For owners unable to attend next week’s Royal Ascot meeting due to the new protocols introduced by the British Horseracing Authority, the track has introduced a number of arrangements and benefits to cater for them as the meeting takes place behind closed doors.
The course’s official photographer will take pictures of every horse in the parade ring for owners to access after the event, while trainers and jockeys will be allowed to film, and Facetime pre- and post-race debriefs with owners on their phones.
Owners will receive a pair of traditional printed Royal Ascot racecards in advance of racedays which will be personalised with the name of their horse on. Also included with the posted racecards will be souvenir ‘Royal Ascot At Home’ badges for owners.
Through the recently announced Racing Hub, owners will be able to access real-time weather data, going stick readings and during each day of race, can access a 360-degree camera feed from the parade ring which will pick up every horse as it walks around before a race. Full sectional times will from each race will also be available on the hub.
There will be no formal trophy presentations at Royal Ascot this year, but the historical trophies will be sent to winning owners after the event along with mementoes for winning trainers and jockeys.
Winning owners will also receive a video card of the race and photograph montage as normal and this year, in conjunction with sponsors Moet & Chandon and Fortnum & Mason, the owners of the first four home in all of the 36 races, and the winning breeders, will receive a gift to celebrate with.
Nick Smith, Director of Racing and Public Affairs at Ascot, said: “Whilst the ultimate experience of being at Royal Ascot sadly isn’t possible this year, we hope that what we are planning will make ownership at home as special as possible.
“We are particularly pleased to be able to provide owners with a feed to the parade ring and to be housing all the data that all horsemen need from real-time weather and going reports to post-race sectionals in one, convenient place.
“We are very conscious of the loyalty and commitment to the sport that owners have shown over the past months and when permitted, of course they will be the first constituents welcomed back to Ascot.”
Charlie Liverton, Chief Executive of the Racehorse Owners’ Association, added: “I am thrilled that Royal Ascot and the ROA have been able to put together some fantastic initiatives that help to bring the magic of Royal Ascot home.
“They have gone to extraordinary lengths to bring owners virtually into the paddock, to speak with their trainers and jockeys and receive special behind the scenes access, along with personalised racecards for all those with a horse running.
“As ever, it will never replicate being able to attend in person, but rest assured we are working hard with the BHA and racecourses to get owners back on course as a priority.”