As is common in the horse industry, those involved must put in long hours to accomplish the tasks at hand. The same is true for the ambassadors on the ABRV Tour who generally stay at the market destination for a week at a time. The day starts by taking young, influential professional groups within the community on backside tours, arranging breakfast with jockeys and trainers, and showing how horses are cared for to create an appreciation for the animal and the sport.
“A lot of times you won’t see us at the racetrack until the day of the big race,” said Ambassador Jose Contreras, a California native who was handicapping, blogging, and promoting the sport on his own before becoming a member of the inaugural ABRV Tour. “We’re out there in the market hanging out where other people hang out, not necessarily at the racetrack.”
In addition to McGaughey and Contreras, the remaining four ambassadors are John Cox, Mary Frances Dale, Victoria Garofalo, and Hallie Hardy. Each brings something unique to the table that helps the team work together to bring fans out to the racetrack and take in the best experience possible—whether it’s marketing and communication techniques, handicapping and wagering education, ins-and-outs of the industry, care and maintenance of the horse, or even fashion trends.
So what are the ambassadors doing when not at a venue?
“We’re detectives,” said Contreras. “We’re reaching out to young professional groups, we’re reaching out to CEOs of companies—so when we’re not here working, we’re in the office researching and sending emails, sending invites, making phone calls…everything we can do.”
The ABRV will be in the Churchill Downs infield for Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby. If you can’t make it to the racetrack, you can find the bus at different venues around Louisville earlier in the week. On Tuesday, April 30, the bus will be parked at 4th Street Live all day beginning at 10 a.m. On Wednesday, May 1, look for the RV at Kroger's Fest-a-Ville on the Waterfront during BeerFest from 5-9 p.m.
If you see the RV, stop by and visit with the brand ambassadors for some racing 101 and maybe some free racing swag!
Photo: Courtesy followhorseracing.com