Breeders welcome RFC bloodstock plans
STUD owners have responded positively to the news that Racing For Change will investigate using bloodstock as a means to broaden theappeal of racing.
However, while appreciating those efforts, the consensus among stud owners was that the breeding industry will ultimately have to help itself if it is to be promoted to its full advantage.
"Iapplaud Nick Attenborough''s enthusiasm for the subject and the work being done by RFC," said David Redvers, owner of Tweenhills Farm and a committee member of the Racing Post Yearling Bonus.
David Redvers: more should be done to promote magic of breedingPICTURE: Caroline Norris
"I just wish that rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, we championed and promoted what is great about this sport; firstly that magical thing that is the thoroughbred and secondly the passion and enthusiasm that flows through the vast majority of the racing industry's participants.
"I believe that the story of the horse and its role in racing is often overlooked and overshadowed by that of the 'gamble' – that the fascinating stories that there are in the 'production of the beast' should be broadcast further than our own audience.
"Rather than trying to re-invent the wheel with team competitions RFC should concentrate on the characters in the sport both equine and human and develop and promote the drama and intrigue around both.
"The more we can do to sell the drama and magic of the 'production story' and the drama and intrigue of the sales ring to the public the better."
Dermot O'Rourke's Plantation Stud in Newmarket has taken its own steps to bringing racing to a wider audience by offering a number of free tickets to its Plantation Stud Stakes day at Newmarket's July course on July 17.
The package may also include a visit to the stud, which stands Araafa and is also home to Slip Anchor.
"The idea is in its early stages, but we've already liaised with the TBA, their Next Generation Committee and other racing bodies aimed at young people to get the wheels moving," said Adrian O'Brien, general manager of Plantation Stud.
"It's Dermot's idea to get people coming through the gates. There'll be plenty of tickets available and hopefully we'll be able to incorporate a visit to Plantation before racing to those interested so people can see how a stud works."
One recent and successfulexample of promotion within the bloodstock industry is the TBA Next Generation Committee, which was launched last year to attract younger people to the sport. The initiative has been well received according to committee member David Hodge of Llety Farm.
"It's gone down well - a lot of people are keen on what we're doing," said Hodge. "I just feel that racing and the media need to be a bit more positive about the product. If that were to happen, we would probably be able to attract and retain more owners and breeders."