Education Of The Crack Polo Pony.: Picked Animals Bring Prices as High as Thoroughbreds--All in the Training., Daily Racing Form, 1908-08-13


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EDUCATION OF THE CRACK POLO PONY PONYPicked Picked Animals Bring Prices as High as Thorough ¬ breds All in the Training TrainingTis Tis education trains the youthful mind also the brains and legs of a polo pony Thats why at auc ¬ tion in June in New York two ranch ponies brought as much as a herd of steers on the hoof or a couple of thoroughbred yearlings of a fashionable family The prices were realized as the trade reports say when Foxhall Keene sold nine ponies for 10125 an average of 112o Express brought 3100 and Blue Peter 2500 Paul J Rainey buying the two while Keene bid in Crotona for 1500 No type of horse lasts longer than a polo pony or gives more fun to the owner so to a good player price is no object but as a rule it is the duffers who pay long prices for ponies good players have developed developedRaised Raised In a bunch of ponies in Texas Wyoming or some other western range country the four or fiveyearold will not know the tickle of a currycomb until taken up for preparation for the eastern mar ¬ ket This will be in the fall or very early in the spring Tails and manes are trimmed but not docked or hogged while the pony is made wise as a saddle horse If taken up in the early fall the ponies may be roughly broken to polo that is to follow the ball and not shirk under the whirling of a polo mallet They come to the east twenty in a car and there is a profit in such a bunch if sold for 2 0 a head Exceptional individuals sell as high as 500 to SlOOO but those that dont suit the polo players usually go begging for a buyer They may bring from 100 to 150 for uc in har ¬ ness and they are grand value as light country roadsters roadstersCutting Cutting out ponies trained to work hand in hoof with the cowboys in rounding up cattle or in taking the certain steer wanted from out the center of the herd are wortli 750 to 1000 on the ranch of a cow magnate They do not go east cxccpMiy private sale It is the same with very fast racing ponies for if an easterner wants one of this sort he must go to San Antonio Cheyenne or some other center a ml then begin to scout Buyers who drop off In Texas on their way to southern California have paid as high as 5000 at private sale for a racing pony Ponies of this sort are too hotheaded 1 for polo for they cant be placed in the game and as with the natural high jumpers In the hunting field they are a source of danger to the other horses and riders But to the amateur jockeys of the country clubs no price Is too high for a pony that can win for them But in calculating the prices of polo ponies the race ponies often dwarfed thorough ¬ breds may lie eliminated from consideration considerationAuction Auction sales of seasoned polo ponies are very rare in this country The record price in England is 1500 paid ten years ago for a thoroughbred mare at a dispersal sale of a noted poloist at Tat tersalls but the average of the Keene sale will compare favorably with the best of the English sales About live years ago Thomas Hitchcock Jr sold two he had played for severil seasons Rowdy bringing 800 and E W 3OO At his closingout sale ten years or so ago John A Logan Jr in ¬ cluded six seasoned polo ponies Tliev brought from 400 to 800 apiece Winthrop Ruthcrfurd paying thfl latter price for a gray a color lie had a par ¬ tiality for when in the game as one of the Rock away big four and retained later on onThere There are not over a dozen men who bring on droves of polo ponies They go to certain pitches each spring on Long Island in Wostchcster county or near the polo clubs in Massachusetts Quick sales moan quick profits and If so fortunate the dealer may be back again later In the season with fresh ponies One westerner three years ago sold three carloads in three days and set out for home on the fourth 20000 to the good But If sales are slow the dealers have to follow ithe polo tourna ¬ ments to drum up trade which costs money while the ponies all the while will be eating their heads off Even when sales are quick collections are often very slow and this is a frequent cause of complaint with the dealers The ponies are sold only half broken and as this sort would not sell at auction the way seasoned ponies do the dealers prefer the lottery of the private sales to taking the chances of an auction auctionPolo Polo ponies have to be conditioned by regular work as carefully as a race horse but unless the veriest novice the owner must himself break the new pony to polo Each mans game is different and a skillful player will not let a groom break in a pony for him Tills means many hours of practice strokes and many preliminary matches before a pony is letter perfect A pony broken in by a good man and used by him for two or three seasons as with the violin of a virtuoso improves in use and if put on the market brings a price far In excess of the value as mere hoss There is in England a class of gentleman dealer players if it may be so defined who make a living by training and selling polo ponies There are a few of this class here but what they earn from polo conies from coaching the new teams They are willing enough to deal in ponies but they cant go very far as the raw product is controlled by the western dealers dealersThe The ponies best liked iu England are thorough ¬ breds up to carrying a heavy man and with the endurance to gallop on a slow field Occasionally they are played in this country but none of the crack American players who have visited Hurling ham ever have brought back English ponies The reason Is that the mixed bred ranch pony has good looks and for light and middle weight riders is all that is needed there or on this side of the herring pond while on the sun dried hard baked polo fields of an American August or September he can run rings around the English ponies accustomed to gal ¬ loping on turf that stays green and soft softA A number of northern gentleman farmers have been breeding polo ponies often using English stallions to mate with American ranch mares and in time we may have a type distinct from the range horse The western ponies however now have enough hot blood as the ranchmau term the thor ¬ oughbred infusion and they are breeding there from selected standard bred trotters now to gain cool judgment and stamina A crazyheaded pony is no good at all in a polo game gameThere There still are herds of wild ponies In the west and during the spring in southern Nevada the wagon trains that carry ore from the mines thirty miles over the desert to the Tonopah railroad have armed guards four to each train of teams to prevent the dauntless wild bands from stampeding the work horses Twenty years ago carloads of ranch ponies were sold at a profit in New York at 50 a head and there were frequent auction sales The ponies were run unbroken out of corrals and it was worth any sum paid for one of them to get the fourfooted cyclone to the home stable The present western pony Is an improved type for wellbred stallions for years have been running with the herds and at some Texas farms there is a pedigree with the best ponies poniesIt It is hard cash that makes the polo pony go All the expenses of the sport are costly but some of them may be dodged Not so the cost of the good ponies and no player however expert can join in a match and aid his team if mounted on slow stupid nags There may be good ponies still to be picked up iu the west for 100 but few know where to find them A highclass player on an or ¬ dinary pony Is not worth as much to his team as an ordinary player on a highclass jiouy Players jiouyPlayers handle a pony for several months be ¬ fore branding it as a reliable aid for an important mutch There will be a bunch of ponies from the early drones in the spring cut loose by the New York Boston and Philadelphia players at the tournaments Impending in Narrasansett Pier Sara ¬ toga and Newport There Is a general disposi ¬ tion to strengthen the teams for the senior and junior championships at Van Cortlandt Park from August 2 to September so that the players will work out in matches the new ponies they have been putting through the preliminary lessons in private

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