Several of you have raised some excellent points regarding our new registration policy for 2017. In fact, I’ve received phone calls, emails and letters expressing disappointment that newcomers get first crack at registration, mainly wondering why we chose to institute a new policy without fair warning.
It’s a point well taken and one that should have been explained better when we began 2017 registration last week.
First of all, it’s a tribute to ERC founder Sophia McKee for creating something people are so passionate about and also trainer Sharon Ross for skilfully developing the horses while making the barn so accessible and enjoyable for club members. In short, Sophia created something so fun and affordable that people are returning in droves every year.
That’s great! I have been amazed and heartened by the enthusiastic membership of the Club; you folks support the horses win or lose. In discussing the future of the Club with Emerald Downs’ President Phil Ziegler, however, we examined the long-range goals and simply thought newcomers should be allowed a short window to be first up for 2017. One of the club missions is to hopefully develop new owners and new fans for Thoroughbred racing and Emerald Downs.
But we don’t wish to exclude anybody and have even discussed the possibility of separate clubs for newcomers and returnees. For this year, though, I’m pretty confident in saying there’s room for everybody who wants to return in 2017!