Groundbreaking new virtual reality experience debuts at Sandown’s Coral Summer Festival – Horse Racing News

Fans at the Coral Summer Festival will be given VR headsets to wear, with a 360-degree jockey’s eye view to get them closer than ever to the start of a race in one of the UK’s hottest locations.

A groundbreaking virtual reality experience gives race-goers at next week’s Coral Summer Festival in Sandown Park (Friday, July 1 and Saturday, July 2) the chance to experience exactly what it’s like to ride a racehorse on the same course and distance as one of the world’s elite Flat races, the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse, for the first time.

The new Virtual Race Experience is a partnership between JockeyCam Ltd and Coral, whose support of Coral-Eclipse is the longest running sponsorship of any group race in the world.

Fans at the Coral Summer Festival will be given VR headsets to wear, with a 360-degree jockey’s eye view to get them closer than ever to the start of a race in one of the UK’s hottest locations.

The footage is taken from a “race” hosted, hosted and filmed by Coral and JockeyCam at Sandown Park on May 27 over the same 10 furlongs that will see some of the world’s best horses compete in next Saturday’s Coral race (2 July). eclipse.

Using much of the same conditions as the actual race itself, seven runners were ridden by current jockeys, all with 360-degree high-definition cameras on their helmets, with RaceTech operating the starting boxes and Tony Ennis providing commentary.

When looking back at VR headsets, users can look in any direction to see in front, to the side and even behind them, as if they were riding a horse in real life.

Up to seven race goers can participate at the same time, each ‘riding’ a different horse.

Simon Clare, Coral PR Director, said: “Coral and JockeyCam are working together to bring race fans even closer to the action of this great sport than ever before.

“The 360-degree camera technology is simply incredible, delivering the most realistic and intense experience of riding a racehorse on the exact same course and distance of the Coral-Eclipse that Coral has proudly sponsored since 1976, making it the longest running sponsorship of every group race in the world.

“In line with our long-term commitment to race sponsorship in the UK, dating back to the early 1970s, we want to get as many people closer to the action as possible and will bring the Virtual Race Experience into all of our race sponsorships. the next few years.”

Sam Fleet, CEO of JockeyCam Ltd, said: “Most people have kicked a football or hit a tennis ball, but very few people have ridden a horse, let alone a racehorse.

“With the Virtual Race Experience we want to show what it is like to drive in a race. It means that people can really feel involved in the sport and understand how challenging the job of a jockey is.

“The fact that it’s 360 degrees should make it an incredible experience for people who want to try it, and the fact that you can race ‘against your friends’ makes it even more special.

“We are very grateful to everyone behind the scenes who made this possible, not least Coral for supporting the initiative.”

Sarah Drabwell, Interim General Manager of Sandown Park, said: “This is a fantastic and innovative way to involve everyone from racing fans to those new to the sport.

“Coral and JockeyCam have put in a tremendous amount of resources and expertise to make this the most realistic experience available to anyone who has ever wondered what it’s like to ride a racehorse.

“We are confident that the Virtual Race Experience will be a big hit at the Coral Summer Festival and we are delighted that Coral has chosen to introduce the concept for a race they have sponsored for 46 years.”

Race-goers can take part in the Virtual Race Experience on both days of the Coral Summer Festival, which kicks off with Ladies Day on Friday, July 1, when the Style Awards return to Sandown Park.

Hosted for the first time since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, prizes on offer include Coast and House of Cavani vouchers, a VIP experience at Sandown Park, and champagne and flowers.

Race-goers can also enjoy a question-and-answer session with a panel of inspirational sportswomen, including Olympic gold medalist Laura Collett and leading show jumping coach and mentor Mia Palles-Clark.

The panel will take the stage at Sandown Park to discuss a range of topics, including mental resilience, with a particular focus on their performance in their individual disciplines.

After the seven varieties card, there is also entertainment in the evening, with a DJ set by actor and TV presenter Denise Van Outen.

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