Racing Museum to Debut Unique Horse Racing Simulator

The National Racing Museum and Hall of Fame is expected to unveil its one-of-a-kind equine simulator during a press conference Aug. 3 museum communications director Mike Kane said.

Under development for approximately three years, the $117,000 computerized exhibit will give visitors an opportunity to ride a mechanized horse, originally developed to train jockeys in Europe, while seeing synchronized video clips. It will open to the public Friday, Aug. 4.

"We're trying to show racing fans just how athletic a jockey really has to be, and it's a very unique machine," said Ed Ostberg of Design Function Inc., the Queensbury, New York firm that developed the exhibit for the museum. "Nobody in the world has put all this hardware together to provide a ride of this kind."

The equine simulator is programmed to three separate simulations: a jog around the Oklahoma training track, a break from the gate to a slow gallop on the same surface, and a 1 1/8-mile turf race filmed at Hollywood Park.

Safety precautions include a pre-simulation fitness test for all participants, which will take place on a standard Equicizer. The museum will charge a $5.00 fee for non-members, while museum members will have free access to the ride for limited daily use. Two attendants will operate the simulator and provide assistance with helmets, safety vests, and riding crops.

From The Blood-Horse, www.bloodhorse.com.

About the Author

Claire Novak

Winner of the 2011 Eclipse Award for Feature/Commentary and the 2008 Louisville Metro Journalism Award for Sports Writing, Claire Novak has melded her love for human-interest journalism and the equine breed into a successful Turf writing career. Since her first freelance article on racing was published at BloodHorse.com in 2005, her byline has appeared in the New York Times, ESPN The Magazine, and on ESPN.com, among others. She lives near Lexington and, when not writing about racing, can often be found jumping her Thoroughbred, Bob.

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