By Adam Corndorf
Back in November 2015, we were privileged to welcome American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile), “a horse of a lifetime” to our roster of stallions at Ashford Stud. With his arrival came many inquiries and phone calls from the public and fans looking to visit Ashford; we knew we had a responsibility to the industry and we wanted to find a way to allow access.
We met with Visit Horse Country and set a schedule to enable fans to come and see their equine heroes. Shortly afterwards they launched sales to visit Ashford and tickets sold out in short order. Since then we have been fortunate enough to add another Triple Crown winner, Justify (Scat Daddy), to our roster and have welcomed thousands of fans through the gates, with proceeds from tours going to local equine and human charities.
Horse Country came around at the perfect time for us, and I give great credit to Anne Hardy and her team for their professionalism and stewardship of the organization. They have provided the infrastructure and support we needed to be able to offer regular and expanded access. We know it’s important to welcome the public, but that doesn’t change the fact that it requires work and commitment. Visit Horse Country has made it possible.
Horse Country has created a rising tide for our industry and the bottom line is: everyone in our industry should be supporting Visit Horse Country in whatever way they are able. When it comes to public relations and fan development, there is no better ambassador than the horse. Our industry should be unified in supporting this effort that provides access to our best asset, promotes our best story, provides transparency and inspires passion for our sport.