As an advocate of equestrian sport for almost 10 years, SAP took another step to combine technology and sports with SAP Business Technology Platform.

Equestrians training with the riding simulatorIn 2019, the Walldorf Riding Club (RRV), working with SAP, introduced the Racewood Simulator to its students and teachers – a robot horse that reproduces horses’ movements in virtual training sessions. The so-called “Sir Waldo” is programmed to simulate several disciplines, such as dressage, jumping, and cross-country riding, and closely examine the saddle’s weight distribution. Furthermore, it guides riders in positioning their legs and reins. This technical innovation is located in the SAP Equestrian Experience Center that borders the RRV riding area. That way, it is easily accessible for club members.

By providing a controlled environment, beginners and professional equestrians get the chance to practice and improve their skills in a simulated training and competition setting. In close cooperation with professional trainers and guest lecturers, the riding club offers this new experience in various forms to a broad target group. The club also provides specific courses such as fear management and mental training for traumatized riders.

This kind of simulation is a pioneer project in Germany. It shows the desire of the RRV to innovate, offer its members the best possible conditions, develop as a riding club, and continuously improve riders’ skills.

Improving Training Analysis with SAP Technology

The initial simulator only allowed for a small data set per riding session, which was available in a printed version. This document didn’t provide all the information users needed to determine further training behaviors. Users exhibited a strong demand for detailed training information to analyze their progress and potential learning gaps to inform long-term training plans.

To fully exploit the technical possibilities of the riding simulator, the SAP Global Sponsorships team connected with SAP AppHaus and Black Horse One GmbH to design an extensive training app using SAP Business Technology Platform.

Riding Simulator and SAP BTP
Technical Realization of the Solution

Within two remote workshops, the SAP team applied design thinking methods and gained knowledge about every critical aspect of the project, such as the technical framework of the Racewood Simulator, user needs, and first solution approaches. The project team identified the need to collect and summarize valuable data from the Racewood Simulator and transform it into understandable analysis visualization. To reach that goal, the team leveraged SAP Extension Suite. With this technology, they could build the Riding Simulator Analysis Portal, the base of the application.

The future Web-based solution will provide detailed training data in four main categories: seating analysis, dressage, jumping, and cross-country riding. These classifications contain several vital facts, such as program analysis (balance, reins, thighs), freeriding, and progress. Thereby, users can track their riding proficiency in detail, identify areas of improvement, and better their skills efficiently. In addition, notes and homework can be saved by students and teachers.

To save individual training results and protect them from third parties, authentication and a single sign-on are guaranteed by SAP Cloud Identity Services and stored in SAP Cloud Application Programming Model, based on SAP HANA Cloud.

Aileen Trunk, a rider at RRV, said, “The new SAP training app gives both trainers and learners valuable insights and helps to optimize training across all disciplines – dressage, jumping and cross-country riding. I am now able to analyze my simulator sessions in detail with a wide range of possibilities. At any time, my trainer can prepare my units effectively and we can review and work on my short-term and long-term development together.”

Interface of the dashbaord
User interface of the new riding simulator dashboard

Future Digitalization of Equestrian Sports

Currently, the seating analysis is already used in training and the other components are planned for development and will be introduced soon. Thanks to the new application built on SAP Business Technology Platform, training data can be accessed and analyzed from anywhere, can be used in upcoming training units, and will pave the way for lasting progress.

“The Racewood Equestrian Simulator is a great means to showcase the excitement of the sport to all interested audiences,” said Thomas Esser, innovation manager with SAP Global Sponsorships. “In particular, it is amazing to see how riders can now leverage the digital horse and take advantage of technologies like SAP HANA Cloud and SAP Business Technology Platform to bring their training to next level.”

Once again, SAP has laid the foundation for next-level equestrian sports, providing virtual solutions and 100% paperless work. No doubt, the team looks forward to identifying new projects with the Walldorf equestrians in the future.

Key Results

  • Detailed depiction of training analysis
  • Enhanced training outcome through efficient usage of data
  • Improved user interface to draw meaningful conclusions
  • 100% paperless work