PRESS RELEASE: Stable View & iEquiTek — April 1, 2019
Stable View partners with iEquiTek in Data Defined Riding Surfaces
In its continued effort to maintain its reputation as a preeminent year-round international equestrian center, Stable View has partnered with arena measurement and data base experts, iEquiTek, LLC.
iEquiTek has developed an innovative riding surface measurement system and associated Internet hosted “Knowledge Base”. This system allows measurements of the performance and technical characteristics of riding surfaces and the comparison of their nature to that of many other arenas and riding surfaces. These comparisons with other Dressage and Jumping arenas lead to more knowledge and better decisions regarding the relative performance, potential amendments or remediations, and the maintenance and tuning strategies.
iEquiTek works with riding surface material manufacturers, arena & farm owners, competition venues, and riders. The iEquiTek advisory board includes Mclain Ward (Jumping), Michael Poulin (Dressage), Eric Horgan (Eventing), Kit Miller, DvM (former USA Jumping Team Vet), and Kenny Bark (USA Team Lead Farrier).
iEquiTek manager, Bill Hawe said, “We are very excited that the Stable View vision for using data to manage their riding surfaces has resonated precisely with our vision. It is through measurements and comparisons that more knowledge is generated. The more we all do that, the better the outcomes.”
The field of “Equine Analytics” has emerged to use information technology with novel interfaces to measure and improve many aspects of horse health and performance, as well as the rider/horse partnership. The nascent area of “Data Defined Riding Surfaces” is now emerging along the same path.
“Data Defined Riding Surfaces” is the next logical era in riding surfaces technologies. Over time, surfaces have evolved from an “ad hoc” era where arena owners tended to copy whatever approach was popular at the time, or used by a professional they knew. This evolved into an era of “concoctions” where various amendments were added to sand arenas to change certain characteristics (such as cushioning, or to prevent packing, etc.). This approach was followed by “engineered riding surfaces”, where the characteristics were completely engineered including novel base technologies such as concussion mats, all-weather composite sand mixtures, custom fiber amendments, and so forth. With engineered surfaces, people want to know exactly how they perform before they build them. They want to know how to maintain them to keep that performance level. This brings us to the next logical phase in riding surfaces, which addresses those questions. This new phase is Data Defined Riding Surfaces. Now, the expectation will be that the performance characteristics of a riding surface will be known ahead of time. They will be measured. Maintenance will be designed to achieve those objectives. Changes will be made based on measured information, not only subjective feeling. A knowledge base will be used to continually compare against other arenas.
Bill said, “The first step in our partnership was measurement of the 4 existing riding arenas to obtain baselines. Each is different in subtle ways. One is the large covered arena with an all-weather riding surface. Stable View also has 3 outdoor sand/fiber arenas, each with similar material, but with differing base constructions. We measure a range of characteristics including the grip levels, the nature of shear failure, compression and rebound characteristics, firmness, performance sensitivities to moisture levels, and so forth. A database is created in the iEquiTek Knowledge Base. Periodic instrumentation allows the arena characteristics to be tracked over time and continually compared with other world-class arenas. This includes competition arenas, training arenas, and schooling arenas. Knowing where one stands in that continuum of performance and usage helps an arena owner continuously adjust what they do to improve. Since Stable View is both a training venue and a competition venue they are keen to know how to tune the surfaces for these different uses. Constant management towards performance objectives is thus achieved. This approach also informs maintenance strategies and optimizations. Stable View has already used the results of the iEquiTek technology to enhance maintenance approaches to further improve performance characteristics.”
Barry Olliff, owner of Stable View said, “From a Stable View perspective, we would like to remain at the leading edge in maintaining the excellent condition of all of our riding surfaces, be it our turf, sand, or all-weather arenas. Ensuring that we use as much data as possible is key to the achievement of that objective. With this perspective, even maintenance topics such as arena grooming strategy can be considered. For example, does the grooming merely make the arena surface look nice? Or, does it truly help maintain its performance and safety characteristics, both in the short and long term? Measuring the arena characteristics, all the way down to and including the base itself, tracking the results, and comparing to other arenas, allows us to stay on top of that question.
Last year, we announced a partnership with TurfTrax from the U.K. aimed at using their technology to manage the Stable View turf riding surfaces. Now, Stable View has partnered with iEquiTek for the arena surfaces. We feel that this “triangle” – Stable View, TurfTrax, and iEquiTek – is becoming a partnership which differentiates us and leads the way towards proactively understanding and managing all the riding surfaces at our venue. It raises the bar in the perpetual competition towards excellence.”
Stable View :
Address: Stable View, 117 Stable Drive, Aiken, SC 29801
Address: iEquiTek, 47 Black Oak Drive, Hollis, NH 03049