Horse races are competitive events between several horses to determine who will finish first in a contest to finish first place. Some of the world’s most renowned races include Derby, Melbourne Cup and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe; each long distance race tests both stamina, speed and an ability to overcome challenges encountered along its course.
Horse races have evolved over time from primitive contests between two horses into elaborate affairs with thousands of participants, sophisticated electronic monitoring equipment and vast amounts of money involved, but their core concept remains the same: The horse that crosses the finish line first is declared victorious.
At first, owners provided purses that consisted of simple bets between two or three horses. If an owner backed out of a race they forfeited half, or later all, of their purse. Agreements were recorded by disinterested third parties known as keepers of the match books and signed off on as agreements between participants and race stewards.
As racing evolved, drugs entered the picture: powerful painkillers and anti-inflammatories designed for humans began being used during preparations for races; trainers could no longer keep up with blood doping drugs like growth hormones introduced as performance enhancers; compounding their confusion further was the lack of testing capacity among racing officials to detect many of these substances.
A horse’s performance can be affected by many different factors, from physical condition and experience of the jockey, to track conditions and the horse’s heart – it takes courage and perseverance for any animal to continue running when its body has reached its limits, against all odds – to make the game worth while.
Some companies employ horse races to select their next CEO, which can be an effective method for selecting the ideal candidate and can bring many other advantages for an organization. Proponents of the method claim it sends a strong signal to management and employees that the board is committed to leadership development, and shows their belief in their system for identifying future leaders across all levels of the business, exposing them to various functions and challenges, and developing them through various critical roles so they have experience and competencies required for leading it successfully.
Critics of the horse race succession management strategy warn it can be highly disruptive, particularly if the process lasts an extended period. Depending on its execution, it may alienate executives who would have been candidates for the position and strain relations between board and newly appointed CEO; competition among senior-level managers may hinder teamwork among senior-level staff; however, an effective plan to conduct one may help mitigate potential drawbacks and disruptions; prioritizing culture compatibility as part of any plan to minimize disruptions is key here.