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Blinkers On, Can Be Huge
They are a hood made of fabric, with cups sewn onto the eye openings. This hood is fitted to the horse's head. The cups force the horse to look straight ahead. They are put on a horse for a few reasons. The main one is so he/she is not distracted by other horses and is a bit easier to handle for the jockey. If a horse is wearing blinkers for the first time it can have a dramatic effect on his/her race performance.
Generally horses wearing blinkers for the first time will often show early speed. I am not a 100% sure why this happens, but it almost always does. They usually break much sharper from the gate and may have their mind more on running today. This often equates to a much improved race effort. Some horses seem to really relax much better when wearing blinkers. Young horses often show the most improvement when wearing blinkers. I have seen some dramatic form changes when the blinkers were added to a 2 year old.
Here is a quote from a trainer which will make you think hard about the potential of adding blinkers ability to improve a horse:
It's amazing what something as small as a pair of blinkers can do for a horse. They've done wonders for both Aptitude and Exogenous, new horses each since getting the equipment change. Exogenous was, at best, a mid-level stakes horse before trainer Scotty Schulhofer gave her blinkers. Since then, she's 2-for-2 with wins in a pair of Grade I's, the Beldame and Gazelle. "They've made a big difference, a couple million dollars worth of difference," Exogenous' trainer Scotty Schulhofer said.
Always, keep an eye on
equipment changes and remember to reassess any horse who is adding
blinkers for the first time today. By Kerry Zangara