole invested their own money into developing the device. Leading names in the UK racing industry, including trainers Brian Ellison, Michael Dods, Ed Dunlop, William Haggis and Nigel Twiston-Davies have already adopted the device. As well as customers in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Dubai and Hong Kong. However, significant further investment in the project was required to take EquinITy to new markets including polo, show jumping and leisure riding.
So, the required six figure investment has been provided by NEL Fund Managers to support the full commercialisation of the device.
The Power of Information
Accurate data can play a crucial role in monitoring a horse’s performance. EquinITy is able to capture detailed information which should prove invaluable. Furthermore, the device is durable enough to withstand the rigours of horses’ activity and is simple to use. That is a winning formula which should ensure that EquinITy is the next big thing in the equestrian world.