Virtual reality still seems like a futuristic concept, but it’s one that’s getting progressively closer to the mainstream. There are already numerous headsets on the market from Oculus and HTC, along with VR experiences and games. However, the platform has not quite become an essential household item yet.

This could be set to change soon, though, with Apple working on its top-secret VR project and industry projections expecting it to blow up by 2025. This could be a major boost to horse racing, as it will allow more people to enjoy one of the world’s top spectator sports from the comfort of their homes.

Horse Racing is Already One of the Most Viewed Sports in the World

Horse racing is one of the most attended sports in the world, with around 6 million people visiting racetracks each year in the UK alone. It also has a more even spread of male and female support, with around 40 percent of viewers being women.

Britain boasts several prestigious events, with iconic venues like Cheltenham and Ascot. The sport is also huge on a global scale, with some of the biggest meets taking place in the USA each year. For instance, the Kentucky Derby is the most-watched event in the country after the Super Bowl, with around 8.4 million viewers tuning in to the race in 2020.

Live Streaming has Made it Available to More People

Horse racing is growing in popularity now thanks to live streaming. In the past, it succeeded well as a live spectator sport, but lost out to other games in terms of television viewing figures. Live streaming has solved this problem and it acts as the perfect medium to bring viewers close to the action and immerse them in it.

Viewers now enjoy watching and betting on events like Cheltenham from the comfort of their own homes. They are able to easily stream the races while also opening the odds on different screens. This is simpler than it would be at a live event, which could be a contributing factor to the sport’s increasing popularity. There is so much potential to continue on this upward trajectory by developing and adding to the experience of watching live sport.

Virtual Reality Experiences are the Next Logical Step

So, VR is the next logical step in upping the immersion levels of horse racing. There are already some VR horse racing experiences available, such as Horse Racing 2016 on the Oculus Rift. However, it hasn’t reached a stage yet where users can don the headsets and tune in to any horse race in the world. When this comes to fruition, they will effectively be able to jet across the planet in their own living rooms, visiting the world’s most famous races in an instant.

The fact that horse racing is most enjoyed as a live sport suggests that it is the perfect offering for VR. When a greater number of people have headsets, there should be a rise in horse racing viewing figures around the world.

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