Young People Get Their Day(s) at Equestricon

Young People Get Their Day(s) at Equestricon

Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Anyone looking to get their “foot in the door” in racing, will be taking an enormous first step while attending the inaugural Equestricon this August 14-15 at the Saratoga Springs City Center. With multiple panels, networking sessions and other events focused on the next generation of racing’s leaders, Equestricon is truly a must-attend event for anyone looking to jumpstart a career in racing. 

Beginning on Monday of the convention, from noon to 2:00 p.m. in Meeting Room 2-B, members of a six-person panel will participate in a “Q & A: How to Get A Job in Racing.” The panel, presented by America’s Best Racing, will be moderated by ABR correspondent, and Equestricon Co-Founder Dan Tordjman.

“This is a panel that we’re all looking forward to,” Tordjman said. “As someone who wasn’t ‘born-into’ racing and who has been able to make a career in the sport, I’m so excited to share my story about busting my butt, and using emerging media to carve out a career path. It is possible, and each of our panelists has a unique story and insights to share.”


Everyone attending Equestricon will also have access to two Networking Sessions, one scheduled for each day, inside the Sagamore Social Lounge. The sessions will bring together young leaders from the worlds of breeding, ownership, handicapping, racing media, marketing, aftercare and just about any other area of potential interest for someone looking to enter the industry, or transition to another job within the sport. 

Photography is another entry point, especially for younger people with an appreciation for the aesthetic beauty of horses and an afternoon at the races. One of racing’s emerging young photographers is Sophie Shore. 

“The importance of Equestricon can’t be overstated to the young fan,” she said. “If any young person interested in any sport had the opportunity to engage with key, storied figures and major players within their chosen sport on the level that Equestricon provides for, I think they’d be chomping at the bit.” 


"I’m hoping to attend as much as I can, especially for the purpose of getting a bit of a well-rounded education over the course of the convention."

- Sophie Shore

A student at the University of Pennsylvania, Shore broke into racing with Eclipse Sportswire, the official event photographer of Equestricon. Shore is scheduled to participate in a “Q & A: Young Racing Photographers” panel, presented by Nexus Racing Club. The club, launched earlier this year to give younger people a taste of horse ownership, was co-founded by Shore, Dare Sutton and fellow photographer and panelist Sam Busanich.

“In addition to the opportunities to interact with some of their favorite figures in racing, young people can also do quite a bit of networking with their peers and people that share similar professional aspirations within the industry. Like I said, it seems like too good of an opportunity to pass up.”

Shore is looking forward to sharing her story, both in the panel setting and within Equestrian’s networking events. In addition to the aforementioned networking sessions, there are also several “Tweet-Ups” and “Insta-Meets” scheduled, with the objective of bringing racing’s online community face-to-face in a unique and fun setting.

“Everyone starts as a fan first, and every professional is, at his or her core, just a fan. With that being said, there is something in the racing industry for every type of young person, from entrepreneurs to writers and animal lovers. There’s plenty of room for growth, and I think bringing in young professionals to racing from varying backgrounds will help diversify the perspectives and trajectories of the sport.”
— Sophie Shore

Despite having fully launched her career, at this point, Shore is still hungry to learn more and further engage with attendees expected to attend from all over the United States, and beyond. Shore plans on taking advantage of what projects to be the largest fan event, not held at a racetrack, in the history of racing; Overall, the convention features more than 80 panels, workshops, seminars and other activities focused entirely on entertaining, educating and engaging with fans and participants at all levels of the sport.

“I’m hoping to attend as much as I can, especially for the purpose of getting a bit of a well-rounded education over the course of the convention. I’m looking to attend the Breeding Industry Q & A, as well as the Aftercare Pathways panel. I also want to explore some of the sides and figures of the industry that I am not as familiar with, including International Perspectives and the BEST Seminar. Two events that I think will be of instrumental importance for young women in racing like myself are the Young Professionals Networking Sessions, as well as the Women in Racing panel. So, I will try to attend those as well,” she said.

The Equine Career Network (ECN) will participate at Equestricon, as well. ECN is a growing online resource, founded by young innovators Kelsey Sullivan and Kaitlyn Zaleski, connecting job seekers, employers and entrepreneurs in the larger equine industry. 

The goal for ECN is to be a resource for those on the hunt for a job in the industry, while also providing experiences and perspective from those that are shaping it today. Equestricon attendees can connect with ECN during the networking sessions at the following times:

Young Professionals Networking Session #1: Monday, August 14, 2:00-4:00 PM in the Sagamore Social Lounge (Main Convention Floor, Saratoga Springs City Center)

Young Professionals Networking Session #2: Tuesday, August 15, 1:30-3:30 PM in the Sagamore Social Lounge (Main Convention Floor, Saratoga Springs City Center)

For a full schedule of events and activities scheduled for Equestricon, click here