Kick Up for kiwis

Get to know the facts

New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing has collaborated with the team at Sustainable Action for Racing to initiate ‘Kick Up for Kiwis’, with an aim to arm our industry with accurate information, facts and statistics on what some may consider to be confronting and controversial topics within horse racing. Prior to the running of the Melbourne Cup each year, mainstream media tends to put our industry under a microscope, allowing us to become a more dominant topic of conversation. Around this time, we face increasing pressures to defend our Social Licence and ahead of this year’s race, we want to help our participants feel more confident in combatting negativity towards horse racing, armed with facts to defend mistruths and bias.



Presented by co-founder Vicky Leonard
2 - 4 October 2023

Half-day sessions in Waikato, Central Districts and Auckland.


  1. It kicks off – Introduction to Vicky Leonard, background and how events inspired Kick Up
  2. The science and psychology of social change, plus how we can apply that research to our industry and the Kick Up strategy 
  3. The final section summarises how we have used those change principles to get Kick Up off the ground, what we’ve tried so far, what’s worked and what hasn’t


Role plays and discussions on tackling challenging topics. How to talk to your non-racing friends about horse racing. How to utilise the research and the industry community.

Pillar groups
Working through specific challenges around language and media, marketing and distribution, and research and standards. The goal is to determine what could tangibly be done to improve our industry perception using these three pillars.

Presentation of specific content that Kick Up has produced or is in the process of producing to assist race clubs and media. Open up the floor to feedback on what else can be produced to help the industry have its own back. The goal here is to leave with the following outcomes:

  • Support for the community network
  • Specific targets for the three pillars
  • Volunteers/key people to help with execution
Waikato Workshop
Monday 2nd October, 11am
Matamata Racecourse, State Highway 27, Matamata
Central Districts Workshop
Tuesday 3rd October, 11am
RACE Awapuni, 67 Racecourse Road, Awapuni, Palmerston North
Northern Workshop
Wednesday 4th October, 11am
New Zealand Bloodstock, 10 Hinau Road, Karaka

Registrations have now closed.  For further information please email