Race surface model development in a musculoskeletal modelling environment

Jennifer E. Symons, David P Fyhrie, David A. Hawkins, Shrinivasa K. Upadhyaya, Susan M Stover

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Musculoskeletal injury is the leading cause of racehorse attrition and fatalities. Many factors have been implicated in racehorse musculoskeletal injury, including race surface. Race surface material has been shown to affect ground reaction forces applied to the hoof, limb kinematics, surface dynamic mechanical behavior, and incidence of injury. The optimal interaction of the racehorse hoof with the race surface during locomotion is unknown. Further, the effect of surface on limb biomechanics has only been examined by installing a surface and observing horses during gallop across the surface. Installation of new surfaces is financially costly, results in lost training time, and does not allow a thorough evaluation of possible mechanisms of injury associated with surface/hoof interactions. A computational equine limb-surface simulation model is needed to examine racehorse limb biomechanics on virtual surfaces, and further to consider the possible musculoskeletal consequences of a surface, prior to installation. A racetrack surface model was developed for use in musculoskeletal modelling and simulation applications. Surface parameters were determined by fitting empirical force, displacement, and velocity data collected during vertical and angled dynamic soil tests using a track-testing device. Simulations of the dynamic soil tests on the surface closely reproduced measured load and displacement data. In the future, this surface model may be incorporated in racehorse limb simulations of gallop using virtual surface parameters to predict the optimal surface mechanical properties for musculoskeletal health during racing and training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProcedia Engineering
PublisherElsevier Ltd
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2014
Event2014 10th Conference of the International Sports Engineering Association, ISEA 2014 - Sheffield, United Kingdom
Duration: Jul 14 2014Jul 17 2014


Other2014 10th Conference of the International Sports Engineering Association, ISEA 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Horse
  • Musculoskeletal modelling
  • Racehorse
  • Racetrack surface

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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