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Kelly Spencer's Blog

 

You love horses, I love horse trailers

Published: April 11, 2010 9:38 pm ET

Last Comment: April 16, 2010 12:25 pm ET | 7 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

I joined the horse world late in the game, having only stood eye to eye with a horse for the first time when I was 21.

However, when I was a wee miss, I used to dream of living in a horse trailer. (I know, I know … kinda weird.) Those sleek, shiny, silver bullets would pass by, and I would squeal with delight. I can’t recall my mother’s reaction, which likely means she was already immune to my strange fancies. Most little girls want ponies; not many want to reside in their trailers. Alas …

This morning, I drove into work at Grand River and felt the same frantic glee. Horse trailers, as far as the eye could see, lined up neatly beside one another for the McNair Mixed Sale, and the promise of more Monday night when our 2010 season opens.

Realize, of course, it’s not the trailer itself that evokes emotion, but rather what it symbolizes. (At this point, your guess is as good as mine, but I hope we figure it out together by the final paragraph of this blog!)

Regardless of whether you have a trailer, or don’t, chances are you don’t romanticize them much. Evidently, there’s something about them I find compelling. If I happen upon one on the highway, I automatically check the lettering on the side, or the driver in the truck to see if they’re harness people. If they are, I feel a subtle (and momentary) blip of superiority over the other motorists; kindred spirits, power in numbers, and all of that mumbo-jumbo, I guess.

Today, I spend more time dreaming of opportunities for the surface of a trailer, than playing house inside one. Namely, has anyone other than Killean Acres and the Ontario Harness Racing Youth Camp program ever optimized that big, mobile billboard to promote harness racing?

If you own one, what kind of incentive would it take to convince you to wrap that puppy up with some eye-popping imagery that captures the colour and emotion of harness racing? If an organization shared the installation costs and provided all of the necessary services to get the job done, would you consider it?

We talk a lot of talk about ramping up promotional efforts to bolster exposure and awareness for the industry. With hundreds of horse trailers on the highways every day, from one end of the country to the other, this seems like a prime opportunity we can all execute together.

I realize this isn't a new revelation, but I wonder what it would take to make it fly. Takers?

April 16, 2010 - 12:25 pmWow - what a response!

Wow - what a response! Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to blog and email/call. This concept obviously strikes a chord with several of you.

April 12, 2010 - 9:47 pmSounds like a fantastic idea

Sounds like a fantastic idea Kelly

It's a great way to promote the sport of harness racing and draw attention to it.

I know myself when driving any where I notice a horse trailer and try to count how many I see. How cool would it be to see what farm the horse trailer is from & the name of the horse that's being hauled

Marie Stoyles-Moura

April 12, 2010 - 7:24 pmToo bad there wasn't a "My

Adam Mauntah SAID...

Too bad there wasn't a "My Little Pony" toy horse trailer or something like it when we were growing up!

Seriously, though, this is a great idea. It would be a great way for horse people to show everyone their colours and build their own brand recognition that way. In hockey, everyone knows that the Maple Leafs are the "Blue and White" and that the Montreal Canadiens are the "Tricolore". Why not create that kind of colour association in harness racing?

Another thing that strong imagery on the side of trailers could do, hopefully, is get the attention and pique the curiosity of the uninitiated. One would hope, in the case of the Killean Acres example Kelly mentioned, that someone might actually want to Google Killean Acres when they get home and find out what they - and their sport - are all about.

I know that it definitely gets my attention when I see the truck with a huge banner ad for Kawartha Downs on its side crawling through downtown Ottawa, as it has on more than one occasion. I am not sure that that particular ad translates into more people in this area heading out to Rideau, but it gives the sport that much more exposure as the truck rolls throughout Eastern Ontario and elsewhere.

If I had a trailer, I'd definitely give thought to spiffying it up, and if some sort of industry assistance were available to meet the costs of that, even better!

April 12, 2010 - 5:00 pmWhat a fantastic

What a fantastic suggestion...the only detriment would possibly be the cost of producing the "billboard" when stables are keeping a close eye on their expenses. Perhaps art school students would like to get involved, working at a lower wage for the experience gained. I sure would enjoy seeing the industry promoted in this manner. I like Phil's idea of incorporating the horse name into the design. Whenever I see a horse transport I always wonder what kind of horse is inside and what their name is.

April 12, 2010 - 2:02 pmBest Value for your

Best Value for your Dollar!

I am in the Sign Business and also a Standardbred Horse owner. I tell Businesses every day the value in Mobile Billboard advertising.Business owners tell us "Dollar for Dollar it is the best money spent for advertising". Your blog makes perfect sense.

Hardy Mill Stable
Anthony Stymest

April 12, 2010 - 1:56 pmKelly I could not agree with

Kelly I could not agree with you more .
Using horses trailers as billboards to promote the racing industry is a great idea
and would give major exposure as well as being a attention grabber.
i hope you could convince some horsemen to participate in that type of promotional effort.
I also check all horse trailers on the highway for names .

April 12, 2010 - 8:53 amI can remember. many years

I can remember. many years ago. Jimmy Holmes had a picture on his truck and a sign that said "Holmes Keeps Horses - Horses Keep Holmes".
Harry Ingles' truck had a picture of a harness horse hitched to a bike and a sign saying "The home of -- " followed by a place to slide in the names of whatever horses he was currently racing. such as "Red Comet", "Peter Aubrey", "Island Song" etc.

Phil


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