Private Tourneys Now Available; And, We Give Nod to On-Track with Sponsorship of Tampa Tournament

Today, you might notice a new black button that’s now appearing on the top of the Filters section. That button links to a “Setup Wizard” of sorts for our newest site feature: the ability to create Private Tournaments at HorseTourneys.

This is one of those projects that we’ve been wanting to do for years. But like many things that are worth doing on the development side, it was continually pushed down the to-do list for more immediate needs. Fortunately, earlier this year we found ourselves in a position to make it reality.

While we’ve done some limited things with private tournaments previously, this new tool takes things to a different level by allowing players themselves to setup their own private tournaments. Have a group of buddies that keep talking about who’s the best handicapper? Maybe you’re having a party and wish you could setup your own tournament for your guests? Your own event is now just a few clicks away.

The tool is designed to be simple by guiding you through the setup process step-by-step. You can choose among our typical offerings on the cash side, including standard Pool-Style (including Winner-Take-All and Head-to-Head), Exacta, and Survivor games.  

Probably the most important thing to point out is that your choice of race schedules must be made from the list of eligible active schedules on the site. By active, we mean any schedules that have race data imported. This means, generally speaking, you’ll only be able to setup contests about 48 hours in advance (shrinking to about 24 hours in advance for typical single-track schedules). Still, you’ll have access to the vast majority of schedules that HorseTourneys runs, including Featured multi-track schedules, Quick Early Bird, all single tracks, etc. So, while for a number of reasons we cannot offer the ability for players to create their own custom schedules, there will be plenty to choose from on a day-to-day basis.

Once you setup a private tournament, you’ll be given a special link that you can share with your invitees.  Just shoot out the link to your guests and you’re all on your way.

HorseTourneys Sponsors On-track Tournament at Tampa Bay Downs

In a blog from a couple weeks ago, Eric Wing mentioned about the upcoming Tampa Bay Downs tournament on January 8 (officially titled the Last Chance/First Opportunity Contest, presented by

We’ve always been huge advocates of on-track tournaments. Over the last decade, we’ve made a concerted effort to support as many of them as we possibly can through the holding of qualifiers to those events, as well as assisting with their marketing and promotion. We believe a healthy on-track tournament circuit is critical to the health of the tournament ecosystem and only helps HorseTourneys in the long run. On-track is where new players are harvested, far more so than from online events. On-track events are critical for exposure and for getting new people involved.  

We are the first to concede that on-track contests can deliver the kind of tactile experiences that truly develop a tournament horseplayer. Ask any of the prominent players what they enjoy most about tournament play, they will reference the social interaction and camaraderie of the on-track experience.  Playing live among their peers, whooping it up, witnessing the energy in the room when the winners are announced and checks are handed out—those are the things that stick. It’s those experiences that make one want to pursue the now plethora of options that are now available throughout the year. We want to do everything we can to encourage that.

Since HorseTourneys is headquartered in the Tampa Bay area, it only makes sense that we should work with our local racetrack partner. That’s why I was pleased when Margo Flynn from Tampa Bay Downs and I were able to get together and figure out a way that we could help them with their annual January handicapping contest.  

As a presenting sponsor, HorseTourneys will be covering the players’ hospitality, including open bar.  We’ll also make sure that attendees leave with some nice HorseTourneys swag. There might even be some cool raffles or competitions for HorseTourneys site credit and other gifts.  

It’s not a huge thing, but we hope that we can at least do our small part in making your on-track experience a more memorable one. And who among us couldn’t use a trip to Florida in January?

We hope to see you at the Downs on January 8.

McKay Smith is the President of HorseTourneys