December 28, 2016
Challenges and Solutions is an ongoing series in the TDN.
HEADLEY BELL, Mill Ridge Farm
What is the most pressing problem that needs to be tackled in racing, and how would you solve it?
You know, no one has to own a horse or involve themselves in our business. Yet, the horse is so compelling, so giving, that we are drawn to it and all it represents. For me, our pressing problem is ourselves and this bickering amongst ourselves. Naturally, we are of strong character and feel that we are always right (thus the reason for my comment). Yet, through all this we have become bogged down with ourselves and lost sight of how many "very positives" exist in our business..many, many positives. If we were to emphasize the positives, address our issues after doing so, and not take ourselves so seriously--always remembering it is all about the horse--then I think we could move forward.
What do you think somebody from the outside looking in-- somebody not involved in racing--would say the problem that most needs solving is?
Again, if you let the horse be your driver, then an outsider is going to question, "how are you caring for the horse?" And look how much progress has been made with TAA, track safety and protocol, horse health and welfare, racetracks and farms emphasizing fan experience, education and much more...just to name a few. As an industry, we have made tremendous strides with awareness that our fan is our life-blood, and that our industry is driven by the horse. Let's recognize this and continue to build and polish and look forward to the future. Welcome 2017, and our belief that we have the greatest game going and that we will continue to share our story.