Racing Bigwig Posts Open Letter to Racing

Dear friend,
As a horse owner, breeder, trainer, jockey, groom, or horse racing fan you are a stakeholder in the industry we all love. 
As stakeholders, we have many things in common.

We love the sites, sounds, and smells of the racetracks and horse farms.

We love talking about racing with the people we work with and the people we meet during a day at the track, and above all, we love the magnificent horses that give us such immeasurable pleasure.  Winston Churchill summed it up best when he said, “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”

We are, by nature, an optimistic group.  Anyone who has known the thrill of victory has also experienced numerous defeats along the way.  Horse racing is a game of highs and lows, victories and defeats.  Our passion for the game drives us forward, keeps us focused on the next victory, and helps us forget the many obstacles we overcame on our way to the winner’s circle.
We are all aware of the trouble our industry faces.  We can all recite the laundry list of negative statistics that point to our imminent demise.  We’ve been told that our best days are behind us and that we can no longer compete.

I disagree.  So does the trainer with a 2yo working bullets in the morning, and the breeder who just looked at the most beautiful foal she’s ever seen, and so does the horseplayer who just hit the $268,000 superfecta in the Regret Stakes on Saturday.

We are blessed with an industry that can appeal to children and adults, the rich and the poor, and people from every culture in the world.  We just need to do a better job of sharing our sport with those who have never been exposed to its beauty, thrills, and excitement.
We all have ideas about how to bring our game back to the forefront of sports and entertainment, and I invite you to share your ideas with me at  In the coming weeks and months we will be exploring ideas about how to grow and revive our sport, and then we will work to turn those ideas into action and results.
I am sponsoring an idea contest on the website and offering half ownership in one of my 2010 foals as a prize to the winner.  I hope to hear ideas from people who represent every segment of our industry, and from people who may not have had a chance to have their voices heard in the past.
We have the power, passion, and ability to make the changes that need to made. Please join me in making this happen.

Racing FutureThank you,
Dennis Mills
Vice-Chairman, CEO MI Developments
Breeders’ Cup Board nominee

1 comment for “Racing Bigwig Posts Open Letter to Racing

  1. Alala
    June 19, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    Dear M. Mills,

    There is no doubt that racing is an exciting sport. Horse breeders own truly exceptional animals, strong, powerful, and awe inspiring. I have been to a number of races, and loved watching the horses run by, my heart pounding for the winner. But I have stopped going to races for one simple reason: It is a well known fact that many breeders send their beloved horses to slaughterhouses as soon as they are not bringing enough money. It does not matter if the owner of the horse made millions on his behalf: The horse is just an object which he can dispose of on a whim.
    I wish I could keep the image of the valiant animal racing forward in my mind, but it is quickly replaced by the horrors awaiting him in line with so many others at the slaughterhouse.
    Have you considered openly stating that you would retire your horses with dignity? What about creating an organization which could provide much needed guidance, aka “heart”, as well as legal guidelines to others who might not think twice before planning a dismal fate for their “most beloved foal”.
    It is time to step forward in the future and it is time for the most caring breeders to share the privilege of their passion with the public.
    Only then will I enjoy the privilege to return to the racing track and cheer along with my friends.

    Thank you.

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