One of the great benefits of modern technology is the ability to connect across space and time with our favorite race horses, giving fans an intimate look into their lives in ways that have never been possible before.
An excellent example is the Zenyatta website, rich in information including videos and charts of her racing career, as well as a diary that updates the now-retired Horse of the Year’s daily activities. Add to that the nearly 63,000 people who “like” her Facebook page, and we’re talking about one of the most savvy information campaigns currently in action—and one that, for the sake of the sport, others should seriously consider mimicking.
Before Zenyatta, there was 3-time Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva whose website, unfortunately, hasn’t be updated in quite some time, although her Facebook page is still active. Others with sites include Kentucky Derby winners Mine That Bird and Funny Cide.
These are rarities, though. Most of the time it is fans themselves that lead the charge in keeping their favorites in the limelight. On my Foolish Pleasure blog, I have repeatedly dealt with the Hall of Fame-worthy racing achievements, as well as the progeny of Xtra Heat, one of my all-time favorite race horses. Now, fellow Xtra Heat aficionado Laurie Asseo has compiled a Flickr page that you shouldn’t miss exploring, while Xtra Heat’s Facebook page is often updated with photos and even videos of the great mare and her foals.
As part of a greater movement to keep racing in the spotlight—and, truly, to bring new (younger) fans world-wide to the sport—it’s time for owners and breeders to embrace modern multimedia and interactive outlets like Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and Twitter, in addition to personally hosted web pages. With some commitment and minimal cost, social networks provide for fan interaction and stimulate interest, which is a “win-win” situation. So embrace, don’t fear, the modern information superhighway, owners!