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Science Briefing

Why a jockey's posture counts

July 18, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Scientists are figuring out why a jockey's posture speeds up the horse. In more than 100 years of recorded race times, the biggest improvements in speed (5% to 7% in the U.S. and Britain) came around the turn of the 20th century, when jockeys changed their posture, a Royal Veterinary College team reported Friday in the journal Science. They found that the crouch lets jockeys isolate their bodies from the horse's movement -- the horse is moving up and down a lot more than its rider -- saving it some energy.

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