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Across China: Science promises high-tech horse training methods in Xinjiang
2017-10-11 source:Xinhua
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Every weekend, Zeng Yaqi, a scientist at Xinjiang Agricultural University, waits at a race course to attach heart rate monitors to horses.

"In the horse racing industry, all horse trainers have their own 'tricks' to pick and train horses that they never share with others," Zeng said. With advanced technology and equipment, Zeng's team is set to crack those secrets.

Zeng relies on a motion trajectory analysis system, which consists of a high-speed camera and motion trajectory analysis software.

Before each race, the 1,000-frames-per-second camera is installed next to racetracks to collect lateral pictures of the running horses.

"With the help of the software, the movements of each joint of a horse are automatically drawn frame by frame to calculate its stride length, frequency and time, as well as its gait characteristics, such as the stance phase and the swing phase," Zeng said.

Meanwhile, the heart rate monitor can record the horses' heart rate during and after the race and its recovery time to evaluate its aerobic capacity and cardio-pulmonary function.

Horse trainers can arrange targeted training based on the collected data and adjust training intensity according to heart rate records, Zeng said.

"A scientific training strategy can be a shortcut to improving the performance, and value, of racehorses," Zeng said.