The agencies regulating American horse racing want to know what issues the sport’s participants and patrons believe most urgently need addressing and the best way to do so.
The Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI), a not-for-profit trade association representing the regulatory bodies for horse and greyhound racing in North America and parts of the Caribbean, has crafted an online survey to solicit input from the industry’s varied stakes-holders, including the bettors who make the horse racing possible. The goal is to find consensus that will allow the industry to take constructive measures to improve the sport.
Here’s the link: https://racingintegrity.wufoo.com/forms/s14gaigp1rz4y3m/
“Racing is a great sport – perhaps the greatest,” said ARCI president Ed Martin. “It’s the thinking person’s sport. But because there are literally thousands of owners, hundreds of tracks and countless participants, there has been no consensus as to what our biggest problems and challenges are and how to address them.”
In that effort, the ARCI on Wednesday at Los Alamitos will conduct the last of 28 focus groups at tracks across the country, with participants including horse owners, trainers, jockeys, fans, veterinarians, track management, breeders, racing officials and regulators.
“We appreciate that issues can only be addressed if people work together,” Martin said. “We seek to assess what problems people need to have addressed, the options to do that, and the path that a consensus can be built around.”
The online survey is designed to augment the focus groups. Martin encourages industry organizations, including those for fans and handicappers, to circulate the survey among their memberships and beyond.
“The questions are deliberately designed to probe where people are at on ideas currently being proposed, as well as giving respondents the opportunity to tell us what they think the major changes should be,” Martin said. “The more responses the better.
“The racing industry is currently divided, and those divisions are generating negative publicity and ill will. Unless we get everyone on a common path, these divisions will continue to the detriment of the sport. Nobody can solve all of racing’s problems overnight, but we are going to try to get people on a path that will result in positive change.”