Breeding and Salesmanship: How Propaganda is Being Used to Confuse the Blood Stock Brigade and Underestimate the Quality of American Thoroughbred Strains, Daily Racing Form, 1922-03-28


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I • 1 , 1 j 1 I t Ii e to e ■ in « g I • a d B 1 " at f c • • ■c . of ,1 d |. the t in ii * to at ,, it the " re BREEDING AND SAL ESMA NSHIP HOW PROPAGANDA IS BEING USED TO CONFUSE THE BLOOD STOCK BRIGADE AND UNDERESTIMATE THE QUALITY OF AMERICAN THOROUGHBRED STRAINS By SALVATOR Al the breeding season dawns and the problems presented by the mating of mares rearise. as they perennially do. the voice of the salesman is again heard in the land. It is. of course, the voice of the salesman of foreign wares, and. again of course, it is lifted to proclaim Cue necessity of importing more British stallions in order that American breeders may still continue lo produce decent race horses. Other r than this there is no salvation. This time the former Great First Cause of exotic superexcellence. i e.. the "Figure System." is not I the "golden text." The popularity of this propaganda is distinctly on the wane and the juggling of numerals 111 longer coaxes much coin of the realm ,ut; of the Ameriean BOckatkaak. A new tack is s therefore advi-.ible. So it has been seugkt. and found, for. when such things are sought, found they in- variably are. What has been found is. in brief, this: Outside those blessed British Isles the blood horse so ipiickly deteriorates that unless constant importations . are made from there everything goes to seed— or. what is worse, spindle shanks— in a generation or two. If "horrible examples" are needed, why. more can he cited in a trice than are necessary for r conviction. The funny part of this all is. to many people way up tall trees, that, families keep running out so " incontinently in Britain as weil aa here: There, as elsewhere in the struggle for existence, and the domi- nation thereof, only a few can survive. It used to he thought that the immortal Darwinian phrase. "survival of the fittest." signified also the survival of the best, but in recent generations biologists have 0 learned better. The best do not always arrive. Not by a long shot. Many of Englands best, many of Americas best, many of Australasias best do not today survive. not because they were not the best, but because, historically at itaat. they were not so well fitted to " survive as others not so good. This nin.v seem paradoxical, but it is. alas, too true. Returning to the voice of the salesman behind whom one may. without a telescope, see beckoning „ shapes at Newmarket- and what its tale of woe unfolds, it is humorous, to me. to learn that American II thoroughbred sires of today are "too tine." too lacking in sturdiness. to become true progenitors. And d that the needful stuiiliness is once ■ate, of course only to be obtained from Britain. The experienced , turfman might almost he pardoned from wondering if he were dreaming, as he listens. For. mark you ■ ihis: Years ago. before the latter-day deluge of British Meed had ted us and the "Figures" sent t into the discard everything, or nearly everything, not •pur sang." the standing criti.ism of the American ■ thoroughbred was that he was not merely rugged, as compared with his truly thoroughbred British relative, - but so rudely so as to actually to be aim! Ilenty of brawn and bottom he had. to be sure. That , was allowed. But- he was nut fine. Not at ali. In short, a rulUan. That is. according to British ■ standards. What was Beaded then, we were told, was more Kritish blood in order to "fine him up." " We have taken it. in allopathic doses. And now- lo and behold! He has become so tine that in order to coarsen him back to the proper point more of the same remedy must be administered, in heavier , loses ■s than ever. Thus we observe that the age of miracles has by no means passed. It is right here and now. Somersnultin". lire «*ilin». Thrung Iroitaxnmlsi. I find also this BThteeteai aspect of the problem presented to us: Commando, we are told, was "rugged, if not coarse." But his sons are "a bit fine." And "not one 10 of them breeds anything in the way of eseaaatte size: m fact, the se.ond and third generations of the ie Homines as a rale eaaae a trifle lacking in size and substance. etc.. etc. This is put down to the swift and race suicidal intlm-ine of the deadly American climate. And the only source of regeneration is. of course, importation. Now, the ,|iieer thing about this is and the longer I brood over it the more excruciatingly comic it • appear! to me tin t every one of the sons af Commando under hie is from an imported dam of purest sI British Bleed! A thousand tunes we have I" en told by studious salesmen that the only reason these sons is of Commando were ever heard of was heraaat the] were from Knglish mares. Commando himself was pronounced by fastidious riti.s from Newm.,ikot ami ether havens of ••pur sang" a decidedly unctilti-. I" rated beast. He had sturdiness to span-. He would have been a failure as a sire but for the fact that it Mr. Keene bred him almost exclusively to Knglish males and thus "fined up" his produce. But now this ■ very fineness is a fault. On account of it 1 lie tinge,- of deprecation is pointed at the tribe and inferen-jj - tially we are told that they have already "run to empty ins." as the old lady remarked of her "home ie brew" — only they didnt call it that then. Pausing to contemplate these surprising things, one seems to perceive that the grand old game of of working both ends against the middle is still gome strong, especially with studious salesmen. us use only imported mares upon our mil. ly robusi native stallions. Then, as their descendants rapidly . degenerate, let us use imported stallions to uplift ami regenerate ,111. It is a simple and beautiful "I process and the results are marvelous to behold. Also remunerative merchandising. Sin this way w. will in the end attain a .ur -;i:ig" basis .,n.| in getting there everything in the way of a native tribe will be i|iiietly and elegantly eliminal. .1. Rut of eaarae that will not BR veal the deadly influence of the American climate from continuing lo to get in its work. After we are down- or up to a purely British basis, degeneracy will continue to rear " its horrid bead with Bach rapidity, as the gn. rations increase, that the processoin from tother side of of the Atlantic will have to he drummed up al the double , puck in older to keep everything, including our nr Derbies and Futurities, from going 10 the dogs, not to say the "lice" and tile "lizards " How happy it is for the bleeder, the American breeder- who is. by the way. a most uninformed personage, sadly given to breeding to sires he prefers instead of those Which he is told to by studious us sal. sinen-tliat the path to glory is thus made so . -a y and so plain. If he does not "get there" it will ill always, dont you know, he his own fault! Incidentally, how was ,t that the American bleeder, generations ago. produced, without exotic ic supeiMsion. the sturdiest race of race horses ever aeea in this country during a period when importations ns were the sea i est in the history of our Breed 1

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