Virtual Horses – Hurdles Racing Simulation


  • Extended the real-time horse racing in Unreal Engine with hurdles racing specific additions.
  • Upgraded the project to Unreal Engine 5.
  • Added crowd instancing system supporting dynamic placement of thousands of crowd members.
  • Added artist positionable hurdles that the horses automatically jump with realistic variation.
  • Added configurable walking start.
  • Enhanced the development only drone camera for easier animator debugging.
  • Assisted animator with fixing and optimising the horse animation blueprint.


  • Analysis, design, development, testing.
  • Lead developer of whole solution.


Technologies: C++, Unreal Engine 4/5, Visual Studio, Xcode, Windows, macOS


  • Developed crowd system that dynamically placed thousands of instanced animating meshes with variation of position, mesh components and scale that vary predictably for every individual race event. Instancing resulted in very little performance loss despite the volume of the crowd.
  • Zero issues raised from all production runs, even for runner counts that require thousands of event combinations and tens of hours of real-time video capture.
  • Continued to maintain the core “race engine” as an extensible system, keeping hurdles racing specific implementations to a minimum, allowing for future reuse.
  • Entire system is completely deterministic yet apparently random.  Rerun a given race with the same seed and it will play out identically every time.  Supply a new seed and it will play out differently.

Varied Locations

Cheltenham Main Route

Cheltenham Alternate Route

USA Race Course

Race Variations