Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 26th 2014 Contents A45
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National shot put
BOREL won the
Sportswoman of the
Year Award at the
Guardian Sports Desk
Christmas Function on
"You don t go to a
World Cup to build a
team, you either build
a team before the
World Cup or after.
Removing Bravo at
this time makes no
sense to me."
Former West Indies
manager OMAR KHAN
disagrees with the
appointment of Jason
Holder as West Indies
(Ext: 2213, 2711,
LONDON---The sport of kings is
trying to become less elitist by
breaking down knowledge barriers.
No longer is British horse racing
content with just being at the heart
of the social calendar for the aris-
tocracy---as it has been for centuries.
The Jockey Club recognises its future
relies on educating the masses about
a sport filled with arcane terms and
"If you marginalise it too much,
the sport in the end will inevitably
suffer," said Simon Bazalgette, chief
executive of the London-based Jock-
So from this month, racing ter-
minology is being explained on big
screens at courses, including Kemp-
ton Park where the King George VI
Chase, one of the biggest races in
jump racing, is staged today.
Not everyone will embrace moves
to open up the sport beyond the
affluent audiences typically associ-
ated with the sport.
"A lot of people probably quite
like the fact they know certain things
a lot of the general public do not
know," Bazalgette said. "We want to
engage the wider part of the audience
who are there for a good day out,
for whom racing is part of the theater
of the day, but perhaps they are not
really engaging with it as a sport."
Although horse racing is Britain s
second biggest spectator sport after
football, the Jockey Club believes
that around 80 per cent of race-
goers have little or no knowledge
about just what they are seeing.
Although a good day out for booz-
ing and gambling, many do not nec-
essarily understand why a particular
horse is worth a bet or the difference
between flat and jump racing.
The seven short films, which were
inspired by explainer videos at 2012
London Olympic venues and pro-
duced by the same company, are all
silent so as not to intrude on the
"We don t want the old hands to
feel sniffy about it," Bazalgette said,
of the videos.
But it is hoped the videos will pro-
vide a better understanding of the
sport and boost revenue by encour-
aging more frequent visits from
casual spectators, and then keeping
them engaged through the year.
What the course videos do not
address is the issue that turns some
off the sport: why horses are often
put down after sustaining injuries
The rights group Animal Aid has
listed 144 on-course deaths so far
in 2014 on its Web site.
"People don t understand when
we are looking after horses if they
get injured on the race track, there
is no economics involved in it---it s
purely the welfare of the horse,"
Bazalgette said, discussing a welfare
issue that does feature on the accom-
panying "Racing Explained" Web
site. "Unfortunately because of the
way (horses) are built they can t
always be looked after the way one
would like to."
Having already captured the
champagne and oysters set, the Jock-
ey Club says "Racing Explained" is
about engaging the beer and burger
fans, who can feel like second-class
spectators who can t fully compre-
hend the dynamics of the sport.
Although Bazalgette now heads
the Jockey Club and owns horses,
he has not always been so engaged
with the racing.
"I would love it when someone
took me, and then forget about it
until the next time someone invited
me," he said.
In this June 19 file photo, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, second right, talks to her jockey Ryan Moore, right, in the parade ring
ahead of the Gold Cup race in which her horse Estimate finished second behind Leading Light, on the third day of the Royal
Ascot horse racing meeting, which is traditionally known as Ladies Day, at Ascot, England. British horse racing authorities
have launched an online campaign to explain various aspects of horse racing, in an effort to broaden the appeal of the sport
and make it less elitist. AP PHOTO
...as British move to reduce elitism
GLASGOW, Scotland---The Scottish
Football Association has rejected an
attempt by the owner of English
Premier League team Newcastle to
significantly increase his stake in
financially stricken Rangers. Mike
Ashley owns nearly 9 per cent of
Rangers' shares, and wanted to take
his shareholding to 29.9 per cent.
The SFA says in a statement
released on Wednesday that it has
been "unanimously" decided that
Ashley's application should not be
granted, in order to "safeguard the
interests and public profile of
association football, its players,
spectators, and others involved with
Ashley, who recently handed the
club a loan of 3 million pounds ($4.7
million), faces a hearing on Jan 27
which will determine whether his dual
interests in Rangers and Newcastle
breaches SFA rules.
Newcastle owner denied increase in Rangers shares
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