Thoroughbred Superior: Tests by the French Government Show Superiority of the Breed, Daily Racing Form, 1915-12-31


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1 1 ; I 1 1 i • I *" * ■ THOROUGHBRED SUPERIOR TESTS BY THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT SHOW SUPERIORITY OF THE BREED. Capt. E. B. Casaatt Writes Letter to New York Newspaper Giving Information of Conclusive Results of Experiments Made in France. Writing to the New York Herald from Chesf-r-brook Farm, Berwyn, Pa., Captain E. B. Cassatt contributes some interesting facts to the discussion now going 011 among horsemen and army men as to the value of thoroughbred racing blood in the cavalry horse. As a military man and a successful breeder of both runners and hackneys, as well as saddle horses representing a cross between tiiose breeds and the trotter. Captain Cassatt would seem , to be qualified to express his opinion as to their relative merits, but instead of doing so he cites the records made by thoroughbred horses and their grades I in a series of actual tests made in France a few years ago under the direction of the French gove-n-, nient. These tests were designed to try out tlie , endurance, weight carrying capacity and other quali-ties that go to make a serviceable trooiier or charger , under conditions as nearly as possible like those J encountered in actual warfare, and Captain Cassatt rightly considers them worth more than anybodys opinion on the questions at issue. He says: "Without wishing to add much quantity to the mass of written opinion as to the best way to breed horses for the army. I am sending you some statistics which seem to me to add a good deal of quality. "Since 1902 the French government has held annually various tests of stamina for army horses. These tests consist of raids and championships j for chargers. "The raids, or road rides, which began in 1902. at a distance of about eighty-four miles, were gradually increased to about 625 miles, which I believe was the distance of the last one. "The Raid dOstende, in 1902, was a go-as-you- please race of eighty-four miles. The later raids varied in distance and in conditions, the most usual conditions being that the race was to be over a fixed distance, but divided into two parts, the first part requiring two or more days, with obligatory halts at certain intervals of time, and with a certain fixed number of hours to be traveled at walk, trot or gallop, the second part being about fortj-nvc miles, go-as-you-please, the first horse to arrivt at the finish of the whole distance being the winm "Tlie championships were a three-day test, divURjiT* as follows: A 7 "First day — Inspection of horses: then a trh» on the road of 9.375 miles, to be made at the rate of 11.2 miles an honr or better, followed immediately by a work over the steeplechase course at Auteull. 3.12 miles in better than ten minutes, again followed immediately and without rest by another road trip of about 22 miles at 11.2 miles an hour or better, the whole followed toy an inspection for condition. "Second day — A high school exhibition in the riding school; points given for performance. "Third tiay — The ordinary Horse Show jumps: points for performance. "In both raids and championships the riders wero in uniform, with saddles packed for campaigns as tier army regulation. "The information I give as the results of the raids. 1902-1907 inclusive, and of the championships. 1902-1908 inclusive, taken from Le Modele et Les Allures of Monsieur tie Gaste. is all I have at hand, but it "listens good to the advocate of the thoroughbred as foundation stock for the army horse. "Of the thirteen winners seven were thoroughbreds and four half-breds with thoroughbred sires. "Of the thirteen second horses eight were thoroughbreds and two half-breds with thoroughbred sires. "Of the thirteen thirds there were respectively seven and three of the above classes. "4f the fourths tlie numbers were four ami live respectively of the aliove classes: of the fifths seven and four: of the sixths five and four, and of the sevenths eight and one. "Of the ninety-one horses placed seventh or better, therefore, sixty-nine, or 75% per cent, were thoroughbreds or half-bred sons of thoroughbred sires. There were more than twenty contestants in each test. "In addition the two tests not won by thoroughbreds or thoroughbred half-breds, were won by Irish hunters, which is equivalent to saying that they were won by tlioroughbred half-breds. "I think I am right in calling this quality of argument without too much quantity. "Yours truly. "E. B. Cassatt." The Herald adds: "Now that the campaign for military preparation is engaging so much attention in this country tho time seems ripe for American army men and horso show managers to get together in instituting something approaching these tests at some of the leading exhibitions next year. The Herald has been advocating them for years to supplement the present show ring tests for military horses, which are really no tests at all except of training and manners, the rest being merely opinion. Alfred B. Maclay stood ready to offer a valuable prize for a long distance, road test for army horses in connection with the National Horse Show a few years ago, but for some reason the commendable snorting project was never put through. Through the efforts of the Morgan Horse club such a test was made over the road from Fort Ethan Allen to the Vermont State Fair at White River Junction, in 1913. exciting countrywide interest among horsemen, but it was never repeated. Long preparation is one of the factors of success in such an enterprise, and to make it what it ought to be for a show like the National in New York or the National Capital Horse Show in Washington pre-" liminary arrangements should be under way at once."

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