Horses and Their Work: Old Time Anecdotes Reveal Fondness of Thoroughbreds for Racing When Trained to It, Daily Racing Form, 1922-11-16


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HORSES AND THEIR WORK Old-Time Anecdotes Reveal Fondness of Thoroughbreds for Racing When Trained to It. It has been an age-long controversy among racing men whether or not horses have any consciousness of what they are doing when they compete in races. No less a subject for disagreement has been the question of whether or not a horse can develop a taste or distaste for racing. In this regard two anecdotes, which may or may not have been authentic, serve as an argument in favor of the former contention. They are reprinted from the American Turf Register of December, 1831, and January, 1832, and are as follows: In the summer of 1831, while Captain T. and Lieut. R. of the United States army were engaged on a survey at Canton, near Baltimore, they had frequently noticed Bachelor and jumping Jemmy at pasture in a field of the oid Canton course. One day, after playing some time, these two horses were observed to walk up leisurely, side by side, to the judges stand, where they stood for a moment, and then started and ran two rounds out regularly. After the heat, they played together for a few moments, when they again walked up side by side, stood at the judges stand, as in the first heat, and again started and ran a second heat of two rounds. The above may be considered as fabulous by many; but an occurrence of a few years since corroborates the truth that horses are fond of the race course when trained to it. During our residence at Geneva there was a beautiful race course at Phelps, six miles north of the former place. Major TV., who resided in the neighborhood, had two fine young horses, which had been trained on that course, and run several races with other horses. One day he was passing the course with his racers before a sleigh. They discovered the fence open where they had usually been brought upon the ground and simultaneously made a sudden spring for the course, gaining it In spite of the efforts of the driver to prevent them. They proceeded around the course at their utmost speed, the snow flying at such a rate that the horses were scarcely discernible. When they arrived at the judges stand, they settled down to a moderate trot, passed out of the field into the road, and went on their journey as if nothing extraordinary had happened.

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