In a world connected by digital media, the JockeyCam has found a way to convey the sheer bravery and skill of racehorses and their riders in a completely innovative way.
The helmet-mounted camera made its debut at the 2015 Grand National at Aintree, where it became a viral hit, showing the jockey’s perspective of jumping the marathon steeplechase’s 30 giant fences.
The idea behind it came in 2013, when the team at video production company Equine Productions saw Lyte’s technology for a pair of sunglasses with a built-in camera.
Working with Lyte, the concept was evolved into a camera that could be strapped on to the front of a helmet to capture the jockey’s view.
To house its full HD micro camera, RF transmitter and battery technology safely, Lyte created the Flexi-Fit frame design.
The close-fitting and aerodynamic camera housing, weighing only 74g, was produced using Lyte’s in-house prototyping capabilities.
Testing of the camera was carried out with the help of professional racehorse Many Clouds, who was ridden out regularly by Equine Productions’ visual director Nathan Horrocks.
For the safety of the rider, the positioning of the camera had to be perfected, leaving the jockey balanced when jumping, able to roll away safely from a fall and so as to not a ect the structure of the helmet when impacted.
Having gained British Horseracing Authority approvals, the product was picked up for Channel 4 Racing’s television coverage in time for the 2015 Grand National.
Worn in the race by jockey Leighton Aspell, his mount for the day was Many Clouds – the same horse ridden throughout the prototyping process.
As luck would have it, the pair won, with each furlong of the biggest prize in the sport captured live from onboard.
A jockey’s-eye view of the world’s greatest steeplechase, The Grand National