I just finished up my trip to Ireland. I spent two and a half thought provoking days in the Emerald Isles. I met mostly with reps from a company called Equinome. This company, and its leader, Dr. Emiline Hill, are at the forefront of genetic research in thoroughbred racing.
They’ve developed a rating system based on the “speed gene” which gives a letter grade based on that speed gene to gauge “how far” a horse wants to go. CC, CT and TT are the three ratings with CC being a sprinter and TT being a long distance horse. Interestingly, that test should be called the “distance gene” but I guess “speed gene” is a catchier term.
I was particularly interested in the research Equinome is doing in many areas of equine science including exercise physiology, pedigree research, injury indicators, airway matters, environmental issues affecting growth and development, heart rate monitoring, training regimens, etc.
In addition, I had a chance to have lunch with Jim Bolger, one of the leading trainers in Europe, and who uses quite a bit of data from Equinome. He is in his early seventies and has had a remarkable career mainly with lower to mid-level priced horses. Jim is a trainer who actually has successfully applied some of the intelligence gleaned from the Equinome data.
I finished up with an awesome visit to the stallion complex at Coolmore, the world’s leading breeding and racing operations. All I can say is Wow!! They stand Galileo. His stud fee is “about” $500k and you have to beg and plead for the privilege of being considered. Check out the Coolmore Ireland Stallion Roster
So what was one of the most important things I took away from the trip? Good owners and trainers are totally open to new ideas and new technologies. Solid horsemanship and good data are a big part of making good decisions. Intuition and technology can co-exist. More to come of these super interesting topics!