New Year, New Look, and More - by Eric Mitchell

(Originally published in the January 5, 2013 issue of The Blood-Horse magazine. Feel free to share your own thoughts and opinions at the bottom of the column.

By Eric Mitchell - @BH_EMitchell on Twitter

By Eric Mitchell In the natural world, form follows function. We took the same approach throughout most of 2012 in mapping out a redesign of Blood-Horse magazine, the results of that work you are now holding.

We created a magazine with each section tailored to the different ways we read news versus features and then wrapped the entire package in a fresher, more dynamic look. These changes are best illustrated by The Wire, our features section, and our race reports.

Clearly the publishing landscape has been forever changed as more people get their news via the Internet through computers, tablets, and smartphones. And yet, many Blood-Horse readers still rely on the magazine for updates on what is happening in Thoroughbred racing. What you’ll now find in The Wire are shorter, tighter stories of the previous week’s news combined with snapshots of other interesting and usable information. Many items published on the former Reminders page, such as TV schedules and the signs calendar, have been moved into The Wire for quick reference. Other important dates are being partnered with related content in the magazine—upcoming stakes will be included with racing coverage and upcoming sales dates will accompany sales stories.

Stallion news has also been incorporated into The Wire in a one-page format that provides an at-a-glance review of horses entering stud, stud fee changes, first winners and stakes winners, a breakout feature, and an overview of breeding stock news. The Wire has been constructed to be viewed and digested quickly.

When you have more time to spend, dive into our features, which will continue to offer rich, in-depth stories about key players in the racing and breeding industries, retrospectives on outstanding horses and prominent people, and thorough coverage and analysis of issues most important to the Thoroughbred community. Photographs will continue to receive the prominent display we’ve always valued over the years.

A new weekly feature debuts in this issue. The “Breeding” page (see pg. 28) will offer insightful pedigree analysis from prominent writers/consultants John Sparkman and Anne Peters, who will rotate their contributions issue to issue. This week Sparkman sheds light on the challenges faced by Juddmonte Farms/Banstead Manor as it launches the stud career of its high-profile champion Frankel.

Our racing coverage will continue focusing on the most interesting stories that unfold during the most prominent races around the globe. We’ll continue providing in every edition all the vital details you rely on in our stakes section, including our popular write-ups with each graded stakes that give you the stories behind the story. And we’ve added a twist. In the spirit of keeping related content together, we will now incorporate with each report on a prominent stakes the corresponding statistical snapshot normally found in the back, complete with a recap of the top three finishers, family notes on the winner, editorial write-up, and the winner’s pedigree. All the information you need to know about that race, you will now find in one place.

We hope you enjoy the new look and improved content of the Blood-Horse, but realize this is only the beginning. Look for improvements coming soon to and new products and services that will make following and participating in the sport of Thoroughbred racing easier than ever.

It is all part of Blood-Horse’s continuing mission to engage, educate, and entertain all members of the Thoroughbred racing community.

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