I’m tired; and it’s not just because my one year old decided the best time to scream at the top of her lungs was between 1AM – 2:30AM last night. I’m tired of the hoards of issues facing the game today, the same issues from decades ago. I’m tired of the constant inaction of industry leaders. I’m even tired of the pages upon pages of thoughtful analysis, insights, suggestions, and solutions I read from blogs and countless other sources, as good as much of it is. In fact, I’ve read more high quality material on the state of the game and steps needed to fix it in the past 12 – 18 months than in all previous years of following this sport combined. I’m tired of it because we’ve come to a point where the words aren’t resonating and they should. No matter what we say and no matter how well it is said, few are listening. It’s exhausting.
Why should anyone listen to a player like me when Satish Sanan, a high profile owner, player, and outspoken proponent for meaningful change isn’t making any headway. Mr. Sanan has continuously articulated sensible solutions, on a both small and large scale, and yet nothing ever changes. Even with my typical horseplayer streak of inherent cynicism, I can honestly say I agree with about 95% of what Mr. Sanan has to say about making the sport better. I’ve listened to him in many forums and his ideas are essentially an amalgamation of what thousands of us have been saying in one context or another.
We’re at a juncture where talking and writing about all that ills are falling on deaf ears. All you can do at the grassroots level is donate your time and effort and hope for the best. HANA has done some great things with a budget of essentially nil and an all-volunteer membership and leadership, a group of people that care enough to attempt to better the game we love on our own time. For the most part, as horseplayers, our stake in the game is with discretionary income. Those stakeholders with skin in the game that rely on the sport as their living need to get creative and absolutely must evolve and open their ears and minds. Should the status quo continue, as much as it pains me to say it, there are other ways to spend our precious extra cash. Day after day, year after year, the same issues persist without action. At some point, even the most ardent gluttons for punishment will cry “uncle”.
I’m tired because “We The People” cannot enact widespread change without industry involvement - We can only do our best to promote and encourage it. Note to all of the actors in the system with a chip at the table: I’m tired of hearing all the reasons why you can’t do it and I’m sick of the passionate voices getting drowned out. Life is short and competition is wide. The time for talk is over. Just do it.
HANA Board Member