Accueil 9 Testimonials 9 The Equimetre experience by Will Clarken & Richard Adam

We had the chance to interview Will Clarken, a trainer based in Morphettville since 2011, where he can now accommodate 45 horses, along with Richard Adam, responsible for Sales, Communications, Finance & Data Analysis at Clarken Racing.

What prompted you to include data in your training strategy? Which parameters do you look at the most? Your favorites? Do you think EQUIMETRE has improved the well-being and overall performance of stables?

Discover all the answers in this interview

Could you please introduce yourself?

Will: My name is Will Clarken, and I’ve been a licensed horse trainer for the past decade.

Richard: I’m Richard Adam, responsible for data science management at Clarken Racing in South Australia and utilizing Arioneo.

What prompted you to include data in your training strategy?

Will: I’ve always believed there’s a more effective method of training. Analyzing heart rates, and, more importantly, recoveries is truly how we can enhance our horses’ performance and also take better care of them.

Can you tell me more about how you’re organized in terms of analysis and data collection?

Will : We have a part-time employee who observes all the horse gallops on Tuesday mornings, allowing us to analyze whether we’ve provided adequate training or not, and how the horse has recovered. We also monitor changes in stride lengths to detect any signs of lameness before it becomes a major issue.

What do you like about EQUIMETRE, and what’s your routine when it comes to data analysis?

Richard : The great thing about Arioneo is its interface. It’s incredibly easy to use when analyzing the horses’ performance data. There are numerous parameters available for searching and filtering, enabling a detailed examination to understand how a horse is performing and identify any areas where improvement may be needed. It’s particularly useful for trainers who may have uncertainties about a horse’s performance or progress. Arioneo helps validate suspicions and confirm hunches, providing clarity and insight into the horse’s training and capabilities.

Which parameters do you look at the most? Your favorites?

Will : I think recovery is of the utmost importance, to make sure that the horses can cope with the training. In addition, we have measures in place to ensure that we don’t run a horse if we’re not totally convinced that its fitness level is optimal.

Richard : My favorite parameters are undoubtedly speed and sectional times. When dealing with equine data, speed is paramount. Therefore, a key indicator is whether a horse can maintain a good speed and time with a smooth action. This is where the locomotor profile becomes relevant, indicating how power is exerted and acceleration is built. However, this is not the whole story. It’s essential to sustain speed and replicate it, necessitating proper recovery. In addition to running good times, recovery is vital. I prefer to observe a clean recovery and a significant drop from the maximal heart rate as the horse decelerates, indicating their fitness. 

Furthermore, I always assess the 15-minute recovery percentage to gauge the horse’s fitness compared to others in the race, taking into account their stage in the training program, whether it’s jump outs, trials, or their initial gallop in preparation.

Do you think EQUIMETRE has improved the well-being and overall performance of stables?

Will : There’s no doubt that the horses are much better today. We’ve changed a lot of our training techniques and the horses seem to be in better condition, because we’re not putting them under pressure at the wrong time.

Why choosing Arioneo?

Will : I believe Arioneo is undoubtedly leading the field now. I also appreciate the service they provide, with prompt feedback and instant answers to our questions. With further exploration, we can continue to progress and delve deeper into it.

What do you expect in the future?

Will : I believe we can improve every aspect of the stables, but there’s still much progress to be made. We need to find a better balance between working the horses too hard and not hard enough. This includes considering changes in track surfaces and analyzing how they evolve throughout the seasons. We must avoid overworking the horses on wet or dirt tracks and ensure they’re not underworked either. In essence, the future lies in adjusting the variables to ensure we maintain our horses’ fitness levels appropriately for each season and event.

Do you have a particular story with a horse and data you could share with us?

Richard : Perhaps the best example of the usefulness of the monitor system occurred with one of our top horses, Beau Rossa, who recently retired. He demonstrated great ability, finishing second in the Memsie Stakes and winning the Group Two Tobin Bronze Stakes here in South Australia. There was a moment when he returned from a brief spell over the winter period and was set to run first-up in the Lightning Stakes over 1100 meters. On that day, there was heavy rain, to the extent that the jockeys were contemplating calling off the meeting. 

Despite the conditions, the meeting went ahead, with the race scheduled as the last of the day. Will and I had reservations about whether it was the right decision to run him first-up in such challenging conditions after a winter period. About three hours before the race, we revisited the data and found an instance of him performing exceptionally well in a jump-out at Murray Bridge under heavy track conditions. He displayed excellent sectionals and a full stride length, indicating that he was not adversely affected by heavy tracks. Based on this information, we confidently decided to proceed with the race, and he went on to win it effortlessly. It was a testament to the effectiveness of our tracking system and a rewarding success story.

Do you have a piece of advice for a trainer who would like to start including data under operation?

Will :I believe that while it may seem daunting at first, once you grasp the fundamentals, you’ll find it difficult to train without Equimetre. I truly believe Arioneo’s a fantastic company to engage with because, as I mentioned, the feedback we receive is incredibly valuable, and having the entire team supporting us in France is invaluable.

Keywords: Arioneo, Equimetre, data, horses, recovery, testimonial, Clarken, Adam, Racing, training

Photo: Clarken Racing :