French Turf Controversy: Two Leading Racing Organizations in Tilt over Government Favoritism, Daily Racing Form, 1921-08-16


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FRENCH TURF CONTROVERSY Two Leading Racing Organizations in Tilt Over Government Favoritism. PARIS, France, July 27. Considerable interest has been aroused in French racing circles, by the controversy between the Societe Sportive dKn-eouragmont. and the Societe dEncoiiragciiient, the two leading French racing organizations, over alleged favoritism of the government toward the former. The matter has been the subject, of discussion in the chamber of deputies at various times during the past few mouths. On July t deputy Messier interpellated the minister of agriculture as follows: "1. What was the contribution of the Societe Sportive dEneouragement to the selective racing activities, oragnized during the war by the Societe dEneouragement in conjunction with the minister of agriculture? "2. In proportion to the total of purses offered, what amount did the Societe Sportive dEneouragement contribute?" The minister of agriculture made this reply: "During the war, in the years 1910, 1017 and 191S. the Societe dEneouragement for the improvement of the breeding of horses in France organized a series of; selective and elimination races with tho funds drawn from its own resources and other funds placed at its disposal by the great racing societies of Paris, by the government and by private, contributors. The total amount distributed during these three years was 2j,125, of which 99,410 was devoted to races on the flat and 27,015 to steeplechases. The part contributed by the Societe Sportive dEneouragement, which was devoted solely to racing on the flat, was 9,905, or twelve per cent, of the total amount distributed by the Societe dEneouragement." The-, disclosure of the comparatively .unimportant part played by the Societe- Sportive in wartime racing has aroused considerable adverse criticism" for that organization, Newminster writes in Le Jockey: "It comes out, as the result-of these Interpellations, that the Societe Sportive was altogether uninterested in steeplechase racing during the war and that, for racing on the flat, the organization contributed only 12 per cent of the total distribution. "The wartime racing carried on through the initiative and intelligence of the Societe dEneouragement saved our thoroughbred stock from an inevitable catastrophe. If. during 1919 and 1920, our racing has been brilliant and successful; if our yearlings brought in 1920 surprisingly large prices; if our charities and our agricultural ministry have been largely endowed, it is to the wartime racing that we owe our thanks, that is to say, to the Societe dEneouragement ami also, in part, to the Societe des Steeple-Chases de France. "But now, when the war is "over, when the hard period of reconstruction is almost ended, when racing has come back to normal, what do we see? "The Societe Sportive is given, in 1921, 117 days of racing sixty-seven days on the flat and fifty days of obstacle racing while the Societe dEneouragement is allowed only fifty days altogether, including Deauville, and the Societe dAuleuil forty-five days. "How has the Societe Sportive, which refused during the war its co-operation in steeplechase racing and which participated to a small, ridiculously small, extent in racing on the flat, succeeded in obtaining from the powers that le for itself alone more days of racing than the two other leading turf organizations combined? It is inexplicable."

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