addle up with The Races WA to feel the thrill of being a jockey in a virtual horse racing experience at the Perth Royal Show.

A giant six-metre-round digital racecourse will display virtual racing, allowing showgoers to join in by riding a hobby horse or running alongside the on-screen competitors.

The adventurous can also mount up and test their ability on a horse simulator used by jockeys to improve fitness and technique.

Racing and Wagering Western Australia General Manager Racing Charlotte Mills predicts the Life’s Better with Horses activation will be a favourite among the 101 free things to do at the show.

“As the gates open for the Perth Royal Show this week, the timing fits in beautifully for the spring racing season to follow, with the starting gates opening on October 9,” Charlotte said.

“Like the annual show, spring racing is a traditional and cherished part of life in Western Australia.

“We’re looking forward to cheering on families as they make the circuit of our virtual race track at the show and we’ll have a collection of hobby horses on hand for kids and their parents to ride.

“The virtual racing videos are both exciting and playful, with some showing leading Western Australian jockeys like William Pike and Jade McNaught swapping horses for a pogo stick Segway, chicken or quokka.”

The digital racecourse will be open from 10am to 6pm daily at the Perth Royal Show, with related attractions including carnival videos from Ascot Racecourse, photo opportunities with life-sized racehorse model Henry and Off the Track WA activities.

“We never miss a chance to support our magnificent racehorses when they retire from the track and move on to new careers, including more than 20 competing in equestrian events at the show,” Charlotte said.

“We also love to spread the word about the spring racing carnival, including the TABtouch Masters series, which is the world’s only single-track thoroughbred racing festival featuring a Group 1 race worth at least $1 million on three consecutive Saturdays.

“The spring racing carnival also provides important economic benefits to the state.

“Racing contributes more than $821 million to the economy of Western Australia each year and it plays vital role in communities statewide, involving more than 24,000 people.”