Large Dividends Must Go: All Earnings Less Reasonable Profit for Stakes and Purses, Daily Racing Form, 1919-01-12


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LARGE DIVIDENDS MUST GO All Earnings Less Reasonable Profit for Stakes and Purses. Declares Hal Price Headley, Predicting Great Future for Breeding and Racing. I.y JIal Price Headley. LEXINGTON, Ky.. January 10. Now that the war is over tin; lovers of tlie thoroughbred horse are looking forward to the most successful ieriod of racing and breeding our country has ever experienced. With racing at two winter tracks and later in New York, Maryland, Canada and Kentucky, there should be- plenty, of occupation for the horses we new have to make it not only enjoyable but also profitable for the owner. While on that subject. Iff me commend tin recent action of the Kentucky St it! Racing Commission in inaugurating a move-jn nt for minimum average purses and stakes based on previous earnings to be added by all associations racing under their jurisdiction. It is my opinion that large dividends to stockholders by racing associations and purses and stakes so small to horsemen that they could not nice honestly for them and survive has done more t , put racing in disfavor than any other one thing. The plan now on foot in Kentucky to buy some rf :iie racing plants, and after a reasonable dividend ."ml depreciation allowance to put all earnings back in stakes and purses, seems to be the real and only way to preserve and perpetuate thisijlie. Iior. oT till horses. The guaranteed stake, which has since the restcra-tip:i of racing ilround New York become so prevalent in the east. Is; I tllink, a step backward, and I hope will soon be replaced by stakes with added miiliey. Racing where the- owner puts up all the takes is oil an unsound financial basis and consequently does not stimulate clean racing. Some "will say there are enough of those who race only for sport and can afford to race for their own money. That may be; but all whom I have known on the race course like to make their racing stables at l":ist not a losing venture financially. The turf in America has undergone and is still undergoing many changes in the last decade. The old selling race with all the attendant odor and enmity is being replaced by the decidedly more satisfactory and more popular claiming race. Thanks to the liberality of the respective racing associations, valuable as well as historic races have bc-en made of the Kentucky and Latonia Derbys. The lreakness Stakes and the rich Latonia Championship Stakes have been put on to test, not only the speed; but also the endurance and weight-carrying ability of our future sires and brood mares: Geldings have been barred from most of the important events, so that our best horses will in the future be able to perpetuate themselves. Imiwrtntions of the best blood in England, France and Ireland, made possible by the war, are sure to make their mark on our future turf stars, as have Glencoe. Bonnie Scotland, Leamington and many others in the past. IMPROVING THE BREEDING END. In the breeding end of the sport changes are also taking place. Now many of our breeding establishments are sweetening and purifying the pastures bv cultivation and the raising of cattle, which tlieoreticallv is essential for successful rearing of thoroughbreds. Stallions in service are being more regularly exercised and not kept so fat and soft. The mares and yearlings are leing better fed and ared for nud more attention paid to the care of their teeth and feet. I noticed recently in an English turf journal a suggestion to change the age of the thoroughbred. I think this is a subject we should thoroughly discuss, and believe if changed from January 1 to March 1 it would work more satisfactorily in many ways. In the first place, climatic conditions over the most of our country are unnatural for the mating of horses until April. Only about ten per cent of niares bred prior to that time conceive, according to my records, and the losses of foals in January and February are about one hundred per cent greater than the losses in March, April and Mav. I believe a stallion will get a larger percentage of his mares in foal if not used until April, and will do so with twenty-five per cent less effort. It would also- make all horses nearer the same real age and consequently make fairer competition. The war has clearly demonstrated to the people the necessity of the horse and the government has learned of the necessity of thoroughbred blood in the unny horse. This is shown by the large government remount breeding plants recently established in the west. I believe if in the future the avaricious among race track owners can be eliminated and racing associations declare only reasonable dividends that the horsemen can then thrive on the stakes and purses and consequently the racing will be clean and wholesome. This will also insure its stability and permanency and make the racecourse test as it should lie throughout our country the most popular of all outdoor sports and place mans best friend, the thoroughbred horse, back once more upon his rightful throne.

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