Working with the British Equestrian Federation World Class Programme for 2012 Olympics

David McPherson

David McPherson taking a jump on the course as Rob Hoekstra and team look on. Note the 4 brushing boots (highlighted) holding GaitSmart Pegasus sensors.

The British Equestrian Federation World Class Programme working with GaitSmart and the British Show Jumping Team

Prior to the London Olympics, the BEF World Class Programme wanted to undertake a show jumping study. The BEF wanted to understand all of the elements that might have an effect on the performance of horse and rider.

The process was a warm-up session with World Class Show jumping Performance Manager Rob Hoekstra followed by a round of jumps that were between 1.40 and 1.50 metres high. On day one the riders jumped one round of jumps. On day two they jumped two rounds and on day three they jumped two rounds with the second round being treated as a jump off.

All aspects of care for horse and rider were considered from nutrition through exercise type and time. GaitSmart Pegasus sensors were in place on all horses throughout their work over the three days; both warming up and jumping.


David showing good technique at the black and white vertical

David showing good technique at the black and white vertical

Data from GaitSmart Pegasus was used to understand how the horses performed in the warm-up compared to competition-style jumping and to look at the effect that stamina loss might play on movement. GaitSmart Pegasus data was also used to review approaches to fences, turns etc.

All horses had four sensors placed in brushing boots and the riders had a gps unit to show route and speed. The gps unit was located in a pocket located on the riders’ hat.

The GaitSmart Pegasus sensors gave 100% performance providing data from all horses, without fail, over the three days.

David McPherson warming up

David warming up before the jumping. Note the little white dots on the horse. These are for the high speed video camera was used at one of the jumps.

All of the data collected over the three days was reviewed and was used to help the riders and horses that took part and the information was also used for the British Show jumping team that competed at the 2012 Olympics. As everybody knows, the team took the Gold at the Olympics and we received a thank you email for our part in the process.

We were really proud that GaitSmart Pegasus was able to play a small part in the success of the British Show jumping team at the London 2012 Olympics.