Activities of The Jockey ClubIan D. Highet - Secretary-Treasurer, The Jockey Club
Ian D. Highet: Thank you, Dinny, and good morning, everyone.
Several of The Jockey Club's most important activities are featured prominently on today's agenda: the McKinsey Study, the Equine Injury Database and the Thoroughbred Safety Committee. Each of them speaks to critical issues facing our industry
In addition to these core topics, The Jockey Club is engaged in a wide spectrum of other activities and initiatives. This morning, I would like to share some recent developments across our various companies that highlight the diversity of The Jockey Club mandate and our efforts to serve the various constituencies of our sport. I will finish by sharing our current projections for the 2012 foal crop.
As I describe our recent activities, you will recognize a key theme embraced by this organization — technology. We all appreciate the legacy of The Jockey Club as a breed registry and the club's primary mission in the stewardship of The American Stud Book.
However, The Jockey Club has evolved into a technology company. We now deliver a host of valuable online, mobile and otherwise tech-enabled products and services that provide data, transparency, and tools to horse owners, fans, racetracks and other constituencies. For example, The Jockey Club has developed a number of mobile applications in the past few years and, we can now say "horse racing...there's an app for that."
I will highlight some other technology developments as I update you on the activities at our various companies, starting with the Registry.
In May, we introduced Thoroughbred Connect, a free online service designed to assist with placement of Thoroughbreds following the conclusion of their racing or breeding careers.
Since it was introduced, nearly 1,000 people have signed up. And in June, in order to further encourage participation in our retirement checkoff program, we made contributions to the checkoff program tax deductible. Shortly after last year's Round Table, we unveiled a tattoo mobile app for those trying to identify a horse, no matter where they were located. We also introduced a Registry app that facilitated the photo requirement for registration. The app actually links directly to Registry mobile, where customers can access the Online Names Book, the list of recently released names and tattoo lookup.
We continue to work and communicate closely with retirement groups with the goal of pursuing additional steps to ensure the proper care of Thoroughbreds.
The Jockey Club Information Systems Inc.
The introduction of the catalog app follows the international expansion of our free 5-cross pedigrees and portfolio service in the past year. Together, these examples demonstrate our expanding capabilities and our practice of using emerging technologies to implement practical solutions for our customers.
myRacingOffice.com is a free service that enables horsemen to customize their relationship with the racing office and gives them the ability to receive via email racing office documents such as condition books, stakes books, overnight sheets and stakes nomination lists.
Mobile Rundown is a free tool that allows racing secretaries to monitor entries via their smartphones.
Post Time Coordination is a first-generation tool to allow racetracks to avoid scheduling races with post times that conflict with other tracks. You will hear more about coordination of post times in the second half of today's program.
The Jockey Club Technology Services
For example, it is providing technological and engineering guidance on the TRPB's Tote Security System that got underway in March.
Technology Services is also spearheading the development and use of several social media initiatives, including Facebook, for The Jockey Club companies, and it has developed or consulted on several mobile app projects, including many I am describing today, over the past year.
The Equibase Racing Yearbook app, which was introduced last fall and was updated with a 2011 version, has been downloaded approximately 44,000 times. Nine days ago, Equibase released the Today's Racing app, another free app that has expanded the presence of horse racing in the iTunes and Android marketplaces.
Equibase is using its Facebook presence to interact with racing fans on a more personal level. Through automation, the same featured Yearbook races from equibase.com and the Yearbook app are posted to the Equibase Facebook wall so every time an Equibase fan connects to Facebook, he or she is exposed to the best racing our sport has to offer. They can "like," comment and post their thoughts, and interact with other fans.
Speaking of utilizing the social nature of Facebook for viral promotion, Equibase recently implemented an app within its Facebook page allowing access to the Stats Profile pages of all horses, jockeys and trainers. Again, fans can share their thoughts and comments with friends without having to leave Facebook.
And, in the latest instance of applying emerging technologies, Equibase has collaborated with InCompass to incorporate QR codes in live and simulcast programs. Using smartphones, fans can scan these little square bar codes and the static race program suddenly becomes the source for the latest scratches and program changes, as well as result charts, replays and mutuel payoffs after the race.
Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation / The Jockey Club Foundation
Meanwhile, The Jockey Club Foundation in 2010 distributed nearly $315,000 in grants to needy individuals and their families within the Thoroughbred industry. Since 1985, this foundation has provided more than $13.5 million in support.
The Jockey Club also plays a prominent role in many other wide-ranging stewardship initiatives of our industry, a few of which are displayed on the screen behind me.
Several of the committees formed at our Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summits continue to study important issues and share their findings. One recent example of that is the 34-page "Racing Surfaces White Paper" that details the current state of knowledge pertaining to training and racing surfaces.
In an effort to increase the vital mainstream media exposure that is so important to Thoroughbred racing, The Jockey Club has recently provided financial support that enabled NTRA to hire an experienced communications and sports marketing executive and a social media resource.
Those individuals and two other longtime NTRA Communications staff members are now based in The Jockey Club's New York office, in the heart of the media capital of the world.
I will conclude my report today with a projection for the 2012 foal crop, which impacts virtually every segment of our industry.
Based upon the number of mares reported bred during the 2011 breeding season, we are estimating a 2012 foal crop of 24,700.
This is a continuation of the pattern we've observed since the foal crop's recent high-water mark of 38,361 in 2005. The Jockey Club will continue to keep this industry apprised of breeding activity.
I hope this report gives you some idea of the breadth of ongoing activities at The Jockey Club, and I would encourage you to visit The Jockey Club website to learn more about our companies, our foundations and our other initiatives.
Ogden Mills Phipps: Thank you, Ian.