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Horse Racing as an Olympic Sport - Pie in the Sky but Compelling

Over the years we have heard several arguments for horse racing to be an Olympic sport, and despite the numerous potholes, some of them really do make sense. Horse racing is global, there are racetracks in almost every major Olympic country, and if equestrian is a sport, why not racing?

Most believe the biggest stumbling block is the sport itself. It's too fractured, doesn't have uniform rules, and would a horse, owner and trainer race for a medal instead of say $12 million in the super-Pegasus Cup?

If golf's reasoning for becoming an Olympic sport means something, perhaps it's something the sport might want to look a little further at.

From the Olympic issue of Golf Magazine:

"Becoming an Olympic sport can and does lead to increase governmental funding and the creation or expansion of programs to attract new players.."

The article goes on to look at the Olympics influence on tennis. In 1988, when Olympic tennis was passed, the sport was on the decline. In '88 147 countries were members of a tennis federation, now 211 are.

"The Olympic effect as broadened tennis significantly," said Barbara Travers of the International Tennis Federation.

Olympic horse racing is pie in the sky, yes. But, it's difficult for governments to ban a beloved Olympic sport, and when they're funding something that has more than a "we fund a sport for rich people" narrative, it's positive. As well, countries with small breeding operations - or none at all - might see a few more dollars go their way. 'Go for the gold' has a nice ring to it for many politicians. 

Enjoy your Friday everyone. 


Comments

Anonymous said…
WADA would certainly be kept busy.