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sport horse snippets EyeDentify Your Horse by Chrissy Rudd “

resting his fi nger on the trigger. You tense up, holding the horse’s head still, waiting for some kind of indication of discomfort from him. Before you know it, you hear, “Okay, I’m all done. All that’s left is to upload these photos to the database and your horse will be completely enrolled.”


What is eyeD? Simply put, eyeD is a digital equine identifi cation system that utilizes non-invasive and stress free iris scanning technology. Picture your favorite detective drama. When the lead character needs to access that top secret room in the back, what does he do? He steps up to an eye scanner that scans the agent’s eye to determine his identity with a retinal scan more accurate than a fi ngerprint. And now, similar technology is available for your horse. eyeD takes a high resolution digital photo of the horse’s iris, which is one hundred percent unique (not even clones or twins have the same iris pattern), and stores the coded image in a database that only the horse’s owner and veterinarian have 24/7 access to. With a 99.9% accuracy rate, this system boasts an easier, safer and more eff ective method of equine identifi cation.

How does it work? The system uses a specially constructed camera that uses harmless amounts of infrared illumination to

promise, it will be quick and painless,” says the vet as he takes the sleek black machine out of its case. Holding it by the handle, he takes aim at your horse’s head,

take a digital photo of each iris. These photos, called eyePrints, are used to provide the horse owner with a fi fteen-digit alphanumeric code that is unique to each horse. Dave Knupp, Marketing Manager for Global Animal Management which produces eyeD, compared the system to an iPod at a recent conference in Virginia. Envision the camera is the iPod. Next, the camera is synced with the eyeSync software, which is comparable to the iTunes playlist. The eyeSync software then adds the eyePrints to the eyeD database, which equates with the iTunes Store, and voila! The horse is now in the system and is immediately identifi able by anyone with an eyeD camera. To take the photo, a veterinarian holds the camera

12 to 14 inches from the horse’s eye and squeezes the trigger to activate the camera. Within seconds, a video is taken from which a still image is extracted, and the process is repeated on the other eye, Dave explains. The veterinarian can also enter other data about the horse onto the on-camera computer that will be uploaded along with the photo and saved to that horse’s account. Additional data can include health records, Coggins test results and more.

Benefi ts of eyeD With a 99.9 percent accuracy rate, iris scanning is the most accurate of all existing equine identifi cation methods. Since the eyeD system is completely non- invasive, there is no risk of infection or malfunction as with other identifi cation methods, such as tattoos, microchips or brands. According to Dave, “The information stored in the eyeD database is tamperproof, permanent and safe from damage, unlike paper documents.” Even if the horse has an eye condition such as corneal ulcers, moon blindness or eyeball trauma, a scan for either enrollment or verifi cation purposes can still be achieved as long as 30–40% of the iris is not blocked or aff ected. The database that stores the horse’s

identifi cation information has the capacity to store other pertinent equine records, such as the pedigree, performance history and photos. The horse’s eyeD identifi cation can also be attached to health certifi cates and records, Coggins test results and interstate movement certifi cates.

eyeD representative Summer Dunaway performs a scan at a horse show in Florida. 70 September/October 2012

Photo: Amalia Castro

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