Experience what it’s like to compete in a professional horse race.
Those attending the legendary Breeders‘ Cup World Championship, an annual series of Thoroughbred horse races, will have the rare opportunity to step into the boots of a professional horse jockey thanks to the power of VR technology.
First reported by The Blood-Horse, The Breeders’ Cup JockeyCam VR Experience was developed by the film house Equine Productions, the same company behind the JockeyCam, a lightweight transmitter worn by jockeys that allow viewers to experience races from the athlete’s perspective. The JockeyCam VR Experience takes things to the next level with an immersive 360-degree view.
“I think this is the closest thing that we can get to (giving) someone not from the sport or had anything to do with the sport, the feeling of what it’s actually like to ride in a real race,” said company co-founder Nathan Horrocks.
Normally, the experience has you sitting on a unique bench designed to simulate a racing saddle. Unfortunately, this specialized seat will not be included as part of The Breeders’ Cup JockeyCam VR Experience at Keeneland.
The experience itself features 360-degree footage from a choreographed race. As such, you aren’t able to interact with the virtual world. Still, if you’re a fan of horse racing and happen to find yourself at Keeneland this week, you may want to check it out.
“They were able to let the horses go and then whoever won from that point wins the race,” said Horrocks. “It was acted out like a real race in the last two and a half furlongs, but we just wanted to make sure they stayed as a group coming down the hill to give the experience the best chance of succeeding and helping the audience feel what it’s like to ride in a real race.”
The Breeders’ Cup JockeyCam VR Experience will be available to try at The Breeders’ Cup November 4 – 5th. You can also visit the Breeders’ Cup website or download the mobile app to access live 360-degree cameras located at the paddock and the front side of the track. There will also be 14 cameras located atop the roof of Keeneland as well as cameras in 14 riding saddles.
For more information visit breederscup.com.
In addition to VR, we’ve also begun to see augmented reality (AR) technology make its way to the track.
Last month we reported on a new AR system compatible with “horse racing tracks everywhere.” Visitors can use their smartphones to project virtual content over the real world to access important racing information in real time.
Feature Image Credit: Anne M. Eberhardt