Is a Horse Race a Good Idea for a Board?

horse race

Horse racing is an ancient sport. Archeological records show that it existed in civilizations around the world, including Ancient Greece, Rome, Babylon, Syria, and Arabia. It was also an important part of myth and legend, such as Odin’s contest with Hrungnir in Norse mythology. In the modern world, it is primarily a form of gambling that can take place on tracks and in wagering shops. The sport has a large following among people who consider themselves fans, but is losing market share to other gambling activities and to other sports with the ability to attract young people.

The modern industry has tried to improve the image of horse racing by introducing new rules and promoting the use of synthetic fibers for saddlecloths. But there are problems that cannot be solved by new rules. The first of these problems is the fact that most horses are raced beyond their limits, resulting in serious injuries and sometimes death. The second problem is the fact that most of the people in the business, especially at the top levels, are not willing to change their ways even when they know that the horses’ welfare is being compromised.

Despite the best efforts of many people, it seems likely that horse racing will not be able to change its culture in time to save the sport’s reputation. Many of the people involved in the sport are devoted to it, and they can be forgiven for being blinded by their love of the game. However, they cannot be excused for continuing to ignore the concerns of animal rights activists and of people who care about equine welfare.

When the story broke about the trainer Steve Asmussen, a wealthy businessman who is a major force in thoroughbred racing, many horse-racing fans were angry and shocked. The story and its underlying video were so disturbing that some of the most loyal horse-racing fans walked away. The number of people who follow horse races closely and regularly is diminishing, and new would-be fans are turned off by the bad news about safety and doping.

Boards considering the use of a horse race to select a CEO should carefully consider whether their organization is suited for this type of contest, and adopt strategies that can minimize its potential disruptions. They should also recognize that an overt succession horse race can have a negative impact on the company’s ability to recruit and retain senior leadership, especially if it is a lengthy contest. This is why companies that are most successful with the horse race approach cultivate a culture in which people embrace competition for the top job and believe that the best leader will emerge from the process. They also ensure that they have a wide range of critical management roles that provide a good grounding for the future executive who will be taking the helm.