Amplify, a dynamic initiative to engage and channel the passion of young members of the Thoroughbred industry, is ready to launch. A transformation of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association’s Vision 2020, Amplify will be the platform to connect people enthusiastic about careers in racing with resources, mentors, and actionable opportunities within the sport.
“The KTA-KTOB marketing committee met a year ago about the next iteration of Vision 2020, which began within the organization in 2009 and looked to engage the youth of the industry,” said board member Jason Litt. “Vision 2020 held lectures and discussions with industry leaders. We want to build on that ambition to engage youth and empower them to actively participate in building the sport’s future.”
Focused on productive discussion and action, Amplify’s mission is to provide a platform to improve horse racing through engagement, alignment and advocacy. The grassroots effort is driven by Annise Montplaisir, a 23-year-old trainee in Godolphin Flying Start, and Madison Scott, 25, of Solis/Litt Bloodstock.
As a volunteer-led organization, Amplify’s success will be dependent on its membership base. The group is open to those aged 30 and under and will draw on the existing pool of industry participants to coordinate events, generate content, reach out to the public and open doors into the sport for a younger demographic.
“The organization operates by channeling the energy and commitment of young professionals in racing,” said Montplaisir. “We understand the dedication it takes to embark on a career with Thoroughbreds and expect this same passion to translate into an eagerness to help with Amplify. There are many outreach initiatives within racing like Horse Country, Godolphin Flying Start, the Retired Racehorse Project and Keeneland’s College Scholarship Day. This organization will magnify positive work already being accomplished.”
Amplify’s founders intend to make progress toward the mission by providing individual attention to those passionate about the industry.
“Mentoring will be a key part of fulfilling the mission,” said Scott. “I cannot stress what a crucial role mentoring can serve in someone choosing to get involved in racing. Guidance received from the people at Three Chimneys Farm as a teenager is the reason I am here. Kentucky is the logical starting point for Amplify as we have numerous resources to utilize before expanding. The KTA-KTOB and its mission of identifying solutions to protect and promote the Thoroughbred industry coincides with Amplify’s aims; they will be a key partner.”
The group hopes to create a measured shift in the perception of racing by those who interact with the organization and ultimately work towards alignment of existing industry entities on areas of agreement.
“Initially, we seek to cultivate racing fans and participants by lowering barriers to entry through events, outreach, and mentoring,” said Montplaisir. “We will follow up with those we engage with and provide easy access to racing. Our goal is to establish credibility and gain momentum toward the next phase, which is to reach out to existing groups and work to amplify our collective message.
“These are big goals, but there is no better time to start than now. We need young people to ensure the future of racing. The sport’s existence in California and in America is under threat, but we realize this is an opportunity.”
Amplify has already begun carrying out its mission. The group hosted 31 4-H Horse Program students and their families on Central Kentucky farms June 5 and June 11. Click here to view a video of the event.
“Exposing developing minds to Kentucky’s signature industry is important for the prosperity of our state,” said Price Bell, a KTA-KTOB board member in addition to his role at Mill Ridge Farm and Horse Country. “We want to protect, promote and connect this incredible industry with those interested and passionate. There are a multitude of opportunities within our sport whether it be with a horse, camera, lab equipment, rasp, microphone or any other job our industry touches. It is our responsibility to open doors and help people walk through.
“We all hope to leave this game better than we found it; Amplify can be the conduit to insure that will be the case.”