According to a press release, Animal Planet is launching several new series including one entitled "Jockeys." The series is reality TV, with a "real world meets the equine industry" feel. I am actually really interested to see the first episode and to see how they will portray jockeys and the horse industry.
I think it could bring a lot of new fans to the horse industry in general, not just the Thoroughbred industry, which is good for us. There are a lot of positive opportunities that can be used to enhance the industry across the globe. Equine education is important, and this show has an opportunity to do just that.
I could see all kinds of advertising opportunities here as well. The show could promote racing events, Breeders' Cup races, Rolex, and the 2010 World Equestrian Games that will be coming to the U.S. for the first time in history.
However, it could also put a bad spin on the industry and misrepresent the majority of the horse world, jockeys, or horses. If the show is purely entertainment driven, then the episodes will be edited to squeeze in the most possible. This means that editing for the shows might be doctored to appear differently than the actual events, in order to produce the feeling of drama. So viewers may not get a total honest view of what happens.
"Jockeys" will be worth watching at least the first episode in my mind. Why the first episode? To at least get a first feel for the show and to know what to expect. After reading the press release, it seems the new president of Animal Planet is set on altering content to be more engaging. So drama will be highlighted, I am sure. The "model girlfriends" described in the press release are an incentive for me and then we can get into the competition between jockeys to see how the brotherhood is handled.
It is scheduled to debut next spring, 2009.
"...Animal Planet brings viewers into a world dominated by ferocious rivalries, fierce bonds and extraordinary risk, ruled by short men with silk shirts, oversized personalities and big dreams...The series showcases the day-to-day competition where five-foot-tall jockeys weighing 115 lbs. fly down the track on 1,500lb. thoroughbreds."
Jockey's Official Page
How do you think this will affect the horse industry and is this something you will want to watch? What types of scenarios from the viewpoint of a jockey would interest you? Would you rather see the Jockey's personal or professional life style and events followed?
UPDATE : Feb. 1st, 2009 - Read a more current post and review of the show here...