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Racegoers attending the Coral Scottish Grand National Festival on Friday 1st April and Saturday 2nd April will be able to experience exactly what it is like to ride a racehorse over fences thanks to a pioneering virtual reality activation.

Coral’s new Virtual Race Experience, developed in partnership with JockeyCam Ltd, provides racing fans with a 360-degree jockey’s eye-view of riding in a race staged and filmed at Chepstow Racecourse.

Racegoers will don virtual reality headsets on the Coral activation stage at Ayr racecourse, and effectively ride as one of the seven jockeys in the race, competing head-to-head with each-other, and getting closer than ever before to experiencing what it is like to be a jump jockey riding in the cut and thrust of a horse race.

The footage was filmed at Chepstow Racecourse, with a 360-degree high-definition camera mounted on the helmets of each of the seven jockeys who raced over two miles and 11 fences. This pioneering technology enables the racing fans viewing the footage through a VR headset to look in whichever direction they want, as if they riding the horse.

JockeyCam organized the staging and filming of the race, with racehorses supplied by trainer, Tim Vaughan, seven professional jockeys riding in the race, race commentary provided by Stewart Machin.

Simon Clare, Coral PR Director says: “Coral and JockeyCam are working together to get racing fans even closer to the action of this amazing sport, and we are so excited to be launching this pioneering Virtual Race Experience.”

“The 360 degree camera technology is just incredible and delivers the most realistic and intense experience of riding a racehorse in a jump race. We will be taking the Virtual Race Experience to all our race sponsorships throughout the next couple of years, as we want as many people as possible to get the chance to take part in this experience.”

Sam Fleet, Managing Director of JockeyCam Ltd says: “Most people have kicked a football or whacked a tennis ball, but very few people have ridden a horse, let alone a racehorse. With the Virtual Race Experience it’s our intention to show what its like to ride in a race. It means that people can feel really engaged with the sport and understand just how challenging a jockey’s job is. The fact that its 360-degrees should make it a really incredible experience for people who are having a go.”