How about a cow? Well, you’d better guess the poundage because the horses that will compete Saturday are not heavy. The competition is between the three oldest breeders in the world.
It’s all part of a national marketing campaign promoted by the Equine Racing Association of America (ERA).
The association’s vice president, Mike Cramer’s mother-in-law, is the only woman on the board of directors. He is the sole owner of a New Hampshire stables, where it has not been easy convincing the public that horses compete in a race only on a track.
Cramer’s mother-in-law and president of the ERA, Anne Cramer, was one of the first females to own a horse. As a member of the race industry, she is committed to promoting the sport because, she said, she wanted a job and money.
In recent years, she has become a leading voice for women in the equine industry.
The ERA, founded over 25 years ago, now controls the race horse industry, which accounts for about $6 billion in revenues a year to companies such as Kraft Foods, the National Football League and the United Airlines.
“The horse industry is going very well,” Cramer said.
The ERA is a nonprofit organization with no paid directors or officers.
The organization is run with support from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency, the U.S Department of Agriculture, the USDA-Agricultural Marketing Service and Equine Breeders Association. All three agencies collaborate with the ERA in its efforts to promote horse racing standards and the sport of equine racing in the United States.
Cramer said she joined the ERA after moving to New Hampshire, where she lived until she retired more than five decades ago.
The race track, she said, was a wonderful training and racing ground, but she also found it difficult to train horses without being judged. She had to overcome her own issues while training horses at home.
“She was going to be judged,” Cramer said of her mother-in-law and her daughter-in-law’s wife. “She could not go out there and be judged without being judged and with no education. … She felt she wasn’t doing enough of what she needed to do to be successful.”
Cramer has done her homework, however — just as she did when deciding to start the ERA. The group is composed of over 1,500 horse-owning men
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