This week our intern Kim Koopmans visited several Grand Prix riders to interview them on their vision on talent recognition in horses. Their practical experience with talented horses is a valuable information source to include in a current pilot study on the use of the EquInnoLab. MOTION system in the talent recognition process for horse.

Talent recognition for horses is nowadays based on observations executed by different inspectors, with the human eye. To objectify this process, we are investigating the opportunities to integrate the EquInnoLab. MOTION system in this process. We think this is valuable because with the use of coordinates, this system is not only able to measure locations of joints, but also distances, proportions, accelerations, and angles in horses during movement. If you are interested in this project, read Objectifying horse talent scoring with optical motion analysis.

Next to using literature, we also wanted to know what Grand Prix riders think about what data of the motion analysis is key to talent recognition. Three jumping riders; Dave Maarse, Jenny Bocken and Joy Lammers, as well as three dressage riders; Kebie van de Heijden, Krista Kolijn en Niels Bax shared their practical experiences of riding talented horses. During face-to-face interviews, they were guided to express specific feelings and experiences they encountered during their journey to success.

Due to these interviews, new insight are gained, additional to the already gathered knowledge out of breeding and biomechanical literature. 

It was very nice to experience the enthusiasm of all the Grand Prix riders, and their curiosity about the continuation of the pilot study. It was nice to explore their opinions and to feel their shared passion for the sport! Next step: what do the inspectors really look at!