FlyMyCourse Ltd is the brainchild of Sam Lewis, a grassroots eventer and instructor, who realised the potential for video course walks, accessible online and by mobile phone, just days before the event.
“A conventional course walk is an absolute must and while it’s ideal to walk it more than once, time restrictions often make this impossible despite the obvious benefits in terms of safety, rider confidence and competitiveness.
“Many grassroots riders in particular struggle to take in every detail of the course they are about to ride so we virtually ride it for them, using drones and high-definition video to create a fly-through video of a course, which riders can then review at their leisure in the preceding days, or hours, before an event.
Lewis believes the aerial course walks can also help riders who may be considering entering an event at an unfamiliar venue later in the year.
“If a rider is worried about stepping up the next level, wants to know if a course is a confidence-giver, is up to height, or has alternatives to the more difficult fences, our videos are invaluable. Photographs of fences are incredibly useful, but when you visually fly over the ground, see the terrain and the obstacles you’ll encounter, you really get a sense of what you can expect and look forward to riding.”
Alongside the aerial course walks, FlyMyCourse offers marketing and social media teaser videos to help equestrian venues promote their events or highlight their training facilities.
“Our video of Aldon International received over 1700 views in a few days. In the social media era, video is key to reaching younger riders and giving sponsors an alternative to more conventional forms of advertising at equestrian venues.
“We are all – organisers, venues, trainers, and riders – committed to making this wonderful sport as exciting and as safe as it can be. FlyMyCourse wants to work alongside venues, industry experts and sponsors to exploit the advantages of multimedia to our mutual benefit”.
‘FlyMyCourse’s virtual course walks will help riders prepare for the event – but it is vital that riders carry out an actual course walk on the day. They don’t replace that crucial step but they will help riders visualise the course better. That is a huge advantage for both riders, their horses and ultimately the venues where they compete’.