FootingFirst and scientists from the University of Guelph (Canada), University of Maine (USA) and the Swedish University of Agricultural Science have pooled their expertise for an independent study of different types of surfaces. We hope to be able to take the opinion out of footing and truly have facts that can be used for the benefit of the sport.

The team recently invaded the Winter showjumping circuit in Wellington, Florida, to the great interest of the riders and trainers. They ran tests on several rings, including traditional turf and sand, and a selection of high-end synthetic footings. Hardness and shear were measured with a standardized mechanical tester, and 8 horses were put through their paces on every footing, with sensors on the feet that measured impact deceleration, slide and maximum weight-bearing force. The findings – once all the data are processed in the next few months – will help us to move forward with surfaces that are better suited to the discipline. We ask a lot more from these animals that compete now many weeks of each year, much more demanding classes and ever more technical courses.

The high end competition horse travels the world to compete at the international level. It is important that we use the technology to improve these facilities and hopefully reduce the stress and strain that is endured. The information from Wellington will move us in the right direction. Further studies planned for the next 2-3 years should provide definitive links between surface properties and injuries encountered, with the aim of modifying properties to reduce injuries.

FootingFirst, has been in the fore front of the synthetic footing ever since they created TravelRight footing that was the footing of choice by the Syracuse Invitational Horse show for 6 years. This footing has been able to give excellent support and cushion at the same time having excellent stability and enough movement not to interfere with the horses natural movement. FootingFirst is at the for front of supporting this research as a company we want to stay focused on the horses needs. Footingfirst would like to make sure that we can improve are blends to follow the horses requirements and not what we may think the horse needs. The results that the University share will help all to accomplish a higher goal. Please follow us on are facebook page and visit are new web site

Karen Leeming


FootingFirst LLC.