The colour of markers on hurdles and fences at racecourses could change because of the way horses see colour. Research by the University of Exeter found that racehorses may jump better over white and yellow obstacles, instead of the orange/brown which is currently used on hurdle frames, fence take-off boards and guard-rails.
The study on equine vision, commissioned by the British Horseracing Authority and Racing Foundation in 2017, involved noting the behavioural responses of horses to more prominent colours in a controlled environment. It was carried out with trainer Richard Phillips and 11 racecourses, where the visibility of orange markers and other potential colours were tested.
As a result, a phased trial at training grounds will begin using fluorescent yellow for all hurdles and guard-rails and fluorescent white for take-off boards at fences. The colours have been determined to maximise visibility under a wide range of conditions for both humans and horses.