Horse racing research project from WIT to be showcased at Ploughing

Health Science
Pictured (right) is WIT researcher Mikey Kiely in another role - Hurling & Fitness Coach to the Limerick team which recently won the All Ireland U21 Hurling title.

Pictured (right) is WIT researcher Mikey Kiely in another role - Hurling & Fitness Coach to the Limerick team which recently won the All Ireland U21 Hurling title.

First study to investigate the physical demands of jockeys over numerous races to be showcased at the Irish Research Council tent on Tuesday, 19 September

A research project from WIT has been selected as one of those to be showcased at the National Ploughing Championships by the Irish Research Council.

Funded by the IRC Enterprise Partnership scheme in conjunction with The Turf Club, Mikey Kiely began his research project in January 2017 under the supervision of Dr Sarahjane Cullen (WIT) and Dr Giles Warrington (UL).  

 The project is entitled: “An Investigation of the physiological demands of jockeys during horse racing and the development of a standardised sport specific physical fitness assessment protocol for the horse racing industry”.

This will be the first study to investigate the physical demands of jockeys over numerous races, providing imperative data from which sport-specific training and performance testing guidelines can be provided having both national and international applications.

Despite the international popularity of horse racing, the physiological demands of racing remain largely unknown, causing difficulties when providing sport-specific racing preparation guidelines. 

Given the highly competitive and dangerous nature of horse racing, the need to be physically fit coupled with maintaining a low body mass would appear to be of paramount importance to jockeys. 

While it’s not feasible to bring a horse riding simulator on the day, visiting kids to the Irish Research stand can test their lower limb endurance and power to see if they have what it takes to be a professional jockey.

And in another field of achievement Mikey is Hurling & Fitness Coach to the Limerick team which recently won the All Ireland U21 Hurling title.

Peter Brown, Interim Director of the IRC, said:

“The Irish Research Council aims to fund the very best research talent to ensure a broad range of expertise to meet the challenges in Ireland’s future. Each year, the researchers we fund include a significant cohort who are working on projects that will enhance the agri-food and equine industries and increase our knowledge and understanding of best practice in rural Ireland. We are delighted to be able to showcase some of this work at this year’s Ploughing Championships, and to engage with agri-food companies, large and small, interested in research.”


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