To say I am very proud of what the rank and file of harness racing is doing as they continue to pledge money to get harness racing on television, despite the fact funding has been secured for the Little Brown Jug would be an understatement. Large trainers and small are contributing $500, or if unable to, contributing whatever they can towards this effort. It goes to show you some people in standardbred racing are not willing to roll over and watch racing die.
However, it raises a question. With all these people pledging, it seems to me there is a disconnect between the rank and file and their leadership. Maybe the leadership is privy to certain issues which those not in leadership roles are unaware of. On the other hand, maybe those pledging don't care and just want to see something done to save the sport. However, one can't help but wonder if we have some individuals in leadership roles (starting at the local level) who have been in power too long that they have forget who they are working for and develop a 'Boss Tweed' mentality, loosing sight of what is right for the industry on the whole and instead focused on their personal agendas and defeating those who dare oppose their views?
Speaking to horsemen, do you have leadership in your horseman association which seems to have been there as long as you can remember? Do they treat your association as if it was their personal fiefdom, unwilling to listen to new ideas or resent those who dare challenge their views? If so, it may be time to remove them at the ballot box. Remember, the leadership of a horseman association's responsibility is to represent the horsemen they represent. When they stop representing you and instead represent their own interests, it it is time to replace them. Perhaps term limits are the way.
However, it would be a mistake to focus solely on the horseman side of the equation. The same can be said for leadership of racetracks and breeders. It is no longer the 1960's. Those who think or continue to act as if this is the case need to be replaced with those who have a modern view of racing and a willingness to adapt.