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Artificial Intelligence and Racehorse Selection

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brogers View Drop Down
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    Posted: 16 May 2018 at 1:46am
I have just finished training an artificial neural network to break down a 10 second video loop that I take of the heart as a yearling (or 2YO) and 'learn' the difference between a fast and slow racehorse. Here is how I did it....

https://www.performancegenetics.com/single-post/2018/03/05/AI-and-Racehorses-Teaching-a-computer-to-understand-a-good-cardio-in-thoroughbred-racehorses
Abel Tasman...Keen Ice...Divisidero....Verrazano...Catchy.....Lord Fandango...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Breeder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2018 at 12:15pm
Great stuff Byron. Really interesting use of modern technology.
 It will "upset" a few traditionalists but with the huge money involved in thoroughbred investments these days, anything that minimises risk has to be a winner.
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kavg View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kavg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2018 at 9:39pm
Very interesting Byron. I am very excited by this statement-'so it may be that I get down to only having to take a hair sample, the video and a handful of measurements on the horse and it captures all that it needs to make a determination of future performance.'
Would you make this available for anyone going to sales that wants to employ your services? Plus would there be a problem doing such tests from the vendors?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Second Chance Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2018 at 9:53pm
We might also benefit from a whole host of other critical performance indicators.  Ermm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote brogers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2018 at 12:33pm
I have also been working with some guys from Harvard who do markerless biomechanics. What they have done is used a deep learning artificial neural network to place markers on a video of a mouse without actually having to place any markers physically on the mouse.

We had a go at transferring this to a horse. What you do is take a video of a horse and break it down into frames (10 second video at 30 fps = 300 frames) and annotate markers on each frame for each time a landmark appears. Once you do that once, you teach the Neural Network where things are supposed to go and it generalizes it for all videos of horses walking.

Here is a sample. The one on the left is the actual video with the markers on the horse, on the right is the markers without the horse.

Abel Tasman...Keen Ice...Divisidero....Verrazano...Catchy.....Lord Fandango...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Kimberley Mine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2018 at 4:21am
I realize that the first place this will be used is yearling sales.  What I'm interested in is how it may be used to identify fragility or likelihood of lameness before serious injury.  And not just in racehorses.  Looking at the backs and pelvises of show jumpers, eventers, and dressage horses will tell you a lot.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2018 at 5:32pm
I believe the heavy use of circle work i.e. round yards & walking machines, on young TBs goes a long way to explaining perceived weakness rather than hereditary problems.


GOING IN CIRCLES

When horses roamed the plains, they did exactly that: they roamed. They drifted along, grazing and mostly walking in straight lines. When horses worked for a living, they continued to walk those straight lines, pulling a plow from one end of the field to the other, pulling a milk wagon from one end of town to the other, or pushing cattle from one end of Texas to the other. As they transitioned from work animals to recreation vehicles, they generally continued walking, jogging, or cantering in reasonably straight lines, going from one end of a trail to the other.

Of course, not all work or recreation involved strict, straight line movement. They were asked to cut cattle, which often required them to work laterally, with sudden starts and stops and jolts and jerks. They were asked to perform military/dressage maneuvers, with significant lateral movement and transitions. They were asked to foxhunt, which required them to work over fences and around obstacles. They were asked to participate in sport, such as polo, which again required stops, starts, bursts of speed and lateral work. And, of course, they were asked to race, which required speed, but generally on straight line tracks or long ovals.

As they transitioned into show and competition arenas, however, they shifted away from straight line activity. We changed the game and asked them to become focused athletes and runway models. In doing so, we put them into smaller and smaller spaces and asked them to perform more and more patterned behaviors. Basically, we put them into patterned, repetitive movements—mostly in circles... little, tight circles. And they started to fall apart, experiencing more and more issues with joint problems, soft tissue injuries, and general lameness concerns.

We blamed their failures and breakdowns on bad breeding practices and poor genetics; we blamed their failures on bad farriers and inadequate veterinarians; we blamed their breakdowns on poor training and conditioning, poor horse keeping practices, bad nutritional practices, and any number of other things. And, while none of these should be disallowed, the fact remains that we changed the game and put them into those little, tiny circles and repetitive activities. So, let’s look at equine anatomy, and specifically, let’s look at that in relation to athletic maneuvers and activities.

First and foremost, the horse is designed to be heavy on the forehand. We fight against that concept, asking them to engage their hindquarters, to “collect,” and to give us impulsion. And they’re capable of doing so… but they’re not designed or “programmed” to sustain such activity for any length of time. When they do this in “natural” settings and situations, they’re playing, they’re being startled or frightened, or they’re showing off. None of these are sustained activities.

Likewise, when they do engage, they’re generally bolting forward, jumping sideways, or leaping upwards. And they're typically doing that with a burst of speed and energy, not in slow motion. Ultimately, their design is simply not conducive to circular work. Each joint, from the shoulder to the ground is designed for flexion and extension—for forward motion, not lateral motion. In fact, these joints are designed to minimize and restrict lateral or side-to-side movement.

Experience is something you gain a few minutes after you could have used it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Breeder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2018 at 1:13pm
Gay3
I remember reading an article, many years ago , which involved an interview with Tom Lowry from the famous Okawa Stud ( Hawkes Bay, NZ). He said he believed one of the major assets they had to bred very good horses over such a long time was the very large paddocks they had which allowed the young stock to roam naturally , just like your article said. Being on lime country helped as well. Unfortunately that stud closed down some time ago.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2018 at 2:53pm
Apparently Kitchwin Hills pride themselves on rearing similarly, tho' I believe with more emphasis given to hills, such is their terrain.
Perfectly manicured, flat paddocks may help get youngsters to the sales in one piece but certainly don't add to racing soundness & you can add poor training to that.
Experience is something you gain a few minutes after you could have used it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote furious Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2018 at 4:48pm
I've often wondered why they can't set up pre training at the old Cross Country Olympic site.  They tried to get trainers to go there but that didn't work but maybe set it up as a two year old joint.  They wouldn't have to be trained around corners then.  It's not that far from the Warwick Farm trainers so you'd think they at least could of jumped at the idea.
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