What’s a horse’s tongue? Why isn’t this one saying, ‘Hey let’s go, get me a big old bucket of money because I can’t pay my taxes?’ Or I’m thinking something about the horse. But a lot of it is the lack of a social contract and understanding of what we can do and what they can do.”
That lack of societal understanding is something I’ve noticed about a lot of people when it comes to racehorses. Some of it is a bit understandable. For many, a racehorse is just an expensive horse. There is almost always more money in advertising and merchandise than there is in the stable for a racehorse to earn. What they see in a race is just a reflection of what’s on the table.
When I met Ralf Peterson, owner of the New York Racing Club and a racing insider since the 1960s, he had worked in the industry since 1955, when he helped buy the New York Racing Club. There he helped train the New York Stock Show and the New York World’s Stock Show before he sold the club to the Hudson River Trust. Back then Peterson was doing the work, but with modern technology, he could now do even more with the same resources.
Today, Peterson is one of America’s biggest names in horse racing and one of the world’s leading experts on the history of racehorses. Peterson has traveled extensively to Japan, Germany, Australia and America. He has attended the prestigious London World Horse Show and the world’s best stables are all from his stable, where he runs the American Breeder of Quarter Horses. He’s done the show horses for the United States Horseman’s Association, the United States National Stables Association, the New York Stock Association and the United States Equine Breeders Association.
And while Peterson still believes the race horse is an important industry, now he wants to help fix it. He wants to create an industry that has equality of opportunity, and where horses can have more rights and opportunities than today’s corporate breeding program. He wants to create a horse race that’s more sustainable, where the money comes from the farmers and the racegoer.
“We’ve developed this system of a single source of money,” Peterson told me. “We could just use a credit card. We’re looking for a system where we can make it so that we can have more horses for a cheaper price, and they can be in more places, be around more people, be more in line to come
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