Abolishment of Blinkers in Racing: Joseph A. Murphy Suggests to the Turf Governing Bodies Disuse of Such Equipment, Daily Racing Form, 1919-01-13


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ABOLISHMENT OF BLINKERS IN RACING Joseph A. Murphy Suggests to ths Turf Governing Bodies Disuse of Such Equipment. NEW ORLEANS. La., January 12. Judge Joseph A. Murphy "as sellt tlie following letter to August Belmont, chairman of tlie New York Jockey Club, and Senator Johnson N. Camden, chairman of the Kentucky Stnte Racing Commission: "As the war lias demonstrated to our government the absolute necessity of perpetuating the breeding of thoroughbred horses as tlie essential fundamental of tlie proper horse for army use, I beg to submit a recommendation that I am certain will improve the thoroughbred. I refer to the curtailment for tlie present and eventual abolishment of blinkers in racing. This is not a new thought. I understand that blinkers are barred in Australia. ..e must not forget that the Antipodes gave us tlie starting gate and saddle cloth, and is wide-awake and progressive in the matter of racing. If we are to make good our promise to improve the breed of horses, we must not forget that manners are as sseutlal as soundness of limb and wind. "We certainly would not send one of our soldiers to the front on a horse rigged with blinkers. We can justly claim that the thoroughbred is unafraid to take the same chances as tlie man who straddles it, and does not need to be blindfolded like the bull fight crowbait marked for disembowelmont. We should attempt to produce substantial families of horses nnd not reach out for chance horses of erratic ancestry. If we are to -find the foundation for these families by actual tests on the race track all artificial methods to accelerate speed should be nlHilished. , "It would benefit racing too. Tlie use of blinkers is often only a cloak fipr inconsistency, and the disuse of them would relieve your officials of some of their" burdens. Mr experience as an official has demonstrated that in many cases trainers, use blinkers without themselves knowing the reason why. if they were alolished I am sure we would have fewer accidents, fewer horses cut down and fewer horses kicked at the post. The only argument I have heard raised against the abolishment of blinkers is that a man should have the right to do what he thinks will increase his horses speed. The same argument might Ik raised iu respect to tlie use of drugs and electrical devices, both tabooed by reputable associations. If in the lottery of breeding a person draws a sulker, it is bad luck, just as though he drew a bleeder or cripple. In any event the suiters erratic temper should not be saddled on iiuine posterity. , . "I would suggest that blinkers be abolished I in two-year-old races in 1919 foals of 1917. In 1920 that blihkers be barred on foals of 1917 and 1918. and in 1921 all blinkers be abolished. This would work no hardship. Whatever the Jockey Club and Racing Commission decide to do tlie Business Men s Racing Association will follow closely.. This will vover practically the present scope of American racing."

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1910s/drf1919011301/drf1919011301_1_3
Local Identifier: drf1919011301_1_3
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800