Sport | Horse Racing

High-tech system to be tested in Abu Dhabi race

Move expected to ensure fairness, transparency in endurance horseracing

  • By M. Satya Narayan, Abu Dhabi Deputy Editor
  • Published: 17:20 January 3, 2013
  • Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: A new electronic timing system for endurance rides will be tested over the next two days at the Emirates International Endurance Village.

While organisers around the world adopt different methods to monitor and stage a ride, which can vary from distances of 40km up to 240km spread over three days, the UAE has always been at the forefront of adopting the latest electronic timing systems.

The Emirates International Endurance Village in Al Wathba will use an “improved” system from Saheel Soft for today’s 80km and tomorrow’s 120km event.

Explaining the salient features of the system to Gulf News, Charbel Akkari, the man behind the new system, said, “This system has quite a few advantages. [All at once] the system can handle a multi-race, multi-day, multi-division [event] while also giving separate information at any given time about the position in both an individual as well as a team rider.”

“It is a plug-and-play system, very easy to operate and ensures a lot of clarity on veterinary examinations, veterinary inspections and re-inspections. It is also capable of administering the penalties for both early departures as well as delay in presentation of the horses for the necessary vet checks,” said Bernard Kazour, Saheel’s software engineer.

Akkari said, “While the new system ensures fairness and transparency it is also accurate and ready data can be made available at every second of the ride.”

“It is in accordance with the FEI (world governing body of equestrian sport) and uses high-end technology,” said Akkari, who was with the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club for over 14 years before migrating to Australia.

Adnan Sultan Saif Al Nuaimi, Director-General of Abu Dhabi Equestrian Federation said: “There have been a lot of questions from various sections of ride organisers so we will see how it works over these two rides and we can then take it forward by incorporating the suggestions and changes that are needed to make it more efficient.”

Gulf News