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.