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Monday, June 8, 2009

Press Opportunities: The Good and The Ugly

The Good: Ray Schnittker continues to do much to help promote harness racing. As you recall, during the run up to last year's Hambletonian final with Deweycheatmenhowe, Ray gave unprecedented access to the media including allowing Donna Barton of NBC Sports to ride Dewey during the week leading up to the final.

Well, Ray is at it again. At Historic Track's Youth Day in Goshen, NY this past Saturday, Ray helped organize and raised funds for high school scholarship funds at some area high schools. The students coupled with drivers (including George Brennan, Stephane Bouchard and others) raced horses to win scholarship money not only for the schools, but for themselves. It was a daily double of sorts. Not only did area high school students benefit, harness racing gains some good will and new fans. Wouldn't it be great if this idea could be replicated at our parimutuel tracks? Think of the press the sport could get.

The Ugly: A driver is fined in Indiana $1,000 and given a 10 day suspension for whipping a horse in a race to the point the horse showed visible injuries afterwards. Think of the press the sport could get.

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