Desperately looking for someone, or anyone, within the thoroughbred racing industry to think outside the box and make a real effort to do things that actually benefit the fans and the horses, rather than looking only at the bottom line? I offer WinStar Farm as a great example of an industry leader more than willing to do just that.
The Versailles, Kentucky farm has certainly enjoyed their share of success the last few years, notably winning the 2010 Kentucky Derby with Super Saver, and the 2010 Belmont Stakes and 2011 Breeders’ Cup Classic with Drosselmeyer. As good as they have been in America’s biggest races; they seem equally adept at giving back with unique offerings.
Here are some of the things WinStar has offered over the past few years:
-WinStar StableMates A truly unique offering that certainly is the industry standard for letting fans of racing and horses experience and enjoy the thoroughbred in a way that before was only available to insiders. There are four levels of membership, ranging from a simple free membership all the way to the Grade 1 offering, which “delivers the closest thing you can get to the experience of owning a thoroughbred racing and breeding farm,” according to WinStar.
-Kentucky Derby Fantasy Challenge A free fantasy contest at its finest, WinStar’s version has fans create a 12 horse stable with the aim of racking up the most earnings on the Kentucky Derby trail. Plenty of prizes were awarded to the best players, but even if you didn’t win, the contest only added more fun to racing’s favorite time of year.
-World Championship Challenge was another free interactive contest, this time on the Breeders’ Cup, where fans played an entertaining game, and if they showed enough skill, took home some great prizes.
-Name Super Saver’s little brother gave fans a chance to submit their choice for the name of a potential champion. The winning entry (Superfection) not only named the young horse, but was one of the entrants to receive more cool prizes from WinStar.
-Farm Cams gives the viewer a chance to get seldom seen and continuous behind-the-scenes looks at the inner workings of one of the top thoroughbred farms in the world.
As you can see, WinStar Farm has made a huge effort to create innovative ways for the fans of thoroughbred to enjoy the sport they love in ways never before available … But what about for the horses? WinStar is on it.
I received the following press release this afternoon explaining their newest example of doing good for the industry. Note that 100% of the proceeds go towards the benefit of our retired athletes. Read on my friends … This one is for the horses!
Join WinStar in auction to benefit the New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program!
We need you to partner with us during this Christmas season to benefit, one of WInStar’s favorite charities, the New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program!
We will auction some of WinStar Farm's most historic and treasured racing memorabilia starting today. The auction will take place online through ebay, running Friday, Dec. 9th through Tuesday, Dec. 13th. Access the auction directly at WinStarStableMates.com. All proceeds will go directly to New Vocations.
"The folks at New Vocations have one of the most important jobs in our industry in my opinion, and they do a tremendous job," said Elliott Walden, President and CEO of WinStar Farm. "They have a great program that re-trains these tremendous athletes for their careers after racing, and then they place them with people who have been qualified through an extensive evaluation program, which includes a years’ worth of follow up, to ensure that these horses continue to be cared for to the standard that they deserve. It's our responsibility to the industry to support programs such as New Vocations, and WinStar is always honored to do it."
It is WinStar's hope that fans and supporters of the sport will get behind the auction and pick up some great Christmas gifts for a wonderful cause. Some of the items that will be auctioned include:
*25 Drosselmeyer Breeders’ Cup hats signed by Mike Smith, Bill Mott and Kenny Troutt
*Drosselmeyer Breeders’ Cup Classic paddock blanket
*Super Saver 2010 Kentucky Derby rose from winner's blanket
*Drosselmeyer Belmont Stakes-winning shoe
*Drosselmeyer Breeders’ Cup Classic-winning shoe
*Distorted Humor halter
*Super Saver halter
For more information, please contact Jenny Barnett at 859-537-2725. Visit WinStarStableMates.com to access and bid on auction items. And while you are there, please consider signing up for one of our Grade 1, 2, or 3 memberships – they make very special Christmas gifts!