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November/December 2010
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eqquestrian surface

Turf-track superintendent Ralph Lopez at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia, Calif.

Equestrian Surfaces

Subcommittee F08.28 on Equestrian Services was formed in November 2009 and is part of ASTM International Committee F08 on Sports Equipment and Facilities. F08.28 is seeking input from equestrian trackmen and horsemen who are interested in improving the performance, uniformity and safety of equestrian surfaces, beginning with the development of the following three proposed standards.

Once approved, the following proposed standards will be useful to horse racetrack superintendents, facility managers, soil testing laboratories, consultants and others involved in equestrian work.

WK29881, Use of an Impact Analyzer to Evaluate Turfgrass Tracks Used for Horse Racing

According to Michael DePew, consulting agronomist/soil scientist, Environmental Technical Services LLC, and an F08 member, there is a need for tools for turf track evaluations that have a consistent methodology for application throughout the equestrian industry.

“WK29881 will be an evaluation tool that is intended to provide a track superintendent some of the information necessary to evaluate a track,” says DePew. Information gleaned from the test method will be used to either alleviate compaction (reduce hardness) or to gain more uniformity in impact characteristics across the racing surface.

WK29879, Guide for the Laboratory Evaluation of Dirt Track Soil Material Used for Horse Racing

The purpose of WK29879 is to standardize the types of tests performed when a racing facility submits a soil sample for evaluation. The proposed standard will also cover the format of reports that result from soil tests.

“A variety of soil laboratories (agronomic and engineering labs) are used to evaluate soil samples for dirt tracks,” says DePew. “Having consistent track soil evaluations will help to build consistency in the industry and allow facilities to make comparisons between each other’s track materials and related performance ratings.”

WK27877, Terminology Relating to Thoroughbred Horse Racing Surfaces

The proposed new terminology standard will “allow track persons to communicate track surfaces/components on a consistent basis and on an ‘apples to apples’ basis,” says DePew, who also notes that WK27877 will help to reduce the use of varying terms in the equestrian industry.

CONTACT

Technical Information: Michael DePew, Environmental Technical Services LLC, Tekonsha, Mich.

Phone: 517-767-4507

ASTM Staff: Christine Basile

Phone: 610-832-9728