PATRICK Cummings, a long-time friend and supporter of Mike de Kock and our stable. has been named Executive Director of the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation (TIF). A non-profit organization, TIF was established to create an active forum for the exchange and curation of ideas designed to improve the prospects of the thoroughbred industry and its stakeholders.
“It is great to welcome Pat as the Executive Director of the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation,” said Craig Bernick, TIF founder and board member. “Pat brings a wealth of both domestic and international experience to the table. He is a great communicator, curious by nature and an optimist at heart. He has been a lifelong fan of horse racing, a longtime gambler, and an owner through various syndicates.”
Cummings, 37, joins TIF following three years with the Hong Kong Jockey Club where he led the racing division’s public affairs team, overseeing the strategy and delivery of racing communications, media management and new media development. Previously, Cummings spent four years as director of racing information for Trakus, based outside Boston, and seven years with investment giant Vanguard before that.
“Pat is clearly passionate about horse racing, understands its many international aspects, what has and has not worked both here and abroad. We see Pat as an ideal person to spearhead TIF’s goal of improving horse racing for owners, gamblers and fans. We are fortunate that he will lead the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation from the start.”
Cummings, originally from Philadelphia, earned his MBA from Baylor University in 2011 and completed his undergraduate studies at Dickinson College in 2002. He also covered Dubai racing for a number of outlets for nearly a decade. He has enjoyed the thrill of horse ownership through several syndicates and is a current member of Kentucky-based Brilliant Racing and South Africa’s Onamission Syndicate.
Mike commented: “Pat is ideally placed to make a difference with his knowledge and experience. He is a likeable person and I’m looking forward to what comes of this. I am hoping the South African industry will be able to tap into TIF’s work and research.”
In response, Cumming’s noted: “Some of the ideas we generate will be American-centric, some of them won’t, and we are certainly inspired by things we’ve seen in other jurisdictions that work well but seemingly aren’t even under consideration in others.
“This isn’t about crazy ownership of some grand idea, we are long past there being one magic elixir that will solve the sport’s problems. TIF is about a relentless effort to improve the sport, specifically from the perspective of the biggest financial backers – gamblers and owners.
“If we can improve the conditions of the sport for these two main interests, the trickle down to every other stakeholder is obvious. We want our ideas to be stolen. If some can help South African racing, please take, we would love this effort to spread globally where it is needed as well.”