20 April 2016, Solvang, California ~ The first forum of the 2016 HARC Arabian Racing Forum Tour of the Heritage Arabian Racing Club (HARC) took place at the 2016 Arabian Breeders World Cup in Las Vegas Friday evening, 15 April. It was the first time an Arabian racing forum has taken place at this show, and one of only a handful of times Arabian racing has been so widely and intentionally publicized to the Arabian show horse community.
“We were excited to introduce existing owners and breeders of Arabian show horses to the excitement and possibilities of Arabian racing, particularly in light of what HARC means to them,– lucrative added money incentives for young stock they may have standing in a back paddock whose show career is in question,” said Evie Tubbs Sweeney, USA voting member of HARC and director of Marketing for the Arabian Jockey Club. “There truly has never been a better time to get into Arabian racing.”
The HARC Arabian Racing Forum walked guests through an overview of the sport, key events and races, partnership opportunities, costs and purse money, a Q & A session, and a raffle at the conclusion that offered a VIP Day at the Races, a VIP invitation to the 2017 Darley Awards, a free breeding to the HARC-eligible stallion Favoritt, and two bottles of wine from the estate vineyards of Om El Arab International, whose stallion, Om El Bellissimo, serves as an excellent example of a HARC stallion. As one of the top producers of show horses in the world, Om El Bellissimo had a another talent uncovered when leased out to Janow Podaski stud. His progeny began winning races in Poland, even beating horses of acclaimed Polish racing lines.
“The example of Om El Bellissimo begs the question ‘How many more horses are out there who can run that haven’t been discovered yet’” said Sweeney. “It is a haunting question, and one worth exploring in the show community. The HARC Arabian Racing Forum attracted over 40 people who were curious about learning more. After the forum concluded, twelve response cards were returned, each indicating their interest to immediately join a racing partnership.”
“With a conversion rate of over 25 percent, it confirmed what I’ve always believed,” said Sweeney, “and that is that if racing is communicated in the proper manner and environment, the show horse community will naturally gravitate to it.”
Co-hosting the forum with Sweeney was Pamela Burton, owner of www.HorseReporter.com and long-time international Arabian racing proponent. “I was pleased at the level of interest of the Las Vegas Forum audience, and that so many stayed with questions at the end,” said Burton.
The forum was live-streamed on iEquine.com, following the conclusion of the afternoon classes. Also in attendance were media representatives from Arabhorse.com, Arabian Horse Times, and the Arabian Horse Association.
With the anticipation of interest resulting from the forum series, an organized effort in the Arabian racing community has been initiated to create dozens of racing partnerships, offering a broad range of options for new enthusiasts to join immediately. Mentoring is also available for show horse owners and breeders to have their stock evaluated for racing potential, particularly in light of the HARC added-money incentives.
The HARC Arabian Racing Forum Tour will continue with Santa Ynez, Scottsdale, the Egyptian Event, Sport Horse Nationals, the AHA Convention, and two additional webinars.
A website is currently in development for the HARC program. Any questions in the meantime can be directed to:
Evie Tubbs Sweeney at firstname.lastname@example.org.