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Anthony MacDonald's Blog


Understanding a proven model

Published: November 25, 2017 6:44 pm ET

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Tomorrow is’s third Open House. We’ll host 300 people on-site tomorrow (and hundreds via our live broadcast) to watch yearlings jog. Jog in the cold. On a Sunday.

People will come from all over Ontario and the U.S. just to see something that they could see anywhere at any time. Why is that?

That’s a question that every member of this industry should ask themselves, and then do your very best to answer it.

People wonder why I'm optimistic about the future of horse racing. Truthfully, the vast majority of our industry does not believe there is enough room for growth to support the remaining struggling stables.

Although we have nearly 400 clients from 10 countries, I'm certain hasn’t snatched up every single person interested in horse racing from England, Norway, Italy, Belgium, Ireland, The United States, Malta, France, Scotland, or Canada.

Last I checked, there are still 195 countries and 7.6 billion people on earth.

There are 13.6 million people living right here in Ontario. has proven growth is achievable, and there is no lack of room or potential owners.

Racing has a tough time making a business plan based solely on ROI. I'll give you that. But, you’re not accounting for the entertainment value this industry possesses. (Neither did we, until we began

Whether you live in Milton, Ontario or Milan, Italy, there is something for you here in horse racing.

This industry has a powerful message, one that resonates with people.

The affordable participation in this sport that we all love is an intriguing proposition to many people from all walks of life, one that this industry has not explored, let alone exploited.

To be clear, what has built is a proven avenue to millions of people all over the world that may not know how affordable it is to own a Standardbred racehorse. And this industry certainly has no idea of the true value of the entertainment component associated with Standardbred racehorse ownership.

One of our own mental hurdles in horse racing is we believe we are alone. We believe what has happened to us is unfair. You’re only half right.

Many people and many industries have been run-over by neglectful governments before us, and the truth is we won’t be the last ones it happens to.

When I was campaigning in Guelph, Ontario, I saw the anger in the eyes, and crackling in the voices of many people from many walks of life who went through as much, or worse. Manufacturing topped the list in 2014. It was decimated by this, and the past governments, and as hydro rates were on the rise, so too was unemployment.

Resiliency only erodes when people begin to give up. Well, I'm not giving up, and many other people aren’t either.

Adaptation is as much a hurdle for this industry as any government policy. We need to stop believing we are in such a unique situation, because we are not. Many people have traveled this road before us. Some made it through the tough times, others have not.

Our future is far from written, but we do have the chance to pick the writers.

Horse racing is full of hard workers, we just need to move in the proper direction.

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

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