The 10 most read HRU stories of 2019

A special thank you to our advertisers, readers and contributors for the continued growth of HRU, which has added 2,000 subscribers (an increase of 34 per cent) in four years.

by Dave Briggs

Happy New Year! All of us at Harness Racing Update (HRU) send our deep gratitude to our advertisers, readers and contributors for the support in 2019.

In the four years since the new management took over HRU in January of 2016, we have gained almost exactly 2,000 HRU subscribers, an increase of 34 per cent.

That growth continued over 2019, with an increase of some 600 subscribers (5.3 per cent).

Even more important, HRU’s average click and open rates continue to climb.

In 2018, our average open rate was over 43 per cent and our click rate was just shy of 48 per cent. In 2019, our average open rate improved to 46 per cent and our click rate topped 50 per cent.

According to an article called Email Marketing Benchmarks on GetResponse, the average open rate for email campaigns is 21.6 per cent and the average click rate is 14.7 per cent.

That means HRU’s open rate is 100 per cent higher than the industry average and 240 per cent higher than the average click rate, meaning readers are engaged with the content.

HRU continued to post steady growth in other areas, as well. In 2018, we launched our popular broadcast division (on YouTube) with 2-year-olds in Training and sales coverage. In 2019, combining videos posted on YouTube and Facebook, HRU videos were viewed nearly 84,000 times, total.

Also, the number of people that like our Facebook page has organically grown (not paid) by more than 2,000 (up more than 31 per cent) just in 2019 alone.

Meanwhile, our number of Twitter followers increased by 323 in 2019.

As for top stories, in 2016 we listed our Top 5 stories by the number of shares they received.

For 2017, our production guru Brian Fuller did one better and calculated the five most read HRU stories of the year using stats gathered from online statistics. That story can be read here.

In 2018, the top 10 most-read stories are here.

In 2019, the 10 most read HRU stories were:

10. Alleged mob connection kills new Illinois harness track
by Neil Milbert — Oct. 18

9. As Atlanta burns: Hambletonian winner up for auction to rid owners of Rick Zeron
by Dave Briggs — Feb. 14

8. Wire to Wire: Heyden deserves better than demotion at Big M
by Dave Briggs — Nov. 30

7. Rock Diamonds N powers to victory in Gold Cup and Saucer
by Melissa Keith — Aug. 18

6. Six-month suspension strips Zeron and Atlanta of possible O’Briens
by Dave Briggs — Jan, 13

5. The tragic and mysterious death of a harness horsemen
by Melissa Keith — April 14

4. Jimmy Takter diagnosed with spinal cord tumor
by Dave Briggs — Sept. 15

3. Deadspin is dead
by Trey Nosrac – Nov. 9

2. Schnittker fed up with beard trainers and lack of action from regulators
by Dave Briggs — July 15

1. Shooting deaths of Dean and Stevie Beachy an immeasurable loss
by Dave Briggs – Jan. 27