Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory

Race Track and Arena Surface Testing

White Papers

Racetrack Surfaces Consistency

Download White Paper #1 (Full)

Michael “Mick” Peterson, Ph.D., Lars Roepstorff, DVM, Ph.D., Jeffrey J. Thomason, Ph.D., Christie A. Mahaffey, M.Phil., C. Wayne McIlwraith, BVSc, Ph.D.

This document is a condensed version of "Racing Surfaces: Challenges and Approaches in Optimizing Track Surfaces to Reduce Horse Injuries," a white paper drafted as a collection of published scientific papers and data.

Download White Paper #1 Summary (English)
Download White Paper #1 Summary (Spanish)

Equine Surfaces White Paper

Download Download Equine Surfaces White Paper (Full)

Sarah Jane Hobbs, Ph.D., Alison J. Northrop, M.Sc., Christie Mahaffey, Ph.D., Jaime H. Martin, Ph.D., Hilary M . Clayton, BVMS, Ph.D., MRCVS, Rachel Murray, MA VetMB MS Ph.D., MRCVS, Lars Roepstorff, DVM, Ph.D., Michael “Mick” Peterson, Ph.D.,

The result of a four-year collaboration between eight equine experts from six universities, three equine and racing-specific research and testing centres and two horse charities in Sweden, the UK and United States. The white paper brings together the latest data and published scientific papers on arena and turf surfaces, and the effects these have on horses in training and in competition.

Download Equine Surfaces White Paper Summary (English)

Track Surface Education

The Role of Clay in Racing Surfaces

Christie A. Mahaffey, M.Phil. and Michael “Mick” Peterson, Ph.D.

The amount of clay in a dirt racing surface is perhaps the most important composition issue and impacts performance of horse and rider.

Download Technical Bulletin #1

Synthetic Racetrack Surfaces Temperature Changes

John Bridge, Ph.D. and Michael “Mick” Peterson, Ph.D.

Changing temperatures of synthetic racetracks have been shown to have a marked effect on horse racing performance.

Download Technical Bulletin #2

Loading of the Hind Hoof Track Loading

Lars Roepstorff BVM, Ph.D. and Michael “Mick” Peterson, Ph.D.

The 2000 pounds of force transferred from the front leg of the horse onto the track is often cited as the most extreme case for the loading of the track surface.

Download Technical Bulletin #3

Predicting Horse Performance on Turf Using Three Commercially Available Monitoring Tools

Tamara Thomson. and Christie Mahaffey, Ph.D.

In order to assess the usability of different turf rating methods, this report considers the influence of track conditions measured with three turf evaluation devices on race performance.

Download Technical Bulletin #4

The Durability of Sand Constituents in Dirt Racetrack Surface Materials

Julia Bradson, Eliza M. Cronkite, M.S., Christie A. Mahaffey, Ph.D.

Having improved data regarding the constituents of the surface material can help track superintendents better justify materials needed for track maintenance.

Download Technical Bulletin #5

Arena Surface Education

Equestrian Surfaces Part I - Sand Specifications

Download Arena Bulletin #1
Download Arena Bulletin#1 (German)

Maren Stavermann, Ph.D and Elin Hernlund, D.V.M.

Fundamental knowledge of sand specifications is essential for a deeper understanding of the mechanical properties of equestrian surfaces.