In light of criticism from animal rights activists in the build-up to the Grand National at Aintree on Saturday, Stand Up For Racing, a gathering of passionate horse racing professionals that will seek to represent the racing and breeding industries, has been formed.
The concept arose out of a widely-held frustration that the racing and breeding industries are not always well represented when questioned in the mainstream media and on social media, often allowing damaging misinformation and misconceptions to prevail.
The aim of the group is to unite all of the various organisations and representative groups within the racing and breeding industries in Europe in the interests of the greater good of the image and reputation of our great game. Fueled by a database of information and facts providing by the various interest groups in European racing, it will draw on a group of experienced members of the racing and breeding media that will be made available to any media outlet to provide balanced comment on the subject matter when required.
The founding group of Sally Ann Grassick, Kevin Blake, Caoimhe Doherty and Cathy Grassick are all council members of the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association and are professionally involved in various sectors of the industry, with the latter being the current Chairperson of the ITBA.
In the coming weeks they will form a committee of members drawn from the major racing nations of Europe as well as putting together the aforementioned panel of media representatives.
In less than 48 hours, Stand Up For Racing has already resonated with a wide section of social media, attracting over 4,000 followers on Twitter, including numerous high-profile figures in the industry, and the hashtag #StandUpForRacing has been used over 1,700 times and reached 1.2 million people.
Stand Up For Racing had their first opportunity to contribute to the mainstream conversation when one of our representatives Kevin Blake appeared on Piers Morgan Uncensored on TalkTV on Thursday evening. The interview, which has had more than 400,000 views online since broadcast, can be viewed on the Stand Up For Racing YouTube channel here.
Vicky Leonard and the team at Kick Collective in Australia established Kick Up in 2022. The initiative has generated considerable traction since its inception, with its goal of presenting accurate horse racing information on controversial topics in an engaging, educational and interesting format. Click here to learn more.