By Dave Briggs
Before I get to what you likely want to know most – what changes we are planning for Harness Racing Update (HRU) – it is important to thank Bill Finley for being so gracious and helpful while turning over the business. We won’t forget that without him, HRU wouldn’t have existed in the first place and we are sensitive to the fact that as its founder, HRU is his baby. We pledge to work hard every day to strengthen and lengthen its legacy.
Admittedly, that won’t be easy. But that won’t deter me. For 20 years I have covered the sport for a variety of publications – most notably as the long-time editor of The Canadian Sportsman – because I have a passion for the people and horses of this great game.
I am not an owner of HRU. As such, I am flattered – and, admittedly, a little overwhelmed – that the new ownership has placed its faith in me to give HRU a second life.
Ultimately, that is why HRU is back. Enough interested parties believe the publication provided a viable and valuable service and deserved another shot. I share that belief. Harness racing has suffered enough losses already and some weren’t prepared for HRU to become another good thing gone too soon.
What changes can you expect? Initially, not a lot.
Our plan is to publish on Friday and Sunday mornings through May when the publication schedule will expand to Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings until the end of stakes season. There will also be extra issues during major sales and stakes events.
Our focus is to keep as much of the original team intact as possible – including writers Dean Towers and Dean Hoffman, and even Bill Finley, on occasion when the mood strikes him and his schedule allows. We hope to augment their fine work with some of best and brightest journalists working in the industry today and also surprise you from time to time with some fabulous guest columnists.
We are already planning to strengthen coverage of the Midwest and Canada, while maintaining a strong focus on the harness racing jurisdictions in the eastern United States. Plans also call for expanded coverage of horse sales.
Through it all, we will be committed to the principles of fair, accurate reporting and pledge not to shy away from uncomfortable topics when necessary.
If you believe in the potential of HRU, I ask for your support and suggestions and patience in the early going while we get it fired up again.
To that end, in order to better service you the readers and advertisers, we need to hear from you. We need to know what you loved best about Harness Racing Update and what you think HRU can do better. So, please take a second to complete our short, three-question survey.
Together, we can help HRU thrive in its second act
I can’t wait to get started.