The general consensus in countries where horse racing is a cultural sport is that millennials are not as interested in the same way older generations are. While young people between the ages 22 to 38 years may be seen at horse racing tracks, it is likely because a music festival or stand-alone concert is being held somewhere at the venue.
Unlike other global sports competitions, horse racing championships do not have the same level of attraction that would inspire millennials to save money to pay for admission fees and travel. Although many attend traditional horse racing events in their locality, they merely see them as social occasions, where they have a reason to dress up fashionably and be part of the merriment; to have drinks and take photos they will share at Instagram and other social media sites.
Although the horse racing industry is trying to enhance horse racing events with features that can effectively convert millennials into becoming future horse race aficionados, there are other barriers to hurdle as far as this generation is concerned.
Millennials are Generally Animal Lovers
A majority of the millennial generation are animal lovers who appreciate the way owners and groomers of thoroughbreds and fillies devote special care and attention to the animals. However, many became aware of the plight of horses who sustain injuries or other ill-effects of racing activities, which more likely than not, had led to equine deaths by euthanization.
As a result, not a few from this generation of horse lovers have organized themselves as animal welfare activists who have taken the cudgel to fight for animal rights. Currently, they are calling attention to the number of equine deaths that happen yearly and are now calling for the abolition of horse race competitions. .
Millennials are Generally Environmentalists
While millennials are not opposed to horse breeding and horse racing, they take issue with the tons of horse wastes being produced by horse farms. Environmental activists are making calls for horse farm owners to institute waste management systems to ensure that horse manure, horse beddings as well as horse carcasses are properly disposed of and contained in composts. .
Any interest environmentalists may have in horse racing can be dampened by the knowledge that hundreds of horses participating in the daily events are also producing tons of wastes in race tracks.
Millennials are Generally Physical Fitness Buffs
A recent study conducted by the Physical Activity Council revealed that the millennial generation is more physically and mentally fit than previous groups. Most millennials prefer engaging in workouts and other forms of physical activities like yoga exercises. They tend to have less interest in horse races because the physical activities are centered on the horses and their riders. The main activities involving spectators take place in the track’s betting areas and in off-track betting sites.
Even if millennials represent a generation of video game enthusiasts, the advent of esports have instilled the importance of engaging in physical activities as a way of improving mental agility and alertness when playing video games. .
Although the equine industry also offers a number of equestrian sports, not every millennial can afford to own a horse or pay membership dues to become part of an elite club of horse men and horse riders; largely making equestrian sports unaffordable for average millennials.
Millennials' Love for Music Might be the Key
Horse racing news website, Past the Wire ( https://pastthewire.com/category/horse-racing-news/ ) noted that most horse racing tracks are still doing their best to make horse race events an exhilarating experience for millennials.
One such example are the Preakness Stakes held during Infield Fests in Baltimore. Organizers made changes that now make it possible for Infield Fest concert attendees to view the horse races at the same time. Musical artists now perform in the mega stage, and the new set up has attracted many millennial music festival goers to include placing wagers as novelty to the activity.