RaceTech and Ascot Racecourse (ARL) are delighted to announce a renewed long-term partnership
covering an extensive range of services at the world-famous Berkshire course.
The new agreement which starts immediately, will see RaceTech continue to provide full outside
broadcast facilities, integrity coverage, in-house programming and other essential racecourse services
such as photo finish, race timing and the starting stalls operation. The newly signed extension, which
flows through to 2027, also encompasses RaceTech’s provision of additional OB resource to produce
separate upgraded Ascot broadcast productions for fixtures including the five-day Royal Ascot
meeting in June.
John Bozza, RaceTech CEO, said: “We are extremely pleased to have secured this recent extension
with Ascot Racecourse and everyone at RaceTech is proud of the excellent relationship we have
developed, having worked together for many years.
“We look forward to supporting this next contract cycle and building on our reputation as the technical
service provider of choice for UK racing with innovation very much at the forefront.”
Felicity Barnard, Commercial Director and Deputy CEO, Ascot Racecourse, said: “RaceTech have been,
are and will continue to be a key partner in bringing Ascot programming to millions around the world.
We are delighted to renew and extend our long-term partnership and look forward to collectively
bringing industry leading broadcasts to our global audience.”
Read the full story here…
One of RaceTech’s longest serving and most popular Starting Stalls Handlers, Team Leader – Paul Crooks 62, has decided to hang up his boots after 38 years.
As an accomplished horseman, Paul is well known in racing circles and especially popular and respected by jockeys. His calmness and skill in loading horses at the start of races is key to the day-to-day operation. As Team Leader for many years, he has overseen the starts at thousands of race meetings mainly in the north of England, where he will load for the last time at Haydock on Saturday.
Paul commented, “It’s the right time to stop, I’m still young enough and fit to do other things. I’ve got some great memories and made some very good friends. 38 years with RaceTech is a long time but it has been an amazing career and of course I will miss the gang and doing the job. Having said that, I intend to go racing with my family and I am sure I’ll keep in touch with the RaceTech team, we’re a close bunch”.
Andy Peverell, Head of Stalls Operations at RaceTech expressed his gratitude to Paul saying, “I would like to thank Paul personally and on behalf of RaceTech for all his hard work and dedication, we wish him a long and happy retirement. His career has spanned over a very impressive 38 years, where he has managed the stalls teams in the North of England and Scotland for the past 20 years”.
John Bozza RaceTech CEO added, “Paul is a very popular highly respected member of the team, an asset to the company, a true professional and organised Team Leader always happy to share his skill and experience with trainees and others. Everyone at RaceTech wishes him well for the future, and we’ll be keeping in touch”.
See the full story in the York Press using the link below.
RaceTech was delighted to be invited to cover the outside broadcast of this year’s Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials (BPIHT) for the first time, by event organisers The Jockey Club.
The world class equestrian event took place from 15th – 18th September 2022, opening with a veterinary check “trot up” prior to the dressage phase all filmed on the Palace Lawn forming a sensational backdrop. The entire event which includes show jumping and the cross-country highlight, was live streamed to a global audience across the BPIHT own platform along with daily live coverage on the big screens situated at the event.
RaceTech used one of their brand-new mini–Outside Broadcast units designed as a compact, versatile, and more sustainable option working alongside a tender support vehicle. Fully equipped with audio mixers and monitoring, a graphics platform, record and replay functions and ability to create simultaneous transmission outputs, the new mini-OB unit proved ideal for this type of event.
The broadcasting consisted of long and short formats covered separately with bespoke graphics and replays throughout the competition. RaceTech was also able to provide dual streams on three of the five broadcast days covering show jumping and cross-country phases simultaneously.
Up to ten cameras were used, both traditional and remote including PTZ Hothead broadcast cameras. Along with RaceTech long lens race cameras with RF links mounted on RaceTech hoists set at strategic points around the cross-country route, RaceTech’s team was delighted to capture the excitement and skill across the spectacular course.
John Bance, Head of Engineering at RaceTech commented, “This was an exciting new challenge for our teams, we were very enthusiastic to be as creative as possible in capturing the skill and excitement of the competition in a stunning setting.We were very pleased to work with the Jockey Club in delivering this world class event”.
RaceTech is delighted to have been selected by The Jockey Club to provide outside broadcast (OB) coverage of the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, a world class equestrian event which runs from 15th – 18th September 2022.
The Jockey Club successfully took over management of the international event in 2021 and have since recruited RaceTech to provide OB facilities to capture the top-class equestrian action for distribution around the site and live streamed by the event organisers.
The first two days of the event consist of dressage with the weekend hosting cross-country and show jumping. All three phases of the event will be covered by RaceTech over five days of broadcasting.
Long and short formats will be covered separately with bespoke graphics and replays throughout the competition. Up to 10 cameras will be used, both traditional and remote, with some set at strategic points during the cross-country phase to capture the excitement and skill. RaceTech will be using one of our brand-new mini OB units designed as a compact, versatile and more sustainable option.
In another exciting new development, all coverage of the 2022 Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials will be free to air via the official website – https://bpiht.co.uk/
Jack Pryor, The Jockey Club’s Event Director for Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials, commented: “We are delighted that the RaceTech has come on board to provide outside broadcast coverage of the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials in 2022.
“Obviously at The Jockey Club we work with RaceTech on a daily basis at our horseracing venues and are well aware of the high-quality services they provide.
“To bring RaceTech’s considerable skills and expertise to the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials is a huge positive and we look forward to working with all the RaceTech team later this month.
“We are also delighted to announce that all coverage will be free to air this year via the official Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials website. This should enable as many as possible of those unable to attend in person to keep up with all the action.”
John Bozza CEO RaceTech said, “We are very much looking forward to working with our long term partners The Jockey Club and be covering the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials. It is hugely exciting for us to be working in a complimentary equestrian sphere and all at RaceTech are committed to making a tremendous success of this world class event.”
Brian Paul, RaceTech Outside Broadcast Director approaching 50 years of service, has been surrounded by well-wishing friends and colleagues congratulating him on winning Racing Welfare’s Lifetime in Racing Award for the northern area.
As one of the most popular members of the RaceTech team, Brian is due to celebrate his 50th year with the company in 2023 and has made plans to retire after half a century of dedicated service to racing.
He expressed his surprise at the award saying, “It was a total shock, I never expected anything like this to happen. Racing Welfare do so much to support racing’s workforce and it is an honour, not just for me, but my close colleagues at RaceTech who have been part of my journey. It has been a pleasure working with lovely people”.
Based in the northern part of the country Brian is well known across the racecourses where he has spent much time at the helm of Outside Broadcast Unit 1. Throughout his career Brian has trained and helped many new recruits and team members, his experience and skill spreads across engineering, camera operations, production and directing, not to mention his huge knowledge of racecourse infrastructure.
John Bozza CEO RaceTech said, “Racing Welfare do tremendous work supporting staff across the industry and we were delighted to nominate Brian for the Lifetime in Racing Award”.
“We were absolutely thrilled to hear he had been chosen as winner for the northern region. As an exceptional individual approaching 50 years’ service, Brian is a highly skilled, outstanding member of our team and he thoroughly deserves the recognition”.
Racecourse Technical Services Limited (“RaceTech”) continues with its long-held tradition of innovation producing live horse racing in the cloud.
Remote production has already proved a useful addition to the many broadcast services offered by RaceTech and now with the assistance of the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud service provider, Amazon Web Services (“AWS”) and Remote Production expert, SimplyLive, RaceTech has been able to go a step further with recent live broadcast trials proving successful.
The aim of the trials was to assess the feasibility, operating costs and benefits of using cloud hosted software as a service (“SaaS”) technology, to remotely produce UK horse racing events, compared to the traditional on course hardware-based approach which is highly capital-intensive. In particular, RaceTech were keen to assess the viability of remotely running multiple events from different courses at a central location to determine whether this approach could reduce the need for staff to travel to multiple sites and therefore the viability of using this method to manage occasional burst capacity requirements.
Working with Arena Racing Company (“ARC”) racecourses at Windsor on Monday, July 11, 2022 and Lingfield Park on Wednesday, July 13, 2022 all race camera pictures were streamed into AWS. RaceTech were then able to build the technical production capability using the SimplyLive Vibox Suite software and replicate our on-course hardware technology. This included the vision mixer, router, and record/replay systems, as software in the cloud. The race coverage from the two meetings was also produced in the cloud.
The trials worked in parallel with our existing broadcast operation with the actual broadcast feed coming as normal from the RaceTech OB Unit based at each racecourse. Using control surfaces at our South London hub in Raynes Park, the Director was able to cut the race and run the usual replays, camera ISO and race broadcast feeds from that location. We were then able to compare the remote output with the actual race footage from the Outside Broadcast Unit based at the course.
Whilst RaceTech’s South London hub was used for the trial, there is no reason why the races could not have been directed from any location with suitable control surfaces and a suitable connection to the AWS cloud. Furthermore, this approach could also facilitate running multiple concurrent events from a central hub, meaning fewer, smaller OB units thereby promoting a more sustainable business and a better work life balance for RaceTech’s staff. More trials will be planned soon to explore further how SaaS can be utilised effectively across British horse racing and to run more technical analysis such as latency measurements and to experiment with encoding technologies and bit rates.
John Bozza, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at RaceTech, commented: “We are very pleased with on-going trials and wish to thank Arena Racing Company for allowing us to conduct the trials from their courses. We are also grateful to SimplyLive and AWS for their support in setting up the first trial of its kind for British Horse Racing.”
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As partners of Ascot Racecourse, RaceTech is proud to cover the technical and outside broadcast provision at Royal Ascot 2022. The focus is on the five days of premiere action, which includes eight group 1 races and international competition, with attention on the drama and colour of the prestigious five-day Royal event.
RaceTech will have around 70 skilled teams and crew on course, covering each day. A multitude of cameras will cover all the action and festivities from the Royal procession to the bandstand sing along. The RaceTech starting stalls team will be on hand to offer a calm welcome to horses and jockeys at the start of each race. The photo finish technology including the reverse angle system, as is standard at every Ascot meeting, will capture each race finish in close detail. Longines Timing system will be in full operation.
Outspread RaceTech camera crews and extensive outside broadcast facilities will provide live enhanced coverage each day to a multitude of international and domestic media outlets – Sky Sports Racing, Ascot Racecourse TV, Ascot social media production, Ascot’s World feed, various individual bookmaker channels with full availability and support to ITV Racing.
A new addition to this year’s daily output, is a fashion and lifestyle show to be created using RaceTech technical and production facilities. The show will feature highlights from each day with celebrities and special events taking place around the course to be broadcast on all Ascot’s social media channels reaching a global audience.
RaceTech is also supporting the HBA Media TV distributed ‘Golden hour’ show, which is being produced by IMG, as well as fully supporting the ITV sport production by supplying numerous RaceTech cameras and feeds.
After many weeks preparation our teams are proud to work with Ascot and our broadcast partners to produce a first-class service at the Royal meeting.
RaceTech is proud to celebrate 75 years since the first Photo Finish equipment was formerly used in horse racing to decipher the result of The Grand Metropolitan Handicap race at Epsom in April 1947.
As providers of the Photo Finish for three quarters of a century, RaceTech, originally called – The Race Finish Recording Company, is proud of its heritage and the continuous development of modern Photo Finish systems which bear little relation to that original black and white print 75 years ago. The company went on to provide Photo Finish technology in the 1948 Olympic Games in London.
The Photo Finish system was used to determine the outcome of a Classic race for the first time in the 1949 Two Thousand Guineas at Newmarket followed by The Derby at Epsom in June that year. It wasn’t until 1983 that Photo Finish became available on all British racecourses.
The first colour Photo Finish image was produced in October 1989 for the Dewhurst race at Newmarket. Then in 1995 the Hawkeye black and white electronic Photo Finish system was brought into use for horseracing, this was upgraded to colour in 2000.
Since then, there has been rapid technological development with regular upgrades to equipment which has sped up the image process and enhanced visual quality. In 2019 RaceTech, with the BHA, adapted a new reverse angle camera on the finish line which was first used in March that year at the Cheltenham Festival and later at Royal Ascot. It enables the judge to have a view of horses crossing the line in conjunction with the mirror image and is especially beneficial on wider courses when horses finish close together on the grandstand side.
RaceTech continues to use new technology and develop systems to benefit horse racing into the future.