HORSE RACING AND TWITTER TROLLS: TIME TO CLIP THEIR WINGS

By Hans Ebert
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There should be a law against it. Seriously. A law against hiding behind pseudonyms and abusing people online. It’s high time to come down hard on those, and let’s here focus on horse racing, who take to Twitter and hide behind freedom of speech to tweet through their pockets with vile attacks. They should be named and shamed and banned by racing clubs.

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TWITTER AND HORSE RACING: HAS IT RUN ITS COURSE?

By Hans Ebert
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It was fun while it lasted. Twitter, that is. Was it only just a year ago that many in horse racing were merrily twittering away? Everything in moderation, we were taught, but all that went out the window. Everyday was tweeter than the tweet tweeted the day before. Had it become a priority in life? Tweeting?

Amongst the jockeys, those most busy on Twitter were probably the Iron Man- Neil Callan, the Zac Attack, Brenton Avdulla, Blake Shinn and Tommy Berry.

Today? Most, like Peter V’landys, The Man From The North, who joined the Twitterverse during the early days of “his” beloved Everest “concept”, seem to have withdrawn. Or at least become more selective about with whom they “engage”. Others think it’s a waste of time. An unnecessary distraction when there’s real work to be done in the real world.

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TWITTERING AND SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR HAPPY VALLEY TONIGHT

By Hans Ebert
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While those who make a study of such things- and count us amongst them- wonder about the sudden drop in almost one fell swoop of being on Twitter by many in horse racing, races are still being run and right at the bottom are not tips per se, but only what we like at today’s Carnivale of Actione at another Happy Wednesday. But Twitter? Hmmmm.

While Twitter will always attract those with an opinion, especially regarding the ebb and flow of politics led by the daily Trumpeting while there will always be tweets featuring cats, other cute animals, the sayings of online life coaches and some genuinely relevant news, other than those who’ve been tweeting away about the same things for the last 5-6 years, there’s a hush out there from the rest of the racing community.

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GETTING OFF THE TWITTER TRAIN…

By Hans Ebert
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It was my last girlfriend who tried to wean me off it- Twitter. Though pointing out that it was taking over my life and, without me even realising it, detonating any chance of trying to make our relationship work, I refused to listen. I was lost to the clutter of 140 words or less. Instead of there being one less bell to answer, it was adding another empty online junkie’s lament dressed and disguised as some bluebird of happiness. Progress has created some dangerous addictions. It might explain much about a world having lost its way. Lost with no direction of home. Refusing to recognise the tell tale signs.

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HAS HORSE RACING ON TWITTER RUN ITS RACE?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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There was a time when terrestrial television station HKTVB Pearl had an animated character named Freddy to tell viewers what to expect the next day.

Why? Who knows? But every day, Freddy would either melt, or his teeth would chatter and to symbolise a drop in temperature, clouds would fall down over Freddy who would squeal that “It’s faaaaaaaaliiiiing”.

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IF THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE, HOW MANY MEDIUMS REALLY WORK FOR HORSE RACING?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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Twitter has made everyone think they’re a “writer” though many still don’t know the difference between “they’re”, “their” and “there”, which, one supposes, is no different to many calling themselves “musicians” because they can tap a few keys on their laptop to “create” some sounds.

It’s become a push button world where everything has been reduced to being accepted by those with a minimum attention span as there’s just so much of everything and this voracious appetite to inhale it all in and damned the torpedoes of selectivity and exclusivity.

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WHERE ARE HORSE RACING’S GREAT STORYTELLERS?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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A friend in music and I were chatting the other day about everything and more including sex, lies and videotapes. He asked whether, as there once were Rock journalists when a publication like Rolling Stone was relevant, does horse racing have or ever had Horse Racing Journalists.

There are of course some very good and knowledgable racing writers and reporters around the world who know their subject matter and are always first with the news. But is there a place and audience for racing journalists?

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NASH RAWILLER: THE CIRCLE IS COMPLETE. THE NEXT CHAPTER BEGINS…

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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There’s a Martin Scorsese movie hiding in here somewhere with an incredible script, soundtrack and some truly absorbing characters: When Nash Rawiller, below, won on Harmony Hero at Sha Tin on Sunday, what some might not have realised or had forgotten was that fourteen years earlier, the jockey won his first big race aboard Elvstroem, the sire of this now Hong Kong owned galloper who had won both of his races in Australia before being sold to Hong Kong connections for a reported AUS$1.3 million.

Forget Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon. These two wins completed a circle for Nash Rawiller. It also brought back memories of those times when an often underrated galloper in “Elvis”- Elvstroem made his mark. With his rider, they’ve both travelled under the radar. They’ve let the results speak for themselves. Sometimes, others have to speak on their behalf for the words to resonate.

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HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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The subject comes up often enough, but as there are no rules, there are no solutions. Simply put in a world that’s lost its way, social media is the genie that was allowed to pop out and can’t be put back in the bottle.

Whether one likes it or not, every delivery platform offers everyone the complete freedom to express themselves. Hiding behind Freedom Of Speech has set a dangerous precedent. Add Freedom Of Expression and entitlement into the mix and it’s created a world with no priorities- a Mad Max type of dystopian lawlessness where everything is out there and available for free- music, movies, television series, pornography and everything else one can hoard. We are seeing a generation of hoarders stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again.

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HORSE RACING, YOU HAVE A PROBLEM

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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It was a tweet sent out from here recently and after the races at Sha Tin half in jest. But also in all seriousness. It was about how horse racing needs a Roger Federer if it’s ever going to be more than what it is today.

Today is an important word, because today isn’t yesterday and nothing can afford to be stuck in the past as there’s so much of everything today and easy access to a buffet of choices called-wait for it- competition. So much competition for the same consumer dollar. Often, many in horse racing seem to think they’re the only game in town and not having really thought through what it takes to be in the game.

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