Racing Into The Future  | Sporting Post

There is no known “grey list” for sports, sports, or sporting events.

But if it were, horse racing would probably be included.

Not in terms of being monitored for financial misdemeanor or shady dealings, but possibly becoming less visible or mired in a state of depression, as musically portrayed in new wave band Visage’s 1981 chart-topping ‘Fade To Grey’ ‘. .

Race to the future!

The President has told South Africans that our recent Financial Action Task Force (FAT) greylisting is not nearly as depressing or problematic as it is made out to be. So don’t worry…we’ll be fine brothers.

But there comes a time when words alone can no longer ease the throbbing uneasiness of knowing that all is not well; or keep the dire looming prospects of financial collapse from getting a grip on their throats.

Our racing industry has recently avoided catastrophe through the intervention of some ultra-wealthy individuals, all, admirably, genuine lovers of the sport. We sighed in relief together.

However, we need a constant influx of new customers to stay afloat. Like any other company, we need fundamental innovations to survive. And not without haste. Our industry may not be the absolutely unique industry that we seem to think it is.

Hong Kong’s Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, the world’s most respected racing administrator, identified nine key impediments to racing’s growth at the recent Asian Racing Conference in Melbourne. Among them were an “older customer base” and “interesting generations Y and Z”.

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We have seen several commendable efforts, particularly in the Western Cape, to ‘make racing great again’. Several professionally staged events have drawn larger crowds and created exciting vibes.

However, we don’t know how many of the young people who attended the races for the first time will return because they enjoyed the races more than the salmon morsels and champagne. Are we getting young people to race for life? How long can the elder statesmen and women keep the sport’s supporter base healthy enough to continue?

Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain spent a day at New York’s Aqueduct Racecourse in one of his recent TV documentaries in May 2017 and remarked, “I love this place. The ponies, the beers, the looming sense of despair and melancholy. The glory days of horse racing are long gone. All that’s left is a few die-hards with some money and a dream…”

Bourdain’s somber tones all seemed to make more sense when a year later he was found hanging from a rope in his room in a small French hotel – a man overcome with the same poignant emotions he experienced on his last visit to a racetrack had.

Global Team Horse Racing (GTH) has an award winning product. A racing product that broke into the mainstream by winning Event of the Year at last year’s Hollard Sports Awards, beating the Rugby World Cup Sevens Final in Cape Town in the process. When was the last time a race event was even nominated for something like this?

GTH aims to give racing the turbo boost it needs to attract Generations Z (Zoomers) and X (those in between Baby Boomers and Millennials).

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Our sport needs a breakthrough in proportions. At least it opened a window to new horizons. We risk a depressing alternative: disappearing into the gray darkness. Our failure to explore original, imaginative advertising opportunities and revenue streams would be suicidal.

  • Global Team Horseracing media release dated March 20, 2023

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