The future of virtual horse racing

Updated: September 24, 2012, 1:28 AM ET
By Edward Chamberlain-Bell | Digiturf.com

Digiturf.com wasn't exaggerating when they announced that the future of horse racing was going online. They've just celebrated their 34th successful season of virtual horse racing by sponsoring their races with $320,000 sponsorships, and they've also introduced some changes to their program that will see them going from strength to strength.

They've moved away from their traditional automated race program, which scheduled all races over different tracks, distances and goings, to an automated system that schedules races according to popularity. The unpopular races, which never attracted many runners, will be scheduled less frequently to create room for more of the popular races. Digiturf.com explained that the utter diversity of horses (there are 100,000 horse types with varying characteristics) in the game required that all races had to be pre-scheduled in anticipation of the community's racing needs. While this was an ambitious task it also entailed a cluttered race program with diluted fields and wasted sponsorships.

The new ARP (Automated Race Program) represents a new era in the programming of virtual horse races based on supply and demand. Digiturf.com has also backed up their ARP with a RAR (Request A Race) program so that trainers whose horses have special preferences don't find themselves excluded. The virtual horse racing community at Digiturf.com has always been a competitive community but with their ARP and RAR they will have a leaner and meaner race program that is still comprehensive but equally dynamic.

One potential disadvantage is that trainers will need to adjust to a virtual horse racing program that runs in real-time, because popular races can be repeated within 24 hours, so they will need to ensure that their horses are always in peak condition and racing fit, or at least keep more horses ready to race at the drop of a hat. If trainers find themselves pressed for time preparing their horses for a race on short notice they can always take advantage of increased training sessions, fitness boosters from the Tack shop, or if they're unable to tack their horses personally they can automate their horses' tack applications.

With increased racing opportunities, trainers were looking to increase the size of their barns, so Digiturf.com introduced the Crazy Horse Sale, additional free horses -- they got two free horses for every five horses purchased or six free horses if they bought ten. Those horses came with free tack, so all trainers needed to do was train them and then race them. Digiturf.com said they were doubling the free horses so trainers could get twice as much fun.

It goes without saying that all those horses needed somewhere to race, so the ARP and RAR became essential tools in the game of virtual horse racing so that trainers could recoup their expenses and see some returns on their virtual investments. The Grade 1 and Grade 2 horses had plenty of races, tailored to their preferences, but the Grade 3 horses only had two tracks, which made it a bit tricky if your horses only liked specific goings and had to wait for the weather to turn, so Digiturf.com increased the different tracks to six tracks to offer more variety and racing opportunities to the weaker horses.

One could get pretty confused between all the new races, enhancements and updates, so Digiturf.com also upgraded their site's search function. If you ever feel overwhelmed or get lost, you just type in your query and Digiturf.com will find you everything that anyone has had to say on the matter. You can even find your neighbor's horse!

If you're searching for some fun, assuming you like horses, racing and gaming, then you don't need to look much further than Digiturf.com. They're the future of horse racing alright!

Digiturf.com is a simulated online horse racing game where players develop their skills and strategies in owning, training and racing virtual horses against others from around the world. The horses are computer generated but the stakes are real.