A newly developed virtual reality experience that allows users to experience horse racing through the eyes of a jockey or harness driver is available to attendees of the Pennsylvania Farm Show. The 360-degree virtual reality experience–using real video filmed during actual Thoroughbred and harness races in Pennsylvania–allows individuals wearing a virtual reality headset to look left, right, and behind them as they race against other horses toward the finish line.
To complete the Thoroughbred racing experience, users can even experience the simulated virtual reality race while riding on an Equicizer, a mechanical horse that mimics the motion of a 1,200 pound horse galloping at top speed. In the coming months, the creators of the virtual reality experience plan to debut a specially created race bike that will mimic the feel of a harness race as well.
The virtual reality experience was created by the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Association as a way to allow more members of the public to experience the excitement of horse racing with the hope of enticing them to later visit one of Pennsylvania's six racetracks. After the Pennsylvania Farm Show, the PHRA plans to take the new virtual reality experience to fairs, festivals and other events throughout the state in 2020.