Brayten Gahimer guides the drone in a test run at Indiana Grand.
When racing resumes for the 19th season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing Tuesday, April 13, racing fans will notice some new features added to the television production of the live racing broadcast. A drone will be implemented into the current lineup of camera shots, opening up a whole new realm of possibilities for enhanced camera angles at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino.
“Our team has been challenged to take Caesars’ racing to the forefront in technology and a drone is one step in doing so,” said Eric Halstrom, Vice President and General Manager of Racing. “As we began to pull this new concept in, we started realizing how this drone could really showcase our racing program and set our TV production apart from others. It’s important to note we do not plan on changing the way people watch our races but rather complement our current production with innovative views that nobody else is offering in their daily broadcasts. Lastly, we also view this as a potential way to assist the stewards in reviewing races, especially in areas where current camera angles are more difficult than others to see the full action of a race.”
The Matrice 200 Drone is engineered and equipped with all the latest options available in aerial production. The device is a little less than three feet in width and stands 16 inches high. It’s capable of zoom options with adjustable speed and is programmable from location to location. Operators are required to be licensed with the Federal Aviation Administration with a Remote Pilot Certificate. Three of Indiana Grand’s audio-visual department team members recently completed training and are now licensed to fly the drone.
A special landing and takeoff pad has been constructed near the back of the paddock. Plans are in place for the drone to use the home base between assignments.
In addition to the drone, Indiana Grand has also implemented a new audio and visual system for the IHRC Stewards. Upon completion of any ruling regarding a decision made on a race, Senior State Steward Eric Smith will be televised live with an explanation from the steward’s room on how they made their decision during an infraction.
“We feel providing an explanation directly from the stewards is a great way to inform fans watching and wagering on our product,” noted Halstrom. “They will now be able explain how they came to a conclusion on a specific ruling and give insight on the information they reviewed and gathered from the jockeys involved in the incident.”
Both the drone and the steward’s audio/video option is on track to be unveiled in the first week of racing at Indiana Grand.
Live racing returns to Indiana Grand Tuesday, April 13 and extends through Monday, Nov. 8, 2021. Racing will be conducted at 2:25 p.m. Monday through Wednesday with first post on Thursday set at 3:25 p.m. In addition, six all-Quarter Horse racing dates are set on select Saturdays starting June 5 at 10 a.m. A special Indiana Champions Day highlighting the state’s top Thoroughbred and Quarter Horses will be held Saturday, Oct. 30 beginning at 12 p.m. More information about the 2021 racing season is available at www.indianagrand.com.
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2021 Paulick Report.