The 2nd annual Leaders in Racing conference once again brought together a sell-out audience of 250 top executives in the global racing and betting industries last month to set out the agenda for 2013. With a who’s-who of the industry in attendance, the ground-breaking agenda was opened by 2 leading figures who outlined their vision for the future, the heads of the British Horse Racing Authority and Horse Racing Ireland, Paul Bittar and Brian Kavanagh.
They were followed on stage by an elite group of betting industry leaders from across the world, including the Chairman of PMU in France, COO of Tabcorp in Australia, President of XBNet in the US and COO of SIS in the UK. This group was hand-picked to shed light on the evolving trends of internationalisation in racing and betting, covering important topics such as co-mingling, one hub vs multiple hubs and regulation. The international theme was continued by a group of top owners, breeders and coordinators including Alan Spence, Adrian Beaumont, Simon Crisford and Nick Smith, who addressed the global challenges and opportunities experienced by international racing operations.
Following this, and reflecting horseracing’s ongoing initiatives to better compete in the busy global sports market, one of the conference highlights was a unique session examining how the industry can promote its events and attract new partners and viewers. The organisers selected one of the world’s best-known and successful boxing promoters, Frank Warren, to share his thoughts alongside Channel 4 and the British Champions Series. The next major talking point was money and funding, with Jockey Club Chief Exec Simon Bazalgette, Betfair’s Chief Legal Officer Martin Cruddace, the President of the Racehorse Owners Association, Rachel Hood, and Dirk Vennix, CEO of the Association of British Bookmakers, all focussing on how racing and betting are evolving in uncertain economic times and how that will affect the future of the sport.
The final session was a fascinating one-on-one with one of the world’s top jockeys, Kieren Fallon, who talked about his life in racing, the changes over the years and his outlook for the sport.
The attendance of the conference was strictly limited to 250 with over 20 different countries, 19 Jockey Clubs and 30 different associations present. The feedback from the event has been overwhelmingly positive with over 78% declaring it the best forum for discussing the present and future of the racing industry.
The planning is already in place for 2013 with an expanded programme of high level and workshop sessions due to be announced in the coming months. For more information see www.leadersinracing.com.