Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Improving Horse Racing

The last entry got me thinking about horse racing and as I didn't really have anything to do I thought I would send a letter to the CEO of the AJC.


Mr Darren Pearce
Australian Jockey Club
Royal Randwick

Dear Darren,

I’ve been trying to get in to horse racing but sadly I just don’t find it that interesting. Rather than walk away from the sport of kings I thought I would offer some suggestions on ways in which you could potentially liven things up.

While I applaud you for providing job opportunities to little people with funny, high-pitched voices, I think you need to seriously look at who you get to ride the horses. People came out in force to watch Sonny Bill Williams box. I’m sure they’d do the same if he were mounted on a steed. And why just get the Paris Hilton to faff about drinking champagne when you could put her on the favourite in Race 6? I hear people are fascinated with watching her bounce up and down.

I appreciate you can’t afford big name celebrities for every race but I think there are other directions you could go. Personally I’d like to see races where there is more of a balance between man and beast. My suggestion is an event where the horse rides the first mile and then boards a float. For the last 100 metres the jockey would then have to pull the float like in one of those “World’s Strongest Man” competitions. I feel it would be far more strategic and present the opportunity for larger jockeys to get ahead.

I believe there is also more you can do on a charity angle. While other sports have embraced the opportunity to support breast cancer research by going pink, I’m yet to see racing do the same. Surely it can’t be that hard to dye a horse?

Frankly I think it should be done all the time. When I watch racing the dominance of brown horses makes it near impossible for me to work out which horse is coming where. If I knew I was barracking for the blue horse that would be far better.

It also seems peculiar to me that you just get thoroughbred horses to race. If properly handicapped I think you could easily have Shetland ponies, draught horses, donkeys, zebras and even giraffes competing. Who wouldn’t pay to see a giraffe versus a donkey? In these tough economic times allowing Shetland ponies to compete would also prove far more affordable and open up the sport to the common man.

I hope you will take on board these suggestions so that eventually you can capture the attention of others like me who find your sport frightfully boring.


Jamie Watson

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