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Post Time with Dan Gall

Post Time

We had a chance to review the results of the “National Rules & Regulation Survey” taken on the Standardbred Canada website throughout the month of February.

Good news: We received a very strong clear message from those who participated.

Bad news: We were disappointed with the overall participation rate of our members.

Overall membership participation was a mere 7% compared to an average response rate for an online survey in Canada ranging between 20-30%. So, 7% is not so good. It significantly lowers the overall confidence of the survey.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is we had a solid balance of participants across the country and we were impressed with the clear succinct message that members sent regarding the direction our industry leaders and stakeholders should be discussing in the future.

2017 Standardbred Canada National Rules & Regulations Survey
Membership Participation by Province Breakdown

When asked “what the industry needs to focus on first”; 48% of respondents said “consistency in officiating,” 46% said “consistency in rules and regulations” and 6% stated “licensing.”

So, even though 95% of respondents believed that there should be a consistent process for licensing, only 6% believed it to be a priority. Whereas 95% felt that there should be a consistent approach in rules and regulations with 46% agreeing it to be a priority. And, 98% agreed there needs to be consistency in officiating with 48% believing it to be a priority for the industry.

This online survey was intended to be quick, short and easy, and take the pulse and temperature of those in the industry to determine areas of focus from a national standpoint.

However unscientific the survey is, the above results are a measurement that we would have otherwise not had if not for our members providing their input.

So, my key finding and takeaway to you from this somewhat subjective report is that we continue to try to move the needle on this agenda item. Regardless of the low level of participation we had, there is overwhelming consistency from those that did provide their input.

My suggestion is that we look for the easiest method to provide uniformity to our sport. Consistency in officiating can be very difficult, as too can be licensing. This leaves us with trying to secure and obtain consistency in rules and regulations for Canadian harness racing.

And, if a national rules and regulations framework is the direction that our industry goes in, we will need to propose a roadmap of how to get there.

In order to do this we have to be aware of the obstacles. One of which is the sensitivity of the racing industry being too Ontario-centric which can easily move this initiative sideways quickly. The other obstacle is the degree of legislation that needs to be managed throughout the process.

But first things first: We heard from a sample of Standardbred Canada members whom emphatically asked for consistency in our industry. Will our stakeholders and regulators think the same way and listen to what the paying customer wants for their horse racing future?

Dan Gall
President & CEO, Standardbred Canada

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