In the last decade, racing has taken a fair few steps to improve how it interacts with the public and addresses their concerns. Most farms now have a tour guide to lead fans through the inner workings of places that were once considered “off-limits” and a privilege reserved for those in the right social circles. Some farms were closed off entirely to anyone other than breeders or were considered extremely fan unfriendly, so people avoided asking for tours to see the horses; even if their favorites lived there. While that slowly began to change for fans in the industry that knew who to ask for a chance to see these places, the general public did not and the idea of horse racing’s stiffness continued. The Horse Country organization set out to improve that perception and has created -in partnership with these same farms- exclusive access opportunities not afforded during general tours. You can see just about every farm in the Bluegrass through them.
I’m calling all the fans of racing: from casual to life timers.
Banned from racing.
While it is dumbed down to the easiest of terms, it’s a phrase that the industry struggles to implement as actions. Why it’s a problem, is confusing to me.
In the past couple of years, we as an industry have been rocked by many instances that would qualify as a gross misuse of power over the innocent, and it took massive public outcry to elicit a response from the powers at be.
When it comes to our horses, Thoroughbred fans are the first ones to defend our beloved breed’s honor. Owners pour thousands into making sure that their horses have the best care that money can buy and trainers often handle animals worth millions of dollars in racing and breeding futures.
However, what happens if the horse doesn’t pan out like his more successful counterparts? What happens when the owner is only in the game for the racing and not the breeding or retraining parts?