Martin Smith

How Twitter has shaped a racing yard

It was always mine and Michelle’s dream to train in England but as everyone working in the industry knows, it is notoriously difficult to start a yard without royal blood, a posh education or a millionaire backer. So how did we do it??

Martin Smith Racing was founded in July 2012 as a pre-training and race horse management centre with a view to becoming a licensed training yard but even then we had no idea how we would get enough people to support us to help fund the enormous costs of starting a new yard from scratch.

We Started with Castalian Spring who had been given to us for free due to her apparent lack of racing potential, then we purchased Balti’s Sister, got sent Samson’s Son by an old friend and had Princess Alessia who had been abandoned by her owners as a casualty of the recession. We could barely afford to keep Castalian Spring and Balti’s Sister, Samson was our first full paying horse but trying to cover the cost of training Princess Alessia led to what was probably the best thing we have done since starting the business. We advertised shares in Princess Alessia with Little Princess Racing (@Little_P_Racing) on Twitter.

Almost immediately we made our first sale to Colin Rumsby or @rumsbyc1961 who bought a share as a birthday present for his wife Janet. Soon after that we sold shares to @ScottyRogers88, @LjcTime, @og_paul and many more.  Colin also got his friends involved and is now one of our most frequent visitors and best friend.  When the yearling sales came around this year @yido999 and @Trojan_Horse_1 contacted me, they had shares in other syndicate horses but they had found us through Twitter and chose us to train their first yearlings which they purchased for themselves with our help. Since meeting Gary and Lynn they have become our biggest owners, we have had enormous fun at the sales with them and a champagne hangover every time they visit us!

It’s not just punters and potential owners we have connected with through Twitter, we have had @Lucy_Harrison_ stay with us on work experience before starting her training at the Northern Racing College, @Mugshotmark has become a good friend and made countless videos about us, our owners and working in racing and more recently I met @Lukeelder13 who interviewed me on Bet Racing Nation TV and talked me into writing this blog, so as you can see it’s pretty fair to say Twitter has shaped our yard immensely!

As well as a great tool for keeping all our owners informed on what’s going on in the yard, Twitter now plays an integral part in any modern business. It’s not only ideal for finding customers who share our passion for the sport but it keeps us informed on what people look for in a training yard and helps us to connect with like minded people who we will be working with in the future. Anyone wanting to follow me or Michelle on Twitter look for @MartinPBSmith or @Baltisister1.

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