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SAP Equestrian Analytics: Making Eventing Fans Part of the Ride

November 15, 2016 by Isabelle Schuhmacher 28

SAP technology is changing the experience of eventing — the “equestrian triathlon” — for fans and athletes

In eventing, the spectators get everything that makes a sport breathtaking: Three disciplines with different challenges that all have to be mastered with the same horse (dressage, cross-country, and show jumping), action, emotions and fierce competition until the last ride. However, what makes it hard for the sport to reach a broader audience is that it is very difficult for fans to follow the action on the cross-country courses and be part of the experience.

As technology sponsor in equestrian sports, since 2012 SAP has set out to develop technologies that enable a completely new event experience. Based on SAP HANA Cloud Platform, the Internet of Things finds its way into the equestrian world. With the innovative tracking technology SAP Equestrian Analytics, fans now can follow the riders live on the cross-country courses and be part of the action for the whole ride.

And SAP is going beyond pure watching: SAP Audience Judging empowers fans to take the judge’s seat and co-score the competitors — in real time. Instead of just observing passively, fans are now an essential part of the sporting event. For the launch of SAP’s latest equestrian partnership with the Event Rider Master Series (ERM) at the final leg in front of beautiful Blenheim Palace, the spectators for the first time could also score the eventing dressage competitions live, compare their results with those of the judges, and follow the audience rankings on the big screens.

The event organizers were full of praise: “This is the first time here at Blenheim that we have used the application and already we see loads and loads of people using the app and really getting quite passionate about it. And it´s fantastic fun,” said Chris Stone, CEO of the Event Rider Masters.

Besides the fans, riders and coaches benefit as well from the new SAP visualization and tracking technology by using the data to evaluate and improve their strategy. SAP Equestrian Ambassador Ingrid Klimke regularly uses the additional insights and information to monitor her horse’s performance and analyze her speed and way through the cross-country obstacles. She is convinced that it is all about “the little details that count and help me to be better, each time.”


SAP’s Engagement with Equestrian Sports

SAP is the Official Technology Sponsor of the World Equestrian Festival, CHIO Aachen, and the Event Rider Masters Series (ERM). The Co-Innovation Partnerships have brought forward a set of technologies that revolutionized the event experience for the fans of Equestrian Sports:

  • SAP Equestrian Analytics brings IoT to the horse world. Sensor data from the riders tracked and visualized in real-time let fans experience new perspectives and follow the riders live on the cross-country courses
  • SAP Audience Judging puts spectators in the judge’s seat allowing them to score along with the official jury in real-time. Due to the positive fan feedback and huge demand, this technology will be globally available via an SAP Partner in the future.
  • SAP Equestrian Fan Quiz engages fans big and small offering an entertaining set of questions to win badges and create high-scores while learning more about the sport.
  • SAP Business Analytics for Showjumping is going to provide insights into facts and patterns from the jumping courses in 2017

Olympic Champion Ingrid Klimke was chosen as SAP’s Equestrian Ambassador in 2014. With her constant successes in eventing and dressage on highest level combined with an exemplary behavior towards her horses, an absolute openness for new technologies as well as her extraordinary communication skills embracing her fans closely and being a role model for riders around the world, Ingrid represents all the qualities which SAP values and would like to support in sports.

Some of her successes comprise:

  • Participation in five Olympic Games. Two Gold Medals with the team (2008 and 2012) and Team Silver in Rio (2016).
  • Gold Medal at World Championship for Young Horses 2016
  • Gold Medal with the team at the European Championships 2015
  • First and second place, and Nations Cup Winner with the team in Aachen 2015
  • Gold Medal with the team at the World Championships 2014
  • As first German (and first Woman) ever, winner of the “FEI Classics Series’” of international 4* Eventing tournaments
  • “Eventing rider of the Year 2015”
  • As the second woman in history, awarded honorary title “Riding Master”

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