Why Arabians Fail to Race, Daily Racing Form, 1907-12-12


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WHY ARABIANS FAIL TO rACEW An eminent Kentuckian in a recent talk about horses and breeding advanced some interesting suggestions, and on this line of thought said: "The breeding problem is worthy of profound study, for those who seek to solve it enrich mankind. It is not and never can become an exact science. I state this as an abstract proposition without going at this time into the whys and wherefores. I knew A. Keene Richards, who attempted to solve it by importing Arabians, very well, indeed. He was an excellent man, an enthusiast, and deserved a better fate than was his. As Senator McCreery lias already said, he bred ii is Arabians with the very best blood that could be found in Kentucky. "When his youngsters came on the turf they were badly beaten. Turfmen who disbelieved his theory, that the Arabian could fertilize the blood of the modern thoroughbred, allowed him first seven pounds, and they were beaten. Then they made the generous concession of fourteen pounds equal to a double distance, and still they were beaten. "Mr. Richards did not give up the fight. Accompanied by tlie eminent animal painter, Troye, he turned his face once more toward the Orient. He lived with the Arabs in their tents. He ate and slept with them, worshiped with them, and dressed like them, and all for the purpose of getting the best Arab horses to be found among the descendants of Ishmael. He studied and rode Arab horses until he could judge of conformation, disposition and type, and he was especially careful to purchase nothing that could not be traced in an unbroken line to on of the mares of the prophetr His later purchases proved as great failures as his first. "Now, as to the facts. Mr. Richards did not comprehend, what every successful breeder must comprehend, that the horse has a psychical as well as a physical organization and that these Arabs had no inheritance of a racing will. Having It not themselves, how could they transmit it to their progeny? It is as plain as the nose on ones face that you cannot make a good whistle from the tail of a pig, nor can you gather grapes from thistles, nor figs from thorns. Nature works more intelli- gently. She never performs miracles, but produces results through natural .laws. "The supreme trial of the Arabian consists in being mounted at midnight and carrying his master a hundred miles across the desert without food or water. In this style of racing he could beat Hamburg, Henry of Navarre, a Tenny or a Salvator. The truth is, the Arabian has not been subjected for 200 years or more to a scientific course of training and preparation to run one mile or four miles, and having no cultivation of will nor consciousness of power to beat all others that distance, he miserably fails when brought to a supreme test. "A single illustration of my proposition, for it is important to every man who breeds either runners or trotters, and I am done. In Abbeville district, South Carolina, in the last century, there lived a large breeder of thoroughbred horses named Richard A Rapley. He imported a number of the most fashionably bred stallions and mares that could be found in Great Britain. He was scrupulously careful in all the crosses that He made, and soon gathered about him a herd of pure-bred animals that had never seen a race course. He kept up this fancy through several generations of horses. The attention of racing men was naturally turned in time to this stud of pure-bred animals and a number were selected and tried. But notwithstanding their high lineage and perfection of form, they did not prove to be race horses. The speed which they inherited from their ancestors had been lost through lack of useage. The consciousness of speed , and the will and ambition to win had died out."

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1900s/drf1907121201/drf1907121201_1_6
Local Identifier: drf1907121201_1_6
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800