Meet The Team Behind Every Racehorse
When you see a horse at the races do you ever think about the number of people it took to get the horse to that stage? Every racehorse has a massive team behind it and each one has a part to play in our industry.
How many people does it take to get a horse to the races?
On race day it is easy to spot the obvious. The trainer, strapper and jockey are usually on view, with owners easy to spot as they do their best to temper pre-race anxiety. If it’s a major race the breeders might also warrant a mention in the race book.
But really, that is just the beginning of it. Every facet of a horse’s life involves a whole range of people who, in some form, depend upon that horse (along with his stablemates and fellow competitors) for their livelihood.
If we start with the breeder who plans the mating, perhaps based on additional information from a pedigree expert or studmaster, the next step is floating the mare to the stud farm – one of countless times a float company will be relied upon. At the stud there will be a range of staff involved the mechanics of the process in the breeding barn, through to the culmination of that activity some 11-12 months later where foaling staff earn their keep.
If the resulting offspring heads to the sales then another raft of people emerge, from yearling handlers through to advertising companies promoting the draft and on to the auction company, bloodstock agents, syndicators, insurance and airfreight people. Prior to landing with a trainer and heading to the races our horse will probably spend time at an agistment property and with a breaker and/or pre-trainer.
Once in the stable where work begins in earnest for our horse, they acquire a whole new bunch of people to tend to their every need and get them worked. At every step of the way there are vets, farriers; feed merchants; those who provide the necessary gear in the way of bits and halters; and various forms of manipulators and/or physios also have their roles to play.
By the time raceday rolls around there is a jockey involved, possibly one with an agent, so that’s a couple more involved in the mission to get this horse to the track. Racecourse staff, from those in the office involved in the putting on of the actual meeting; through to the bloke playing the bugle (if you’re lucky enough to be debuting at Ellerslie!); the people on the gates; the ones selling the racebooks; the talented horsemen on the starting gates, and so the list goes on – they all play a part in the big picture.
And speaking of the big picture then there is the televising of the actual race – the commentators, the cameramen, and hard-working behind the scenes team who make sure everything flows.
Of course, it is all about the betting, so without the punters parting with their hard-earned where would we be?
Once the race is run, jockeys have weighed in, the photo finish examined and the judge’s call made, there are people like those in charge of swabbing and lab testing who have a role to play.
The graphic above features a broad selection of those involved in our industry, but its tentacles spread much wider. Over the coming weeks we look forward to sharing profiles of industry participants who slot into some of the roles featured here.
Content and Image Credit: LoveRacing.NZ