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Anthony MacDonald's Blog


Taking Our Industry Back

Published: October 18, 2017 9:47 am ET

Last Comment: October 21, 2017 10:51 am ET | 2 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Adding clients and adding horses to daily is an unbelievable feeling.

We have simply done what people said couldn't be done. We are now catering to all forms of horse ownership.

On Sunday, we sold five shares of two yearlings to a couple from Ontario. They both decided that it would be a great anniversary present and have now become harness racing's newest owners. Their social media feeds will have horse racing information, testimonials and pictures for all their other non-horse racing friends to see. Extrapolate that outward and you begin to see the sheer scope of what we are doing considering how many new people we have brought into our game already.

Thirty-five minutes after meeting Steve and Dawn Fitzsimmons I was bidding for a different type of client. This gentleman just wanted the best. A great sire, a great mare and a horse that made you stop and look.

Unfortunately everyone stopped and looked. I can't say we were the underbidder of the $220,000 final price, but we held the $190,000 bid.

To me, when someone thinks enough of our program to entrust us with that amount of confidence, it's a pretty good feeling to say the least.

When looking at the two polar opposite scenarios at the London Selected Sale yesterday, it's pretty clear we have built exactly what we said we would two years ago. A place where people would invest in horse racing as much as horse ownership. The entertainment of it all and the experience along the way making the financial outcome secondary.

Bringing the sport of kings back to where it all started, and what it started for. Excitement, competitiveness, and athleticism.

You may laugh, but think of it for a moment; as horsemen and stables in many jurisdictions are finding it difficult to make their way in this sport around the world, we are growing at incredible rate. As downsizing is abundant with some really gifted horsemen actually leaving our industry, has swelled to 92 horses with no signs of slowing down as we now house every type of owner. Our platform is beginning to really take shape.

As we move forward people will see how important fractional ownership is. Let me give you the Cliff notes version:

The negatives of our industry are abundant.

1) our clientelle is aging.

2) we have an incredibly difficult time attracting younger fans and investors to our sport.

3) our B tracks don't race for enough, so our literal grass roots foundation is eroding in front of our very eyes.

4) we are completely subsidized, which means the portion of society that hasn't got very much right since Confederation are now running our industry.

Simply put, we have lost our industry.

This is how we get it back:

We should have investment from our Government. But not because we desperately need it, but because we can offer something they desperately need also. That being the attention of the general public. By bringing people into our industry from the general public we are exposing all their friends and family to our sport and if treated right, they all become living billboards for horse racing. This creates a rather large forum with the ability to speak to everyday people directly. The key to marrying the gaming crowd, agriculture and the general public at large together was always us, yet we weren't equipped to do so.

We are now.

Casinos do not want to give us a dime because they believe its a waste of revenue. From a business standpoint presently they are likely right.

You see, they know exactly how much they have to spend in advertising to attract clients. But our clients, the ones looking for a good time, the ones you call the "one percenters", most of them would never dawn the doorway of a casino. So what we have is a unique doorway to an untapped market for our gaming partners.

For instance, raced at the Meadows Racetrack and Casino this summer. Fourteen of our clients ended up on the tarmac of that racetrack and many likely went to the casino. What would have happened if the management for the Meadows reached out to our client list and said they'd love to see us at The Meadows that day. A ticket to the buffet? A night at the hotel casino? Who knows?

Maybe this spring when our clients want to get away they choose the Meadows again rather than Vegas, or Disneyworld? When else could Pittsburgh ever compete in that way? Now imagine if there 50 or 100 stables working with all tracks and casinos in that manner? What would our grandstands and affiliate casino attendance look like?

That, ladies and gentlemen, would be our industry working together to maximize its revenue. For the naysayers who believe we wouldn't see a dime more as horsemen? I would disagree, with honestly no proof. Well...other than a sound business plan and of course the key to all the clients I'm speaking of. You see we don't have to be friends to be good business partners. We now have something racetracks and affiliate casinos need and cannot attain without us. New clientele, new revenue streams.

I said a flood is coming and it is. I'm not Noah building a boat in the rain, but with fractional ownership horsemen now possess the ability to speak to the general public and deliver and unmatched affordable experience for everyone in society. We have something tangible that gets us our seat back at the table and the key to the future of our industry.

This will be a long process that will take a lot of work. Join the next generation of horse racing. You already work incredibly hard every day. Now you just have to work incredibly intelligently.

Anthony MacDonald

The views presented in Trot Blogs are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Standardbred Canada.

October 21, 2017 - 10:51 amCongratulations Anthony

Congratulations Anthony :)))

Slot money/subsidizes breeds complacency,YOU discovered the power of a EMPTY POCKET.

Just think!You thought the world was falling in a couple of years ago :)))))

October 19, 2017 - 5:21 pmGreat blog. Spot on. Inch by

tim finley SAID...

Great blog. Spot on. Inch by inch anything is a cinch.

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