STUART S. JANNEY: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for being with us. This is a very different year and this will be a very different Round Table Conference.
I thought I would wear my coat and tie to at least give you a sense of past Round Tables. We're going to try to take this opportunity of doing the Round Table remotely to introduce some subjects in a different way and have some speakers who might not be available were we to all gather in Saratoga.
Before we get into the substance of today’s program, I would like to thank all of the people who have been on the front lines over the last three or four months, which has allowed us to bring racing back.
I'm thinking particularly of those who work at the various racetracks, from senior management on down, who have worked tirelessly to formulate plans for the safety of their workers, horses, and the public.
I'm also thinking of all the people who take care of our horses and whose lives have been made so much more difficult by COVID-19. We owe you a great debt of gratitude.
I think back to the dark days of March and April when we weren't sure that we would even have racing, And here we are. Not gathered in Saratoga, but watching Saratoga and so many other race meets across the country. Thank you.
Today’s agenda, like so many before it, will provide insights and updates on significant and wide-ranging efforts to make our sport better. Over the course of the past 67 years many of our most effective initiatives have been announced here.
They range from marketing and equine safety to medication and federal legislation. In fact, we have transcripts of all 67 Round Table Conferences on The Jockey Club website for anyone who’s interested.
Some of those initiatives have taken time to mature and fully develop. One recent example that comes to mind was the recommendation from McKinsey & Company at the 2011 Round Table that in order for the sport to grow and prosper, it needed more television exposure.
The Jockey Club stepped forward immediately with television production, support, and sponsorship. And the television hours have continually increased in the past nine years.
At this point in 2020, the sport has already had more than 700 hours of national television coverage compared to a total of just 43 back in 2011. Can you imagine how ill-prepared we would be for our present situation without that initiative?
That economic study of the sport by McKinsey has served as a roadmap for initiatives in the areas of marketing, advocacy, and integrity, and you will hear updates in those areas today.
As always, we are grateful to each of our presenters and speakers for sharing with us.
I would like to thank Kip Levin and Kevin Grigsby and the rest of the TVG team for making the Round Table available to their customers.
Also, thank you to Todd Roberts and Drew Shubeck of the Racetrack Television Network for doing the same for their subscribers.
We have a full lineup of speakers, and we will go straight through without the traditional intermission. We are going to finish before noon.