Anthony MacDonald to hold seminars in New Zealand
- 13 February 2018
Harness Racing New Zealand is thrilled to announce that Canadian harness racing trainer and driver, Anthony MacDonald, will visit New Zealand in September.
Best known as the founder of the fractional ownership operation ‘The Stable’, MacDonald has been a driving force in increasing ownership in Canada and introducing new blood into harness racing.
MacDonald ran for local government in Guelph in 2014, campaigning to help save harness racing following the loss of slot machine funding and raising awareness about the sport and what it provides in terms of local employment and economy.
During his time campaigning he knocked on hundreds of doors, and realised that there was a huge untapped market of potential owners. He talked to people who had heard of horse racing, but had the perception that it was only for rich people. They had no idea that they could be involved; let alone how to become a part of it.
With this in mind, MacDonald started ‘The Stable’ in September 2015, with the aim to make horse ownership easy for a whole new market, but also to break down the walls of communication and demystify harness racing to the outside world.
He would take on horses that hadn’t sold at yearling sales for vendors, but also has been purchasing yearlings from sales too, and would market the horses to potential new owners as they were being broken in and worked. This allowed people to see the horse in action and follow its progress by way of video and live drone updates, before committing to purchasing a share.
MacDonald has ensured that the shares remain affordable, with shares as small as one percent available. With initial buy in costs varying, depending on the purchase price of the yearling, and then a set fee per month ensures the owners know what it will cost them. The Stable markets itself strongly on the fact that this is not a money making venture – but an affordable form of entertainment.
Each yearling is then listed on www.thestable.ca with its own profile, cost breakdown, monthly progress video reports and stunning live drone footage of the horse working in a set with other young horses. There is a strong focus on utilising social media as a communication tool also so you can watch the horse work from anywhere in the world. In fact, The Stable has owners all across the world now, including New Zealand.
The results in just three years have been outstanding. In the first year The Stable had 65 owners join into 25 horses. The following year 140 owners went into 62 horses. And in 2017, 392 owners went into 106 horses.
But what is most impressive is the retention rate. 97 percent of those owners have now gone on to join into other horses, from year one to two to three with The Stable.
The Stable has been a huge success story in not only selling shares, but selling the industry of harness racing and the thrill it provides just by being an owner. Reaching a whole new market of owners who previously felt ownership was far out of their league financially.
A passionate public speaker, MacDonald will bring his experience and findings to New Zealand and will hold free seminars in Invercargill, Christchurch and Auckland. These seminars will not only be open to trainers and syndicators who are interested in finding out more about how they can attract new owners, and find out more about communication options that are available to them, but to all who are interested in attending.
“I’m really excited to be coming to New Zealand. It has always been a place I wanted to visit. I might have a foreign accent, but my love for racing is the same as yours,” MacDonald joked.
“The future of our industry will rely heavily on its ability to provide the general public with a fresh option for their entertainment dollars. We are the only industry that offers participation at an affordable price and that alone has the power to tip the entertainment scales in our direction in the future,” MacDonald said. “The Stable’s pillars are: Communication; Customer Service; Professionalism and Hard Work. These are things that are very attainable and sustainable in any industry, especially ours.”
This will also be a wonderful opportunity for cadets and junior drivers to learn more about self-promotion and communication, first hand from a harness racing trainer and driver who has forged a new path in the international industry.
Below are the dates for the Anthony MacDonald seminars proudly presented by Harness Racing New Zealand, which will be free to anyone who wishes to attend. Please note numbers are limited at some venues:
Friday 21 September 2018
7pm Mararoa Room - Ascot Park Hotel, Southland
Tuesday 25 September 2018
7pm Twiggers - Addington Raceway, Christchurch
Wednesday 26 September 2018
7pm Parade Ring – Karaka, Auckland
Each seminar will run for approximately one hour, with the opportunity to have a question and answer session, followed by mix and mingle with finger food and nibbles.
MacDonald will also use his time in New Zealand to visit race meetings, stables and farms and speak one on one with anyone who may be interested to meet with him and learn more about how he runs The Stable. He will also speak on the first day of the Harness Racing New Zealand annual conference (Friday 28 September), this year to be held in Auckland.
To register for the seminars, or if you would more information, please contact Jess at Harness Racing New Zealand.
Jess Smith - Communication and Ownership Co-Ordinator