Royal Ascot to be filmed by drones — a first for live sport

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  • Live drone cameras have been added to the coverage by Channel 4 from Royal Ascot this week (16-20 June).

    It will be the first time in racing — and in live sport — that a drone camera will have been used.

    The remote-controlled device will capture 360 degrees fully rotational shots of the course and track live racing action.

    The camera, already successfully used in other sports via recorded packages will break new ground with live racing images.

    “We have 44 cameras to capture all the action on and off the track at the Royal Meeting,” said Channel 4 Racing’s Denise Large.

    “Some of our feature cameras include a camcat wire camera (which runs the length of the home straight), hi- motion super loupe, jimmy jibs, starting stalls cameras, a tracking camera (following the action) alongside 10 radio frequency hand-held cameras to get to every part of the course.

    “I’m delighted that our coverage for the first time, will feature the ground break aerial batcam (drone) — it will be a first for racing.

    Jockey cameras will also be used, as they were at the Grand National meeting.

    “The on-board jockey cameras, which we have for the first time at the Royal Meeting, enables the jockeys to show off their raceriding skills and this innovation really takes the viewer closer to the action,” added Ms Large.

    “Royal Ascot is an incredible week and is like no other racing event in our calendar to cover — I am relishing the five days ahead.”

    And racing is not the only equestrian sport to have considered drones.

    Earlier month H&H reported that British Eventing’s chief executive David Holmes thought drones could be a positive way to promote eventing to a wider audience.

    “Technology is one area that needs to be addressed,” he said. “There’s also the issue of how you present the cross-country. There are jokes about drones, but they use them in other sports. It’s not expensive and it wouldn’t affect the horse or rider as they are far enough away.”

    The Royal Meeting kicks off tomorrow (Tuesday 16 June) and the five-day meeting hosts eight Group One races — The King’s Stand Stakes, Queen Anne Stakes, St James’s Palace Stakes, Prince of Wales’s Stakes, The Gold Cup, The Coronation Stakes and The Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

    All 30 races of the Royal Meeting will be shown live on Channel 4.

    For more information on how to watch Royal Ascot on TV see H&H‘s guide

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