Move over F1 drivers, medical experts today revealed a profession which is just as adrenalin-packed as yours – being a racehorse trainer.
Scientists monitoring the heart rates of jockeys, bookies, punters, owners and trainers at the recent Cheltenham Festival found the highest rate was for trainer Jamie Snowden.
Snowden, 34 – an ex-amateur jockey – recorded a peak heart rate of 193 beats per minute as his winner Present View crossed the line.
Formula One drivers like Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button regularly hit between 180 and 210 beats per minute during Grands Prix.
Immediately after the victory Jamie’s heart beat slowed, but then whizzed up again when it was announced there would be a steward’s inquiry.
At the point when his horse was confirmed as the winner his heart hit 177.
By contrast the rate of leading jump jockey Noel Fehily, 38, peaked at 180 as he placed in four of the events races.
The typical punter, can expect his heart rate to hit 156 during a race he has waged money on.
Unsurprisingly, the calmest man during the day was 72-year-old bookie Tony Styles whose heart rate peaked at 119 beats per minute, about the same as the average adult’s during sex.
The team used a Polar RS400 Heart Monitor, which combine an elastic strap worn around the chest which measures the individual’s beats per minute and communicates them directly to a ‘watch’ worn on the wrist.
Nick Attenborough, spokesperson for Lovetheraces.com, said: “We’ve long known that the excitement of horse racing gets the heart beating faster but we weren’t expecting to find that the heart rates of the jockeys doing all the physical work were actually on a par with the owners and trainers watching from the grandstand.
“You couldn’t get a better advertisement for buying a racehorse.”
Professor Hugh Montgomery, director of the Institute for Human Health and Performance said: “I’m not surprised by the jockey’s results; they’re elite athletes who need to be extremely fit.
“The jockey’s heart rate figures reflect the physicality of race riding as well as the thrill of the chase.”
“The trainer’s heart rate shows just how excited he was at the moment of victory. For a person of his age, it’s unlikely his heart could have beaten much faster.”
Trainer Jamie said: “For us to train our first Cheltenham Festival winner was a fulfilment of a lifetime dream.
”I hope there are many more to come too! It’s amazing to see how my heart reacted to the thrill.
“I always thought horse racing made the heart beat faster but now there’s proof that owning and training racehorses is the ultimate adrenalin rush.”
Heart rate is strongly influenced by exercise and adrenaline, a hormone produced during high stress or exciting situations.
It works by stimulating the heart rate, contracting blood vessels and dilating air passages, all of which work to increase blood flow to the muscles and oxygen to the lungs.
When Neil Armstrong took his first walk on the moon his heart rate peaked at 160 bpm.
Airline pilots landing an aircraft will have a heart rate in the region of 120 – 130bpm.
A motorist in London traffic driving around Hyde Park Corner might have a raised heart rate of 140 bpm.
A skydiver just after he deploys his parachute has been recorded with a heartbeat of 175 bpm.
Motor racing drivers have had recorded heart beats of 150 to 180bpm a few minutes before a race and between 180 and 210bpm during racing.
Tour de France winner Chris Froome recorded a peak heart rate of 165bpm which is low compared to other elite cyclists, who would be expected to record peak figures of around 200bpm.
The owner who took part in the study was Nigel Roddis (44 yrs), owner of the current favourite for the Grand National.
He recorded a peak heart rate of 176 beats per minute when his horse Teaforthree won at the Cheltenham Festival in 2012.
The same horse is now the 9/1 favourite for The National, having come third in the race last year.
He said: “When Teaforthree won at the Cheltenham I don’t think that I could have been more elated, a victory at the Festival has been an ambition all my racing life.
“I just hope my heart can cope at Aintree on Saturday if he jumps the last and is in with a chance.”
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