When it comes to horse racing, there is a long-standing debate about whether the hooves of a horse ever leave the ground when they run. It has remained an unanswered question for centuries, with one gentleman, in particular, making a bet that they do. Find out who won this bet and how it was proven.
The Debate Over Horses’ Hooves Leaving The Ground
For as long as horse racing has been around, there has been a debate as to whether or not a horse’s hooves ever leave the ground while they are running. Early on, this was an impossibility to prove due to the speed of the horse and the lack of technology available at the time. As such, it remained a matter of speculation and debate.
The Famous Bet
In 1864, a gentleman by the name of Leonard W. Jerome made a bet that horses’ hooves do, in fact, leave the ground during a race. At the time, many believed it to be impossible, and so, the wager was accepted. The bet was for a large sum of money and the stakes were high.
The First Attempt at Proving The Bet
In an attempt to prove Jerome’s bet, the Royal Society of London organized an experiment. They recruited a team of scientists to study the motion of a horse’s hooves at the Newmarket racecourse in England. The scientists used a high-speed camera to capture the motion of the horse and the results showed that the hooves were indeed leaving the ground.
This was a major breakthrough, but it was not enough to prove the bet. The camera was not able to capture the entire race and so, the results were inconclusive.
Eadweard Muybridge’s Photographs
In 1878, a photographer by the name of Eadweard Muybridge was recruited to prove Jerome’s bet. Muybridge was a pioneer in the field of photography and had developed a camera that could take sequential photographs. This allowed him to capture the entire race and showed that the hooves were, in fact, leaving the ground.
Muybridge’s photographs proved that the hooves of a horse do, in fact, leave the ground when they run. This was a major breakthrough and it established a new standard for horse racing. Jerome won the bet and was awarded the large sum of money that he had wagered.
It took many years and a lot of dedication, but Leonard W. Jerome was able to prove his bet that horses’ hooves leave the ground when they run. He was awarded a large sum of money for his efforts and, in the process, established a new standard for horse racing.