Attracting people back to Racing
Horse Racing has a problem world wide, it is losing numbers fast!
One of the reasons for this is that the horse racing authorities have gone off in a tangent in the last 20 years trying to attract the general populous to the sport. Whilst this may work for special events like the Melbourne Cup, it does not and cannot work during the rest of the year.
One thing that has to be appreciated is that people predominately follow horse racing to gamble on it, not to have a nice day out with the kids.
So what should the authorities do?
Firstly, admit to themselves that horse racing is for punters not fashion parades and then set out to re-educate the people that can be interested in horse racing as to what it is and how it works. Unlike our parents day when knowledge of horse racing was passed down from father to son and daughter, these days most people do not even know how to interpret a form guide, let alone make an informed decision on which horse to back.
We must realise that there is a lot of "industry speak" in horse racing and form guides that make those that do not understand it, uncomfortable. So the most important thing to do is to educate the public as to how horse racing works, how to read a form guide, how to place a bet, what to look for in a horse.
It would not hurt if TVN and Sky Channel put some money into producing some lifestyle shows similar to the DIY craze but focused on horse racing stories and education of horse racing.
Sure, this won't make instant money like 24/7 racing but it will help to ensure there is a generation of interested racing followers coming after the current one.
Also, the use of technology should be championed, the younger generation actually likes technology, they understand it and are not frightened of change like the current generation. Use this to advantage, utilize computer based track bias simulators and GPS tracking systems, visualize live races in 3D and let the viewers online get on the back of the winner in real time.
The technology exists, it's exciting and it's one of the elements that will fire the imagination of the younger people and keep them interested in horse racing during the other 51 weeks of the year.
Importantly, focus on what is important in horse racing, the punter, without them, the sport will die a slow death.
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