New research from the University of Exeter indicates that horses may see white and yellow more clearly than the color orange. Strips of orange are currently used on hurdles and fences on British racecourses to help the human eye process the location of the obstacle, but the new study indicates changing the colors of the jump will allow the horses to see the jump better and make a different effort over the obstacle.
In light of these findings, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has made a recommendation to run a trial with fluorescent yellow guardrails and hurdles, along with white takeoff boards at the base of fences. These colors will be used at training facilities before being used in a live race. It is hoped that these changes will make jumping safer for horse and rider.
The study on equine vision was commissioned and funded by the BHA and the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals in an effort to reduce the risks of injuries and falls to both jockeys and horses. Led by Dr. Sarah Paul and Professor Martin Steven, the trial tested the response of ridden horses over different colored panels at 11 different racecourses; the results of the research and the conclusion of ongoing trials will be shared with other equine organizations and racing jurisdictions.
Read more at British Horse Racing.
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