Thoroughbred Horse A Necessity: Has Demonstrated Military Value in the Acid Test on the Field of Battle., Daily Racing Form, 1918-10-17


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THOROUGHBRED HORSE A NECESSITY Has Demonstrated Military Valuo in the Acid Test on the Field of Battle Baltimore Md October HI Officers of the ro mount division of the army some of tinin men who have been abroad and seen part of the war close up as well as those that have had to stay at home and keep a supply of horses constantly flowing over the Atlantic for th equipment of our steadily growing army in Framc aFc iittlfe raw trackrrof Maryland and New York every day locking for stallions A regular cantain Just back from1 France whose name may not for obvious reasons be published is author ¬ ity for the statement that the busybodles who are forever trying to destroy racing1 on alleged moral grounds will get little comfort from the soldiers returning from active service after the finish of the war warWe We soldiers and especially we soldiers of the remount service who have been charged with the duty of maintaining our horse supply in France to a man consider racing an essential industry a most essential industry in fact this officer declared at Laurel Park ParkIt It would be a military blunder of the most seri ¬ ous sort to in any way interfere with the produc ¬ tion of thoroughbreds in the United States at this time or in the future Thoroughbred production on the widest possible scale is as essential to military efficiency as is arms and munition production This war has shown as no war of the past ever did that horses are as necessary to armies as are cannon and rifles Also it has shown that the only serviceable horse is the horse of thoroughbred blood bloodWe We would be better off if we had our armies equipped thoroughout with thoroughbreds The no ¬ tion that the thoroughbred is more difficult to man ¬ age than the horse of colder blood has been exploded completely Our armies and the armies of Great Britain France and Italy have found them easier to manage than any other sort Of their superior cour ¬ age and endurance the experience of the artillery brigade of the Second American Division which took part in the series of battles that resulted in the abandonment of the Marne salient by the Germans in late July ami early August furnishes a brilliant illustration illustrationSECOND SECOND DIVISION CALLED UPON UPONFor For some time before the beginning of the great drive the Second Division wiclr is a regular army division and which had the est equipment in horse ¬ flesh of any in the army was on the quiet Verdun sector When Marshal Foch decided that the readi ¬ est of tin American units were tiijbe used in the great offensive lie Jmil long had in mind the Second Division Wls ordered from Verdun to Chateau Thierry ThierryThe The distance the Second Division had to travel was in um neighborhood of 100 miles When 1 said that the artillery brigade of the Second Division was better outfitted with horses than any of the other American units I did not mean that it was outfitted with thoroughbreds threeqnarterbreds and half breds a is very artillery and cavalry unit of the French armies There were few horses in its com ¬ plement that boasted of any thoroughbred blood whatever And what was the result Eighty per cent of the horses of the artillery brigade of the Second Division succumbed to the ordinary hard ¬ ships of a march of about 100 miles milesMany Many of them died many foundered Only a small percentage of those that dropped out of the march were in such condition that they could be sent back to base remount stations and jiut into condition for service again We got through because the French who did not lose more than five per cent of their horse complement on the same march re supplied us witli halfbreds and threequarterbreds The French were able to come to our aid because the small use they had had for cavalry through a three and a half years period of trench warfare had left them with a good surplus for our emergency emergencyThe The French use only horses of thoroughbred stock halfbreds threequarterbreds and thorough ¬ breds in their cavalry and artillery services The million or so of nondescript horses they have got from us since tlie German invasion of Belgium began Continued on second page THOROUGHBRED HORSE A NECESSITY NECESSITYContinued Continued from first page have been employed in the transport service and they have been used for this purpose only because the appalling losses their armies have sustained caused a shortage in their own supply of horses of the cheaper grades French officers told me that if they had their way they would never have a horse less than halfbred in their service LONGER LIFE IN SERVICE SERVICEWe We found in France that the life of the thor ¬ oughbred independently of casualties was from twentytwo to twentyfive days The life of the threequarterbred is about nineteen days of the halfbred sixteen to seventeen days of the horse of trotting stock from twelve to foiirteen days and of the cold blood five to seven days These are facts that cannot be disputed Many a pamphlet will be written by officers of the remount service after the finish of the war on the relation of the horse to military service and on the serviceability of types and the advocates Of other than thoroughbred blood are going to be terribly disappointed at the conclusions these writers reach reachI I myself went to Europe with a bias toward the trotter and I found that the trotter was a more serviceable horse than the ordinary animal But he no more compares with the thoroughbred the three niiarterbrerf and the halfbred as regards toughness of fiber and general serviceability than he does with a steam engine lie is not generally useful because he is a ragged sort No two trotters are alike The basic stock of the trotting family is thoroughbred of course but too much cold blood has been bred into the trotting family in the last fifty or seventy five years Trotting stallions have lost the essential quality of prepotency They no longer breed to type typeDraught Draught types have failed us in all cases where spirit and prompt service have been asked except where there has been an infusion of the blood of the running horse It was astonishing to see French artillery horses of part thoroughbred and part draught blood move pieces at which ordinary draught animals that outweighed them by 200 pounds balked balkedBecause Because of our poor horses our cavalry can play only an unimportant part in the pursuit of the Ger ¬ man armies after the debacle Foch is inevitably forcing The cavalry work must be left to the better mounted French and British units And the French and British cavalry units are going to dis ¬ tinguish themselves as no cavalry has distinguished itself in any previous war because in no previous war has cavalry been as well mounted as is the cavalry of the British and French armies engaged with us in this tremendous conflict The French cavalry is superior man for man and horse for horse to the British cavalry because of the wise foresight of the French government these sixty or seventy years in encouraging thoroughbred produc ¬ tion specifically for military employment

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