Kudos to The Meadows How to attract young people to harness racing

HRU Feedback (2022-01-03)

January 2, 2022

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Kudos to The Meadows

I was happy to read that The Meadows will buck the awful and annoying practice of drag. I was also happy to read that they will change the Pick 5 to a 50/50 split. That should benefit all the daily players instead of just the parasitic betting syndicates who swoop in only when there is a guaranteed payoff.

I rarely bet The Meadows in the past, but I will now be adding them to my playlist to show my support for these changes. The free programs on their website are also a great idea. The HD signal should be a nice improvement, but I think harness racing needs to go way further and offer many different replay views of a race including an overhead view.

H. Earl Paulson

 

How to attract young people to harness racing

I read with interest the comments in the Dazzlin’ Dozen article (full story here). With the new year comes renewed optimism, and hopefully, a desire to make a difference.

My thoughts here only address the recurring theme of attracting young people to harness racing — something the Harness Horse Youth Foundation (HHYF) has been working at for some 40-plus years.

  • HHYF has developed outstanding horsemen and women through our summer hands-on programs;
  • HHYF has developed valuable industry resources and educational tools like the Guide To Careers In Horse Racing and HARNESS HEROES trading cards;
  • HHYF has awarded close to $1 million in scholarship funds;
  • HHYF has and continues to partner with organizations with similar goals;
  • HHYF has received awards both inside and outside of harness racing for our efforts.

While all of this and more is what our grassroots efforts have accomplished, the HHYF trustees and staff also realize that our endeavors are, sadly, but a drop in the bucket to what can be done.

Are you having a class or club at your farm this spring? Call us for handouts.

Is your racetrack hosting a family day? Contact HHYF for ideas to make it even more educational.

Are you a teacher or club leader in need of harness racing curriculum? We have newly developed Activity Boxes full of games, puzzles and other materials to help explain the industry.

Do you enjoy seeing a tentative teenager bloom into his/her radiance of self-confidence? Volunteer at one of our summer programs.

Do you like to develop new projects? Join one of HHYF’s committees to share your ideas.

No time but like what HHYF does? Write a check.

Yes, racing needs youth involvement but that doesn’t just happen. It takes time, patience and collective effort. It takes each of us helping in our own way to ensure harness racing’s future.

Call or email the HHYF office to see how you too can be a part of HHYF’s labor of love. 317.908.0029 or ellen@hhyf.org.

Ellen Taylor / HHYF

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