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Machine learning keeps track of horses

Steve Rogerson
November 2, 2017



Artificial intelligence can help stables keep track of their horses round the clock, thanks to StableGuard, a monitoring and alert system from Seattle-based start-up Magic AI.
 
It uses computer vision and machine learning to monitor horses in their stalls. When anomalous behaviour is detected, the system generates alerts that owners receive via a mobile app. Owners can then view their horse in real time via the mobile app's video streaming feature.
 
StableGuard also analyses all the collected data to provide owners with a wellness profile that helps keep their horses healthy and happy.
 
Magic AI was born out of a personal tragedy that occurred in December 2012 when Alexa Anthony (pictured) saw her prize-winning horse Magic die of colic because the symptoms of this common digestive disorder manifested in the middle of the night. By the time she arrived at the stable the next morning, the illness had progressed too far to be treatable.
 
Anthony came up with the idea for StableGuard to help prevent other unnecessary deaths.
 
"If there was something that had notified me as soon as he was showing symptoms of distress, he would probably still be alive today," she said.
 
In the USA, there are over nine million horses with an estimated market size of $39bn annually. More than a tenth of these horses will need emergency care each year; early detection has the potential to make a significant improvement in the resolution of these emergencies.
 
Magic AI was founded in June this year and is ramping up production with several installations pending, which have been scheduled for 2018.
 
"We are excited about the terrific response to StableGuard and we are focusing on professional stables with at least ten stalls," said Katherine Schmidt, VP of sales and marketing. "We have put together a great team of sales representatives based all across the country. Each of our representatives has extensive experience with horses and all of them have competed at the highest levels in equestrian competition with three of them being division one championship riders."
 
Anthony has been around horses for most of her life and is an NCAA champion on the equestrian team at the University of South Carolina.