Research into horses’ sight raises safety concerns
Fences and hurdles in British horse racing could soon change colour after it was revealed that horses see the obstacles differently to us, potentially leading to on-course accidents. Research carried out at the University of Exeter has shown horses see the orange used to frame jumps as a shade of green, which doesn’t stand out. The research, funded by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and Racing Foundation, showed horses clearly adjusted their stride when orange wasn’t used, with white in particular producing a longer total jump. Former jockey Ian Popham, who was involved in the research, says: “It was clear the horses reacted differently and showed the fence more respect with certain colours. It’s exciting as this is a great opportunity to make the sport safer for horses and jockeys.” Racing authorities have now agreed to try fluorescent yellow and white markers, while trials using fluorescent yellow for hurdles and guard rails and white for take-off boards, will start soon. The results of these trials will be assessed thoroughly before any changes are made to courses.
...what a horse sees
What a human sees...