Video Venue Focus: Goodwood Racecourse
Goodwood Racecourse is a horse racing track five miles north of Chichester, West Sussex, owned by the family of the Duke of Richmond, whose seat is nearby Goodwood House. Synonymous with racing, the first public race meeting took place here in 1802, the year after the third Duke of Richmond first held a private race meeting for the officers of the Sussex Militia and members of the Goodwood hunt. Up until 1801, the officers held their annual races in nearby Petworth Park, courtesy of the Earl of Egremont, until their invitation was withdrawn. The Duke of Richmond came to the rescue, allowing the officers to race on the Harroway, a narrow ridge on top of the South Downs. The private meeting was so successful it was decided that a public race meeting would be held the following year, over three days. Horse racing was suspended during the First and Second World Wars, but Goodwood’s popularity grew again during the second half of the 20th century. A record one-day
crowd of 55,000 attended in 1953 and well over a third were found on the Trundle. Members of the public can still enjoy free, grandstand views of Goodwood Racecourse from its north-east slopes. Today, the racecourse welcomes over 100,000 race goers. With visibility being both a challenge and a top priority, Goodwood installed a new high resolution rotating LED screen, designed to enhance the visitor experience. The new 60 sq metre screen was delivered by British LED manufacturer, ADI, which provide big screen technology for all major English horse racing events. The giant display is one of the biggest screens installed in European horse racing. Its custom design, engineered specifically for Goodwood Racecourse, allows it to be positioned at different heights on a telescopic mast, and rotate to face any direction on the course. The design offers a much more flexible solution than a traditional screen, giving Goodwood the ability to position it to face different areas of the course to suit its wide ranging calendar of events. The screens unique design allows it to be lowered out of sight, below track level, when not in use. This was a key consideration during the planning process, given Goodwood’s exposure to high winds, and its position in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Goodwood Racecourse General Manager, Alex Eade said: “We pride ourselves on having the most beautiful racecourse in the world and, with that, comes a responsibility to deliver an experience to match. Big screens play a vital role in enhancing the race day for our visitors, and we’re delighted to have partnered with ADI to install a new permanent display. We had a unique set of challenges related to the proposed position and functionality of the screen but, under ADI’s expert guidance, we were able to overcome those challenges and we’re very happy with the result. “We’re looking forward to developing content for the big screen that will delight and entertain our visitors - blending racing action with stats, live odds, interviews, partner content and features from across the course. The fact the screen can move to face different areas of the course means we have real flexibility for how we use the screen for different events throughout the season.” ADI Director, Nick Robinson added: “We’ve worked with Goodwood for over a decade, supplying mobile big screen technology across the course. We’re excited to extend our relationship and help take the race day experience to the next level by installing Goodwood’s first permanent LED display.” The giant new screen was unveiled at Goodwood’s opening Saturday racing fixture and will be in action again for every major event.