Racing Indispensable in France.: M. Ruau, Minister of Agriculture, Explains Why-a Sensible Man in the Right Place., Daily Racing Form, 1907-02-07


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RACING INDISPENSABLE IN FRANCE. M. Ruau, Minister of Aqriculture. Explains Why — A Sensible Man in the Riqht Place. In the course of his speech before the senate of France, asnrhag the uaaeuaakm an the budget, M. Kuan, the French Minister of agriculture, said: "I feel it my duty to proclaim that the racecourse aocietlea have rendered the greatest service to the nation, and. recognizing the benefit that horse breeding in this country has derived from them. I say that raring is indispensable, and I hope that the racecourses will remain with us for a long time." There is no humbug alnmf this declaration, and it comes from a man who has studied the question and knows what he is talking about. On the question of speculation. M. ltuau is equally sound. "My relations with the race societies," he said. "hare always been friendly. They have recognized that any oliscrvat ions I have made are well founded. I have interested Bay self in horse racing, not only because the races contribute to improving the breed of our horses, but also because the pari-tnutuel provides considerable resources for charitable works and benefiting |mm i- localities. I have, moreover, appointed a special committee to consider all questions that may arise. This committee is constituted with perfect good faith, and I have to acknowledge that it has received the unanimous approval of the entire sporting pre as. It is composed of all the recognized authorities, and I have not introduced into it any element foreign to the question." No anti-gamblers or faddists or ignorant spoil sports are on that committee. "There has been no intention of revolutionizing existing arrangements; the desire has been to Improve raring and assist the race societies. The commit tee — le comite permanent des courses — has for its program the simplification of the rules of racing. defining the functions of the stewards, settling the number of race days, controlling the pari-mutuel. and distributing the prizes and subsidies granted by the state." Throughout the entire speech, M. Ruau displayed great intelligence and a mastery of his subjecC France is to be congratulated on having a man of such open mind at the head of such an important department as that of agriculture. During the debate several speakers claimed that more money should be devoted to breeding heavier horses for the army; but it was proved that without the thoroughbred the standard of the cavalry world six .11 degenerate. At the Oovernment stud farms in France, there are in all ::,: .~ 0 stallions, of which over 200 are thoroughbred. The rest are half breils and draught horses. It will be seen. therefore, that everything is not sacrificed to the thoroughbred, and that other horses receive equal attention. For the purposes of the army France lias, in round liures, Ho.oOO saddle horses and lMUklO draught horses. General Langlots was an advocate for breeding heavier horses, but he was well answered by the Cointe de Saint Quentin, who pointed out that blood told in the long run far more than size. M. Kuan went further, and regretted that the funds at his disposal did not permit him to purchase for the government such horeea as Flying Kox, which had turned out a commercial bargain to M. Edmond Blanc, lor his progeny had been sold for prices Which more than repaid the original outlay. "II i- out duiy." sahi the Mini-tor of Agriculture, "to buy the very best: bin as I have often explained, the Administration, notwithstanding its _ood will, could not always buy such animals, he-cauae they fetched prices beyond the present resources of the state. Foraaerly *:; was though to l o an extravagant price to pay for a stallion, bill now for such a figure we can only obtain a second class horse. Therefore we must not be restricted in the matter of price, for Austria Hungary, the Argentine, and other countries are outbidding us." It la for this reason that the Minister asks to be allowed to have the use of some of the money realized by the percentage on the pari-mutuel investments, and this wilt undoubtedly be accorded. Tiie betting of the public will then more directly benefit the State than ever.

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