The feeling of a raw egg sliding across your tongue, down your throat and plopping into your stomach is something many people in the racing community experienced in the past week. The raw egg challenge has been plastered across Thoroughbred industry Twitter, supporting the #doitforDan initiative to raise money for the treatment of the rare disease, Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 1, in a child named Dan Donoher.
In a sport that has been labeled as insular and pelted with criticism, its people charged forward to help with a great cause. There are lessons to be learned from this–it is an example of being proactive rather than reactive. The racing industry saw a problem, joined together with comrades within and outside of racing, and worked collectively to spread awareness and solve that problem. And the solution was simple. It took one minute to film the video and another minute to post.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and prominent health advisor to the White House, quipped on CNN Apr. 10 that if portrayed on Saturday Night Live, he wanted Brad Pitt to play the role. Two weeks later, Brad Pitt was on SNL as Dr. Fauci. It was hilarious and brilliant. And it proves the old adage: you can't get what you don't ask for.
So here we are nearing the first Saturday in May, the day when all eyes turn to the “Greatest Two Minutes in Sports.” Unfortunately, the race is postponed. COVID-19 has infected over a million people in the U.S. and over 3 million people globally. Most are still quarantining. Working from home. Homeschooling. Cooking. Binge watching TV. Desperately seeking entertainment. Churchill Downs is stepping up and will host a nationwide virtual 'Kentucky Derby at Home' Party. They will match up to $1 million for COVID-19 emergency relief efforts from fan donations.
Amplify was started in June 2019 by a group of young professionals who work in the thoroughbred industry and is designed to proactively promote the world of horse racing. Amplify has already collaborated with the 4-H, NYRA, Retired Racehorse Project, Keeneland and the KTA. The organization is in tune with the most effective platforms to communicate with multiple generations. Amplify's mission is “amplification” of horse racing by supporting and enhancing the great things our\ industry is already doing. Over the next few days, specifically on Derby Day, we challenge you to do the following:
- Create content
- Hashtag it
- Post it
Creating content is simple–take a video of morning feed time, a photo of a foal, riding your off-track Thoroughbred, mixing your mint julep or consuming bread pudding. The more content we create, the more visible we make horse racing.
Hashtags are essential–they promote, they brand, they localize attention and amplify our collective voices. For all of the content you create, use the following hashtags: #KYDerbyAtHome and #AmplifyHorseRacing.
Post It!–on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, any and all social media platforms. We would be remiss to not dare greatly. Kentucky is home to many prominent people, so let's reach out. Imagine these: Jennifer Lawrence hosting a Kentucky Derby at Home Zoom party. Matt Jones, famed Kentucky Sports Radio host, handicapping the Triple Crown Showdown. Johnny Depp reading Hunter S. Thompson's legendary “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved.” Chris Stapleton performing “My Old Kentucky Home.”
This is all within our power. If you have any other ideas or want to submit content, please contact us at [email protected]. If each of us do something, it turns out to be a lot of eggs.