`The World Awaits.' Letter to the Editor from Grant Pritchard-Gordon

Grant Pritchard-Gordon | Tattersalls 

Raceday fatalities create powerful news stories anywhere. Social Media has ensured that our world of racing is now a global community, with news and videos dispatched within minutes to knowledgeable audiences in countries far beyond the American shores. However, shock will have reverberated throughout  horse communities of many nations at the recent tragedies that have occurred on the racetracks at Saratoga and Churchill Downs. We all wait with bated breath to hear the steps that the major U.S. racecourses will take to remedy a very challenging moment for our sport, industries and livelihoods. It is essential that the boards of the racecourse groups make both speedy and correct decisions, for their actions will impinge on the lives of all horsemen and women far beyond the US of A.

In the past year, nearly every major racing nation has suffered the unwanted attention of idealistic and disruptive 'animal rights' activists. If not actually detailed in agenda meetings, the subject of Welfare has been the elephant in the room for practically every board of directors/trustees of racing and breeding activities around the world. If American racetracks make the wrong decision, then these elephants will grow into dinosaurs for everyone. Maintaining the status quo and traditions of US Racing is unlikely to be an option, for these diligent activists feast on statistics to bend an interpretation to their own agenda. However, there is strong statistical evidence out there to suggest that there is a more acceptable solution, as highlighted recently by Mark Casse and Graham Motion.

There is little doubt that the 'animal rights' activists in Europe or Australia mimic and use similarly informed campaigns to like-minded individuals in America. Their disruptive ambitions will have been reinforced by the horrific experiences viewed by huge numbers of racegoers at Saratoga and Churchill Downs. When the time suits them best, provocative agendas will inevitably be pumped into the world of social media by re-fueled keyboard warriors. A resulting tsunami of unwanted activity will surely ensue at our major racing festivals. US Racecourse boards and executives have the tools in their hands to change the narrative. The world awaits.

Now is the time for the owners, breeders, trainers, jockeys, stable staff and associated bloodstock trades of America to make their voices heard loud and clear by racecourses. They have the support from thousands of like-minded and employed people from around the world. The wrong decision from racecourses could create an existential threat to a wonderful global industry and community.

Grant Pritchard-Gordon is a U.K.-based bloodstock agent, and the principal in Badgers Bloodstock Consultants. He is the former longtime racing manager for Juddmonte Farms.

Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts.

Copy Article Link

Liked this article? Read more like this.

  1. America On the Books for Al Riffa, Targets Grade One Glory in New York
  2. West Memorial a Star for Hancock, Now Points to Potential Ascot Bid with Weaver
  3. The Week In Review: Seize The Grey Won The Preakness; His Trainer's Glow Illuminates The Sport
  4. Derby Winner Mystik Dan To Ship To Saratoga, Decision On Belmont Awaits
  5. 'Rising Star' Disarm Victorious In Churchill Downs Return

Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.