Jul 16, 2009
In October of 1898, The New York Times reported on an American jockey named James Forman “Tod” Sloan who had begun riding his horse “crouched well forward on his mount’s neck.” The Times further noted that Sloan had "astonished the English turfmen and jockeys not only by his style of riding which is peculiar to him, but also by his great success.”
Now, more than a century after Sloan debuted the crouching technique, scientists have figured out how the now-standard riding posture boosts performance.
Before Sloan adopted his signature riding style, jockeys rode their horses upright. But within 10 years his “peculiar” posture became the norm in the U.S. and riders around the world had begun to emulate it. In 1900, the Times attributed Sloan’s success in England—where the new technique had not yet caught on—to his “wit, light weight, and strength,” along with a good work ethic. A few observers, however, speculated that his riding style increased speed, perhaps by decreasing drag.
May 1, 2009 | 2
A high-profile tragedy befell horse racing a year ago when filly Eight Belles, having just finished second in the Kentucky Derby, collapsed with two broken ankles and was euthanized on the track. The horse's death at Churchill Downs, just two years after 2006 Derby winner Barbaro suffered ultimately fatal injuries in the Preakness Stakes, cast a pall over the sport's marquee event and raised a number of questions about the safety of horse racing—questions the industry says it has tried to address in the past year.
"We're doing everything possible, and that is the legacy of Eight Belles," Alex Waldrop, president and CEO of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), told USA Today. One major development has been a new sport-wide ban on anabolic steroids, which some fault for putting increased strain on the animals' bodies. (Eight Belles tested negative for steroids after the Derby.) The ban stemmed from the 2008 Derby and Preakness winner, Big Brown, whose trainer openly acknowledged giving the thoroughbred the steroid stanozolol. That was the same drug that Barry Bonds is alleged to have used in the book Game of Shadows, and for which fellow slugger Rafael Palmeiro tested positive.
Deadline: Dec 11 2013
Reward: $52,000 USD
Platform technologies – tools, techniques, and instruments that enable entirely novel approaches for scientific investigation across a b
Give a 1 year subscription as low as $14.99X