The Race Horse on Screen and Turf: Human-Animal Relationships, Mass Spectatorship
and Television Technology in 20th Century British Horseracing c. 1919 - 2009
An animal and technological history of the relationship between the sport of horse racing
and British television in the 20th century, this project looks at how the advent and rise of
television as a mass medium in Britain affected and, in turn, was itself affected by race
horses: their bodies, experiences and relationships with humans.
This thesis encompasses, within its scope, how the need to capture the movements of the
equine athlete drove the development of technology within the BBC’s Outside Broadcast
unit, the changing makeup of racing audiences through the rise of television, the effect of
television technology on race horses and animal sporting celebrity, and the impact of
television and mass spectatorship on issues of welfare.
1st Supervisor: Abigail Woods
2nd Supervisor: Catherine Wheatley
Scott Hunter is a PhD student in History and Film Studies at King’s College London. His research interests centre around the history of moving picture technology and the relationship between evolutions of film and television technologies and their on-screen subjects.
‘Televising the Equine Athlete’ – BASN ‘Movements’ Conference, University of Leeds (November 2019)
Professional affiliations and activities:
Part-funded by the National Horseracing Museum, Newmarket