Thank you, Mr. Phipps. Good morning to everyone. At its core, The Jockey Club is a breed registry, and its primary mission has and will always be the stewardship of the American Stud Book. However, The Jockey Club has evolved into an information technology company offering a host of tech‑enabled products and services for fans, owners, racetracks, and others.
When I joined The Jockey Club staff in 1995, registration fees comprised 66% of consolidated revenues, and today that number is closer to 25%. While our business lines have clearly diversified, our commitment to the industry remains unchanged.
We reinvest the profits from our commercial subsidiaries in support of important industry initiatives. In 1995, that investment was close to $500,000, and today, that investment will be nearly $6 million. This morning, I’m going to share some recent developments from our family of companies that highlight the wide spectrum of our services.
Central to The Jockey Club’s registry is maintaining the integrity of the American Stud Book while providing the highest level of customer service. The use of mobile devices to name horses and submit identification photographs has doubled over the last few years, signaling the importance of the need for ongoing strategic investment in technology. In the weeks ahead, we’ll introduce and enhance a photo upload process enabling a drag‑and‑crop interface similar to what one would find on Instagram.
Based on the latest reports of mares bred, the 2015 foal crop estimate stands once again at 22,000. Following nine years of steady decline, recent signs of recovery in the auction market and the broader economy are positive indicators that the number of registered foals may be stabilizing.
The registry’s involvement doesn’t end with the certificate of full registration. Over the last few years, we’ve introduced programs to ensure the well-being of Thoroughbreds following the completion of their careers in racing and breeding.
Thoroughbred Connect and Thoroughbred Incentive Program, or TIP, are two such programs. Thoroughbred Connect facilitates the placement of Thoroughbreds in need of care, and TIP recognizes and rewards the versatility of the Thoroughbred at sanctioned horse shows across the United States and Canada.
Along with Keeneland and the Breeders’ Cup, The Jockey Club provided the seed money to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, an organization designed to serve as both the accrediting body for aftercare facilities and a fundraising body to support those facilities. Thanks to the generosity of many, the TAA distributed $1 million in 2013.
TAA’s chairman Jack Wolf is here today, we’d like to acknowledge Jack and the other members of the executive committee for their leadership and dedication to the TAA.
In 1989, The Jockey Club created its first commercial company in order to formalize complete independence of its commercial activities from the activities of the tax exempt registry. The Jockey Club Information Systems is that company, and today it serves as a global leader in pedigree related products for industry professionals.
TJCIS recently introduced the equineline.com Pedigree Binder, a complimentary value‑added service that provides a new way to manage and promote pedigrees of interest using an electronic flipbook that can be shared via email, Facebook or Twitter.
Another value-added service in its third year is the Sales Catalog iPad App. This tool, which provides a green alternative to a printed sales catalog, was recently enhanced with real-time racing updates and auction results. Our InCompass subsidiary provides services to nearly every Thoroughbred racetrack and approximately 800 off-track wagering sites serving the North American pari‑mutuel market. InCompass’ Racetrack Operations platform provides a unified approach to management of data and technology at the racetrack, and within RTO is the Jockey Health Information System, a database that stores a jockey’s medical information that can be easily accessed in the event of an injury.
Earlier this year, InCompass began funding baseline concussion testing, a procedure quickly becoming an integral part of any athletic safety regiment for all jockeys participating in the system. InCompass360 is our new customer relationship or CRM business line. CRM combines business processes and technology to achieve the goal of managing the relationship an organization has with its customers. InCompass360 tailors marketing and loyalty programs by aggregating fan behavior in connection with wagering, admissions, gift shop and food and beverage activity.
Turning to The Jockey Club Technology Services, this is our company that manages our enterprises, technology infrastructure, and much of our product development. As a top tier technology solutions provider, Technology Services is continually assessing the newest trends and strategies, including, most recently, mobile cross‑platform development and public could‑based services to optimize operation services and offerings.
In addition to providing solutions and support to The Jockey Club, it is also responsive to the business needs of others in the industry. For example, in 2014, Technology Services has been working with the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame to redesign its website using a responsive web design technology that provides an optimal viewing experience over a wide range of platforms.
TJC Media Ventures was created in 2012 to oversee new fan development initiatives over the America’s Best Racing brand and The Jockey Club tour on FOX. This company employs a multi‑media strategy providing traditional media outlets including television and social media to introduce new and casual fans to the vibrancy of the sport. Jason Wilson will provide an update on these efforts later this morning.
Equibase Company uses its various electronic platforms to promote the sport with free racing information and a comprehensive menu of wagering products for handicappers. The Stats Central area of equibase.com offers free statistical profile pages for horses, jockeys, trainers, and owners. Since its 2010 launch, further expansion has led to an increase in its popularity, thereby adding to the already sizeable number of fans that visit equibase.com for entries and results.
According to compete.com, which is a traffic measurement site used by advertisers, Equibase is the most heavily trafficked website in racing, serving over 1 million page views per day on weekends. And to further serve the fan base, Equibase recently relaunched its website featuring three unique pathways: Fan, Horseplayer, and Expert. Each pathway presents content that is appropriate for that visitor type, such as America’s Best Racing editorial content for the new fan or Carryovers and Highest Payouts for the veteran horseplayer.
Turning to our philanthropic efforts, the Grayson‑Jockey Club Research Foundation is a leading source of medical research funding for horses of all breeds and is backing 19 research projects, totaling $1 million in 2014. The research will seek to find solutions to critical problems affecting horse health, including laminitis, musculoskeletal soundness and infectious disease. Last but not least, we have The Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation, a charitable trust that provides financial assistance to needy members within the Thoroughbred community. This foundation plans to distribute more than $450,000 in financial assistance in 2014.
Throughout its history, The Jockey Club has taken a leadership role in critical and wide‑ranging areas for the benefit of the industry, and we’ll continue to fulfill our mandate as an organization dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing by providing the highest level of service and embracing programs that advance the integrity of racing and the safety of our athletes. Thank you.