TNDV Captures 10th “Road to the Horse” Competition in HD

The “Road to the Horse” is a major horse riding competition in which riders must tame and navigate an untamed horse through an obstacle course. This year it featured a “Celebration of the Cowgirl,” an all-female field of riders that was held in the spring at Horse Park’s Alltech Arena in Lexington, KY.

The annual three-day event drew thousands of horse-loving spectators, as well as a global online audience that watched the live webcast on Road to the Horse TV—thanks to technical service provided by Nashville, Tenn.-based mobile production company TNDV. The event, streamed live and produced for DVD, also marked the tenth anniversary of the technical production partnership between TNDV and Road to the Horse event.

“After 10 years of working together, Road to the Horse and TNDV have literally grown up together,” said Nic Dugger, President of TNDV. “As the event itself grew in size and attendance, TNDV also grew in truck options and staff size.”

At work in the Master Control area of the TNDV truck during the

At work in the Master Control area of the TNDV truck during the "Road To The Horse" competition.

In the early days, “Road to the Horse” used TNDV’s first SD truck, called “Origination.” In the years since then, as the event has grown, it has moved up to using TNDV’s larger trucks—“Inspiration” and “Elevation”—and in years when the competition continued to grow in size, they used TNDV’s “Aspiration” expandable HD production truck. The later features a Sony MVS-8000 3 M/E Production Switcher.

The technical production this year employed Hitachi Z-HD5000 HD cameras and Fujinon lenses to capture the excitement, and, according to Dugger, the most extensive audio infrastructure for the event to date. The TNDV team mixed multiple audio channels using a Soundcraft Vi3000 console, and all tracks were recorded to Avid's ProTools HDX and a Sound Devices Pix270 recorder.

“Audio is extremely important to this event given the subtle sound dynamics associated with the action, and the Soundcraft Vi4 console provides us with the capacity and feature set we need to manage a multitude of audio tracks coming from seemingly every direction,” said Dugger. “Each of the [competitors] wore a Shure UHFR wireless lavalier microphone, and our truck provided another 10 Shure microphones for round-pen effects.”

For the past 10 annual events, TNDV crews have captured the excitement of the Road to the Horse championships using multi-camera video production gear and large TNDV mobile video units.

TNDV crews used Hitachi Z-HD5000 HD cameras and Fujinon lenses to capture the excitement.

TNDV crews used Hitachi Z-HD5000 HD cameras and Fujinon lenses to capture the excitement.

In the years before TNDV signed on to provide full-service video production services, Road to the Horse video was shot by a team of college students wielding camcorders, who generated hundreds of hours of videotapes that were very labor-intensive to edit down for DVD distribution. While Road to the Horse continues to offer DVDs of the productions, today’s loyal fans called Roadies can also subscribe to Road to the Horse TV, an online streaming service that showcases current and archival footage of the events.

“Over the years, we’ve seen a tremendous amount of growth, including the size of our audience, the seating capacity of our venue, and the scope and impact of our events and video on the world community that follows us,” said Bland. “TNDV has also grown right alongside us, expanding their truck fleet, crews, and video production capabilities. We’ve really gotten to know the TNDV staff personally and consider them to be a very special part of our RTTH family.”

“It means a lot to us to be a part of Road to the Horse story, and we really look forward to working at the events every year,” Dugger added. “We’re especially proud of our mutually rewarding technical partnership with Tootie Bland and everyone at Road to the Horse, and the way this prominent equestrian event has grown and evolved over the years.”

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