Twitter Replay: “Watching” a Horse Race on Twitter

What I read about a few minutes earlier but couldn’t see until someone posted a link to the race. If you can’t see the above embedded video of Frankel in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, click here.

Last week, I “watched” a couple of high profile British horse races on Twitter, especially the 2012 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot with British superhorse Frankel. Believe it or not, “watching” a race on Twitter is still an exciting experience. Talk about on-the-scene reporting from a wide variety of sources. I retweeted some of the things I saw so I could show you how this works by printing my retweets here.

Although you could watch via hashtags, like #frankel or #royalascot, during the time of the race itself, I chose to stick with my followers on my HootSuite page. I follow a lot of horse racing insiders, observers and just plain fans anyway.

First, a little reminder of Twitter terminology

Twitter is a microblogging platform in which people can send messages 140-characters long over cellphones OR the Internet. Thanks to shortened links, people can also Tweet links to photos, videos or articles of interest.

The @ symbol like an email address is really a Twitter address. Some people use nicknames or a business name. Some of us use a real name:  @RhondaLane.

RT – is a forwarded tweet from someone which includes their Twitter handle/address. RTing is like validation. When someone RTs your post, they have found it important, enlightening or entertaining.

Also, I tend to add commentary to retweets (RTs) if I have or can make space. The old journalistic rules of The Wording of a Quote Is Sacred do not apply to Twitter, especially if you don’t swing the quote out of context.

So, let’s watch a Twitter replay of the race:


RT @ttimes: Coming up in the Queen Anne Stakes, the first race at #RoyalAscot, Frankel looks to remain unbeaten

RT @hr_nation: Royal Ascot begins this morning at 9:30am Eastern with Frankel in the Group 1 Queen Anne.

A little perspective about that other then-upcoming high profile race at Royal Ascot

Why no Frankel-Black Caviar race. Who’s serenading HRH? Other notable horses. #RoyalAscot (via @SusieBlackmon)

Many out there in Internetland doing the same. Several retweeted this tweet of mine

Can’t believe I’m “watching” a horse race on Twitter. #Frankel in the #RoyalAscot Queen Anne Stakes.

My first indication that Frankel had won

(I saw @dubairacenight’s Tweet and added my comments before retweeting.)

Exciting, very exciting …RT @dubairacenight: They have nothing on Frankel – beast.


RT @andyserling: Frankel by eight. Wow.


(Yes, I was excited, even though I had yet to see the race.)

I feel like jumping up and down – but it’ll freak out the sleeping cat. 🙂 RT @minethatfilly: I know me 2 #Twitter#Frankel#RoyalAscot

World-class jockeys chime in

RT @julienleparoux: All I can say is WOW!!! #Frankel

RT @attheraces: The great Frankie Dettori on Frankel; “Breath-taking”. #RoyalAscot

A workplace stops

RT @erica_larson: One of the perks of working at @BloodHorse is the office stopping everything to watch #Frankel win at Royal Ascot

Post-race photos

Grateful pat from Tom Queally. 🙂 RT @thorobredzone: RT @mikespence8: The worlds best racehorse #Frankel

RT @ascotinsider: A great shot of #Frankel in the Winning Enclosure at #RoyalAscot –

Now that horses have Twitter accounts, they flirt

RT @blackcaviar2006: @frankel_horse is a good looking boy. After that 11 length demolition, I am a tad smitten. Must make him take notice

The video you see at the start of this article? Someone tweeted the link less than 15 minutes after the race.

Twitter and real-time events

The ability to record programs and then fast-forward through the commercials almost clobbered the television industry. Someone has to pay for news and entertainment. Advertisers pay to supply “free” TV, so audience attention is the currency advertisers expect. The term is “buying eyeballs.” First, the VHS then the DVR discombobulated the arrangement. Then, Twitter came along and made watching TV as it airs hip again.

Twitterphiles love to comment while a show is in progress. Other fans get to meet. The messages file in at a rapid clip. I find keeping up a tad stressful. Fast and furious, is a good description. I’ve Tweeted while watching TV, and it’s tough to wind down afterwards, especially after an exciting show that started at 10 pm here on the east coast.

As for those advertisers, they’re happier that people are sticking around for the time slot for which they’ve paid.  For example, you’ll see a lot of female-targeted products advertised in an action-oriented cop show because a handsome actor has attracted a substantial female fan base. Are people Tweeting during the commercials? Probably. (That’s when I did.) Otherwise, they’d be making snacks, taking short breaks or conversing with companions. The commercials would still be playing and heard on a subconscious level.

What about Black Caviar’s race?

Several days later, when Black Caviar went for her 22nd win, I have to admit I finally remembered I had a new online subscription to HRTV that I’d signed up for just before the Belmont. Instead of sticking with Twitter, I switched between HRTV and Twitter. As you can imagine, my attention was divided.

If you want me to go back and gather up those tweets for a similar article on Black Caviar’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes run, I will. Just say so in the Comments/Reply section below. I simply hadn’t planned to because I’d been, gulp, watching the race online instead, so I couldn’t give you a “pure” Twitter experience. (There’s a phrase I bet you thought you’d never see – pure Twitter experience. 😉  )

Also, if you have any questions about Twitter, feel free to ask them in the Comments/Reply section below.


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