Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory

Race Track and Arena Surface Testing

Academic Publications

Racetrack Surfaces

  • J. W. Bridge, H. Rubin, K. M. Dempsey and M. L. Peterson, “Determining the Water Holding Capacity of Synthetic Track Materials for Thoroughbred Horse Racing”, Materials Performance and Characterization, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2018, pp 202-216.
  • John W. Bridge, Kristofer S. Weisshaupt, Robert M. Fisher, Kaleb M. Dempsey, Michael L. Peterson “Chemical degradation of a paraffin wax-based binder used in granular composite sport surfaces”, Sports Engineering, March 2017, Vol. 20, Issue 1, pp 41–51
  • Christie Mahaffey, Michael Peterson, Lars Roepstorff, “The effects of varying cushion depth on dynamic loading in shallow sand dirt thoroughbred horse racetracks”, Biosystems Engineering, 2013, Vol. 114, pp. 178-186
  • J.W. Bridge, M.L. Peterson, C.W. McIlwraith, “The Effect of Temperature on the Tangent Modulus of Granular Composite Sport Surfaces”, Experimental Techniques, first published online: 13 AUG 2012, DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-1567.2012.00851.x
  • Mahaffey, Christie A., Michael Peterson, C. Wayne McIlwraith, “Archetypes in Thoroughbred dirt racetracks regarding track design, clay mineralogy, and climate” Sports Engineering, January 2012, doi:10.1007/s12283-012-0082-y, March 2012,Vol. 15, No. 1, pp 21-27
  • J. W. Bridge, M. L. Peterson, C. W. McIlwraith, and R. M. Beaumont, 2010, “Temperature Effects on Triaxial Shear Strength of Granular Composite Sport Surfaces”, Journal of ASTM International, Vol. 7, No. 9 p 1-12, DOI: 10.1520/JAI103139
  • M.L. Peterson, Raoul F. Reiser, II, Pei-Hsin Kuo, Donald W. Radford, C. Wayne McIlwraith , “The effect of temperature on 6 furlong times on a synthetic racing surface”, Equine Vet. J. Vol. 42, 2010 pp. 351-357.
  • J.W. Bridge, M.L. Peterson, D.W. Radford, C.W. McIlwraith, “Thermal transitions in high oil content petroleum-based wax blends used in granular sport surfaces”, Thermochimica Acta (2008), doi:10.1016/j.tca.2009.10.009, 2010, vol. 498, No. 1-2, pp. 106-111
  • Michael Peterson, C Wayne McIlwraith, Raoul F Reiser, “System Development for In-Situ Characterization of Horse Racing Track Surfaces”, Biosystems Engineering Vol. 101 No. 2 (October, 2008) 260 – 269
  • M. L. Peterson and C.W. McIlwraith, “Effect of track maintenance on mechanical properties of a dirt racetrack: A preliminary study”, Equine Veterinary Journal, Vol. 40, No. 6. (September 2008), pp. 602-605.
  • Jeffrey J. Thomason, Michael L. Peterson, “Biomechanical and Mechanical Investigations of the Hoof-Track Interface in Racing Horses”, Veterinary Clinics of North America, Equine Practice, 24 (2008) 53–77
  • Raoul Reiser, M. L. Peterson, C.W. McIlwraith and B. Woodward, “Simulated Effects on Racetrack Material Properties on the Vertical Loading of the Equine Forelimb”, Sports Engineering Vol. 3 No. 1, 2000, pp. 1-11.

Arena Surfaces

  • Blanco, M.A.; Di Rado, F.N.; Peterson, M. Warm Season Turfgrass Equine Sports Surfaces: An Experimental Comparison of the Independence of Simple Measurements Used for Surface Characterization. Animals 2023, 13, 811.
  • C.M. Rohlf, T.C. Garcia, D.P. Fyhrie, S.S. le Jeune, M.L. Peterson, S.M. Stover, “Arena surface vertical impact forces vary with surface compaction”, The Veterinary Journal, Volume 293, March 2023,
  • C.M. Rohlf, T.C. Garcia, D.P. Fyhrie, S.S. le Jeune, M.L. Peterson, S.M. Stover, “Shear ground reaction force variation among equine arena surfaces” The Veterinary Journal, Volume 291, January 2023, doi:
  • Alison J. Northrop, Jaime H. Martin, Michael L. Peterson, Lars Roepstorff, Elin Hernlund, Sarah Jane Hobbs, “The challenges of equestrian arena surfaces: the unprecedented use of a raised platform at the 2012 Olympic Games”, Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, Volume 109, February 2022,
  • Agneta Egenvall, Lars Roepstorff, Michael Peterson, Marcus Lundholm, Elin Hernlund, “The Descriptions and Attitudes of Riders and Arena Owners to 656 Equestrian Sport Surfaces in Sweden”, Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 23 December 2021 |
  • Blanco, María Alejandra, Raúl Hourquebie, Kaleb Dempsey, Peter Schmitt and Michael “Mick” Peterson, “An Experimental Comparison of Simple Measurements used for the Characterization of Sand Equestrian Surfaces”, Animals 2021, 11, 2896,
  • E.Hernlund, A.Egenvall, S.J.Hobbs, M.L.Peterson, A.J.Northrop, A.Bergh, J.H.Martin, L.Roepstorff, “Comparing subjective and objective evaluation of show jumping competition and warm-up arena surfaces”, The Veterinary Journal, Vol. 227, September 2017, pp 49-57.
  • Northrop, A. J., Dagg, Laura-Ann, Martin, J. H., Brigden, C. V., Owen, A. G., Blundell, E., Peterson, M. L. and Hobbs, S.J., “The Effect of Two Maintenance Procedures on an Equine Arena Surface in Relation to Motion of the Hoof and Metacarpophalangeal Joint”, The Veterinary Journal, 2013 Dec; Vol.198 Suppl 1:e137-42. DOI: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2013.09.048


  • Horan, K.; Coburn, J.; Kourdache, K.; Day, P.; Carnall, H.; Brinkley, L.; Harborne, D.; Hammond, L.; Peterson, M.; Pfau, T.; Millard, S. “Hoof Impact and Foot-off Accelerations in Galloping Thoroughbred Racehorses Trialling Eight Shoe-Surface Combinations”. Animals 2022, 12, 2161.
  • Horan, K.; Coburn, J.; Kourdache, K.; Day, P.; Harborne, D.; Brinkley, L.; Carnall, H.; Hammond, L.; Peterson, M.; Millard, S.; Pfau, T. Influence of Speed, Ground Surface and Shoeing Condition on Hoof Breakover Duration in Galloping Thoroughbred Racehorses. Animals 2021, 11, 2588.
  • Tranquille C.A., Walker V.A., Hernlund E., Egenvall A., Roepstorff L., Peterson M.L., Murray R.C., 2015, “Effect of superficial harrowing on surface properties of sand with rubber and waxed-sand with fibre riding arena surfaces: a preliminary study”, The Veterinary Journal, 2015 Jan, Vol. 203, No. 1, pp 59-64. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2014.10.027. Epub 2014 Oct 27.
  • Elin Hernlund, Agneta Egenvall, Michael L. Peterson, Christie A. Mahaffey, Lars Roepstorff, “Hoof accelerations at hoof-surface impact for stride types and functional limb types relevant to show jumping horses”, The Veterinary Journal, Vol. 198, Suppl 1, December 2013, Pages e27–e32
  • Moorman VJ, Reiser RF, Peterson ML, McIlwraith CW, Kawcak CE. “The effect of equine forelimb lameness on hoof kinematics at the trot”, Am J Vet Res. Sept. 2013, Vol. 74, No. 9, Pages 1183-1191, DOI: 10.2460/ajvr.74.9.1183
  • Moorman VJ, Reiser RF, Peterson ML, McIlwraith CW, Kawcak CE. “The effect of equine forelimb lameness on hoof kinematics at the walk”, Am J Vet Res. Sept. 2013, Vol. 74, No. 9, Pages 1192-1197, DOI: 10.2460/ajvr.74.9.1192


  • Peterson, M., Sanderson, W., Kussainov, N., Hobbs, S.J., Miles, P., Scollay, M.C., Clayton, H.M., Effects of Racing Surface and Turn Radius on Fatal Limb Fractures in Thoroughbred Racehorses, Sustainability 2021, 13, 539.
  • John W Bridge, Kaleb M Dempsey, Kayla M Danicki, Robin L Angotti, Alan K Kwiatkowski, Camie R Heleski and Michael L Peterson. A system for simulating the kinematics and measuring the impact force from riding whips used in Thoroughbred horseracing, Proc IMechE Part P: J Sports Engineering and Technology, p. 1–13 First Published December 14, 2020, DOI: 10.1177/1754337120980627
  • Camie Heleski, C. Jill Stowe, Julie Fiedler, Michael L. Peterson, Colleen Brady, Carissa Wickens, and James N. MacLeod, “Thoroughbred Racehorse Welfare through the Lens of ‘Social License to Operate—With an Emphasis on a U.S. Perspective”, Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 1706;
  • Peta L. Hitchens, Kelly Ryan, Stephen I. Koch, Mary C. Scollay, Michael L. Peterson (2019) “A sustainable structure for jockey injury data management for the North American horse racing industry”, Injury, Volume 50, Issue 8, Pages 1418–1422,
  • Mahaffey, C. A., Peterson, M. L., Thomason, J. J. and McIlwraith, C. W., 2015, “Dynamic testing of horseshoe designs at impact on synthetic and dirt Thoroughbred racetrack materials”. Equine Veterinary Journal. Vol. 48, No. 1, pp. 97-102 doi: 10.1111/evj.12360
  • Chris W. Rogers, Charlotte F. Bolwell, Erica K. Gee, Michael L. Peterson, C. Wayne McIlwraith, “Profile and Surface Conditions of New Zealand Thoroughbred Racetracks”, Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, Vol. 34, No. 9, September 2014, pp 1105–1109.