Sponsoring a horse race

On this morning’s Today programme the daily horse racing tips alerted me to there being a race meeting at Epsom today. As I had a dentist appointment this morning in Epsom I thought I’d check out the race timings to see if I was likely to come up against traffic problems. I needn’t have worried as the race meeting was in the evening.

However what caught my eye amongst the list of races was the 7:20pm race, which had the name “Janet & Terry’s 50th Anniversary Handicap”. What a strange name for a race! Looking at other courses I came across this motley collection of race names:

  • Wessex Garages All New Nissan Qashqai Apprentice Handicap
  • Zest Recycle Supporting Chepstow Racecourse Fillies’ Handicap
  • Racing TV HD On Sky 426 Novice Median Auction Stakes
  • Leicester Racecourse Ideal Civil Ceremony Venue Selling Stakes
  • Get Hugh Taylor’s Tips On attheraces.com Novices’ Hurdle

On the Thirsk Racecourse website I found this to explain a bit about sponsorship and the naming of races:

Race sponsorship is widely recognised as a unique, innovative and highly effective method of brand promotion and advertising and is also becoming more and more popular with families and friends, as an exciting and memorable way to mark a special occasion, such as a birthday, anniversary, reunion or team day out.

Sponsors are encouraged to join us in the Parade Ring to judge the ‘Best Turned Out Horse’ before the race and present the cash prize to the groom responsible for looking after the chosen horse. Then after the race you will be invited to present a trophy to the winning owner in the Winners Enclosure, making for a great photo opportunity, followed by celebrations with the winning connections. This all makes for a fun and memorable day for everyone involved.

At the Thirsk Racecourse a private sponsorship package costs £500 (+VAT), and if you’re interested in what you get for your money, all is explained here.

I’ve learnt something new today, and potentially found a way to make the next key date in my life one to be remembered!