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Horse Racing feature ideas

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by CarlSpackler, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. CarlSpackler

    CarlSpackler Active Member

    It's summer, and there ain't sh*t goin' on.

    However, there is a racetrack in our area that seems like it could prove for fertile feature ground. (We just really don't pay much attention to it). My question to anyone who might have experience covering the sport is "What is a good topic for a horse racing feature?"

    The only thing I can think of is a day in the life of a jockey or something of that nature. But I figured that some veterans out there might know of an angle that would be interesting to the general public and not just horse racing insiders, since we don't really cater to those folks anyway.

    Thanks for your help, if you have any.
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    People who don't follow horse racing still love animals.

    Talk to trainers, grooms, etc. about different quirks some horses have and how they handle them. Some are high strung, some are gentle, some are smart, some are dumb, some like peppermints, some want an companion animal in the stall, etc.


    Instead of a day in the life of a jockey, maybe you could take some angle. Like a trainer wants you to ride a horse a certain way -- go to the lead or hang back or whatever -- and how hard it may be sometimes to follow that when the horse doesn't seem to want to do that.

    What is the conversation like with the trainer afterward?

    Good luck.
  3. ringer

    ringer Active Member

    Could always do a history piece about the track.
  4. rmanfredi

    rmanfredi Active Member

    Start asking around about the guys who work behind the scenes in the stables. I'd wager that there are some "lifers" who have been doing it for decades and have some pretty great stories to tell, but usually don't get asked because they aren't jockeys or trainers.

    * * *

    Talk to the apprentice jockeys as well. I've always wondered what they have to do as an "apprentice" and what makes them want to get into it in the first place. Is the lifestyle what they expected? Are they still as enamored with racing now that they've experienced it first-hand? You're likely to get a different type of interview out of someone starting out rather than a grizzled veteran.
  5. Beef03

    Beef03 Active Member

    You could do something on the outbreak of horse herpes in western North America, and if it has affected business or stock and what the local track does in to help prevent the spread of the disease at the track or locally, what steps are taken to ensure affected stock is not brought into the stables, etc. Horse herpes was the big thing this year, but you could stretch to other diseases that affect the industry. I know it has hit the rodeo industry hard this year, made it tough especially for crossing the boarder with horses. Plus how often do you get to talk about herpes in sports?
  6. murphyc

    murphyc Well-Known Member

    Those are some good ideas. You never know, someone may have trained or ridden a horse in the Kentucky Derby in the past. There may be owner/trainers/jockeys who are carrying on longtime family traditions. There may be a horse seen as next year's Kentucky Derby. Snoop around a little bit and see.
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