Germanys Military Remount System: Thoroughgoing and Efficient Methods Pursued in Breeding Under Governmental Fostering, Daily Racing Form, 1917-07-12


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GERMANYS MILITARY REMOUNT SYSTEM. Thoroughgoing and Efficient Methods Pursued in Breeding Under Governmental Fostering. Thanks to the courtesy of the writer of an article which was published in the "Bloodstock Breeders Review" in July, 1912, I am able to give some authentic particulars of the enormous sums spent by the Prussian government annually for the purpose of supplying the Prussian army with suitable remounts. The information is the more interesting as it wits supplied to the writer of the article by Herr B. von Oettingen, to whose book on horse breeding I turned in vain for some approximate estimate of the number of stallions and mares owned by the Prussian government for the immediate, or ultimate, production of high-class army horses. Before going into the monetary question, let me say on the authority of Herr von Oettingen, who succeeded to the office of Master of the Horse at the death of Count. Lehndorff, that the Prussian army up to 1912 bought every year about 11,000 remounts, while another 1-.000 remounts bred in trussia went each year to the armies of Bavaria, Saxony and Wurtemberg, those states not being entirely self-supplying. Farmers Woll Paid for Produce. Nearly all the remounts wore bred, and are doubtless still being bred, by Prussian and East Prussian farmers, from whom they were bought .is three -year-olds by the Remount Commissions. All this and the remaining information exclusive of my comments on the important horse-breeding luestion, it was stilted at -the time, was furnished by Herr von Oettingen and from what I have oc-?asionally been able to glean concerning .the Prussian remount system, I am confident of the correctness of the facts and figures. There may, of course, have boon an underlying ulterior motive in giving such a mass of detail inte the possession of the United Kingdom. It may have been considered by the Prussian authorities as a good bit of bluff, certain to cause us to disregard the grave warnings at the late Lord Roberts about the imminence of the German1 peril.- It was ht tlie same period that Prussia hoodwinked Lord Huldaiic, who, like the great mnjority of able lawyers, was not so able outside his own profession, into the idea that Germany was his spiritual home. The placing of all their -horse cards" on the British table for all to see could only be regarded by the wily Prussians is further evidence of their, good faith. The Prussian Master of the Horse went on to point out that the breeding of remounts is ruled by the state in so far as the latter breeds or buys and keeps a certain number of principal stallions and country stallions and excludes by law all . stallions that fail to pass a searching examination by officials appointed by the government. There is, however, a reservation by which every breeder may keep a stallion to his liking, but solely for use with his. own mares. In order to have a . sufficient number of stallions for the breeding of remounts the Prussian government then owned a total number of 3,578 stallions. For the jiurtiqse of being really helpful to the Prussian farmers, ho fewer than " twenty-four state studs were established, exclusive of the principal studs it Graditz, Trakehnen. Beberbeck, Neustadt and Gcorgcnberft. At Graditz only thoroughbreds are bred, tracing back at all points to the English Stud Book. These horses have to undergo the test of the race course "before they in turn may go to the stud. This is most important .evidence in favor of the absolute necessity for racing in arder to ensure the survival of the fittest and best. English, Irish and French Sires. Among the twenty-four stallions termed principal stallions were seven bred in Ireland or England, fourteen bred in France, one bred in Russia, and an Austrian-bred hcrse, described as an Oriental thoroughbred, from his name an Aral. The two stallions at the head of Herr von Oettingens list are the Derby winners, Ard Patrick and Galtee More. For Ard Patrick Count LehndorlT paid John Gubbins 21,000 sovereigns through the medium of the International Horse Agency, and the Count gave 14,000 sovereigns for Galtee More to Jhe Russian government, who had some years previously likewise given 21,000 sovereigns through the same intermediary, for Ard Patricks elder half-brother. Among the 3,540 country stallions used chiefly for siring half-breds were nine English and Irish-bred stallions of merit on the race course, inclusive of Manners, Howick, Delphos and Eccleston, while in earlier years Prussia gave, I believe, 0,000 sovereigns for the Two Thousand winner, Kirkconnel, simply for the production of half-breds. Then they paid a similar price for the Australian-bred Merman winner of the Cesarewitch, Ascot Gold Cup, Goodwood Plate and Cup and Jockey Club Cup. His soundness, which stood the test of an exceptionally arduous racing career, and suitability for siring half-breds, made Prussia jump at the chance of obtaining him. The test of the race course in all these cases led to their going into Prussia. Without the race course test would Count Lehndorff have bought all these horses? Most decidedly not! "Vigilant," in London Sportsman.

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