Virtual Horse Racing at the National Museum of Racing

There can be little doubt that thousands of people across the globe have wondered at some stage of their lives what it would be like to ride a race horse or participate as a jockey in a horse racing competition. As the striking thoroughbred pounds down the home stretch, the crowds cheering enthusiastically waiting on the result of the race, the speed and excitement is undeniable. Now at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs New York, you can get a taste for racing without the danger at the interactive simulator exhibit.

Horse racing simulators have long been used in the racing industry in the training and fitness of jockeys so they are certainly not new to the racing world. However, the general public is not usually privy to these expensive machines so the idea of hopping aboard a man-made horse and giving horse racing a try in a safe environment is appealing to many.

The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame has set about rectifying this, making use of an interactive exhibit as part of their displays whereby the public can hop aboard a racehorse simulator for a little extra money. Of course, people fewer than 48 inches in height are not allowed to mount the racing simulator since accidents could result. But if you are willing to dig a little deeper into your wallet – a mere $5 deeper in addition to your admission to the museum then you may take a ride on the racing simulator. Because if racing has long been a dream of yours that has never been realized then nothing will stop you from climbing aboard and giving this great machine a try.

The horse racing simulator is part of an interactive exhibit so it is a bit more high-tech than those used by the average jockey during training. There is a 50-inch screen ahead of you which will help you become aware of just how fast your ‘thoroughbred’ is traveling. You can also choose your ride based on your skill level and while most visitors choose ‘warm-up’, you can also ride as an ‘apprentice’ and a ‘jockey’. The simulator has been available at the museum since August 2006 and will continue to be available to the public until Monday, 31 December 2007. It is operational on Fridays and Saturdays from 12 to 4 pm and reservations can be made by phoning ahead.

So the next time you are in the Saratoga Springs area, why mount up and ride a ‘virtual’ thoroughbred over the finishing line? It may be as close to the excitement as you can get without actually being a professional horse racing jockey on a race day.