Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory


The Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory is a non-profit (501c3) organization that coordinates and carries out testing of surfaces for performance and race horses. The lab strives to compare a wide range of surfaces used in the horse racing industry. Comparative data will be compiled based on testing from the laboratory and cooperating partner laboratories and will create a basis for a comparative database.

Fully documented procedures for all tests developed by Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory will be provided to the industry for use in performing comparison tests in other laboratories. At times, to conserve time or money, it is expected that results from local agricultural or construction laboratories may be used by racetracks and training centers. However, many newer techniques may be beyond the capabilities of standard labs, or specialized testing equipment may be unavailable to them.

In these cases, Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory can provide the necessary testing. As methods become more commonly used, the open procedures will allow tests to be duplicated at local university laboratories, testing laboratories, or, in some cases, even at the track or training center. Even so, previous laboratory testing results have proven to be inconsistent and a central laboratory is needed as a reference laboratory for the industry.

Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory will commit to providing laboratory resources with timely response for all relevant tests. The comparative results database will be developed in conjunction with the maintenance database and the injury database developed by the Jockey Club. As new methods tailored to the unique needs of racing and performance horse surfaces evolve, Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory will serve a necessary role in the development of standards for racing surfaces.

 Photo: ‘Track in the box testing of an arena surface in accordance to RSTL and FEI testing protocols’