Views of Army Expert: Field Marshal Earl French Writes Interestingly of Thoroughbred, Daily Racing Form, 1922-11-26


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VIEWS OF ARMY EXPERT Field Marshal Earl French Writes Interestingly of Thoroughbred. Uolnt.s Out Advantages Gained and Influence Exerted on n Nation by Great Sport of Racing. NEW YORK, N. Y., November 23. None of the visitors from abroad since the war made more friends among tho American sportsmen with whom ho came in contact that Field Marshal Earl French of the British Army, who spent a month in tho United States and Canada and saw a little racing in both countries last spring. In his young days there was no more dashing cross-country rider in tho British cavalry and he was frcqquently seen In the saddle over tho stiffest courses of his native Ireland and England. Hunting also appealed to him, and the quality of his horsemanship mndo him known throughout tho length and breadth of a land where the horse plays an Important part in tho recreation of the people. As a cavalry officer the field marshal was keenly alive to the part racing and hunting played in the development of horses that would be useful as remounts and during his stay here he expressed a hope that tho importance of racing, hunting and polo would never be lost sight of in tho United States. He urged the breeders of this country to produce animals with good loins and hocks and declared the essential needs of both In cavalry stock. On one occasion, while at Jamaica as a guest of the management of the Metropolitan Jockey Club, he met many owners and trainers, among them Thomas Welsh, who had seen him ride steeplechases in Ireland forty years ago. President Street arranged as a special attraction for the day a public workout by Morvich, which was then very much in the public eye. Earl French expressed himself as being delighted with everything he saw and after witnessing a race from the stewards stand he promised the present writer to put a few thoughts on paper concerning the thoroughbred at his first leisure moments. INTIMACY OF FORTY YEARS. A recent steamer brought the following from one of the busiest men in the British Army one who knows the thoroughbred through a period of intimacy of more than forty years. His most interesting comments should be read and weighed by everybody interested in the horse. That part dealing with Ireland has a special significance when it is remembered that he was Viceroy of Ireland in its most troublous period. That he felt safe to go to the races without a military escort and that enemies rubbed elbows while acclaiming the thoroughbred is the Continued on second page. j : I , VIEWS OF ARMY EXPERT Continued from first page. best proof of the respect in which the turf is held in a country where civil war was at its height. "Twenty or thirty years ago it would have sounded like a platitude to say that the sport of racing was advantageous to a people or to a country," writes Earl French, "but today the horse has been to so great an extent replaced as a means of locomotion by motors and cycles of various kinds that it is to be feared the same amount of interest is not taken in equine sports as was the case formerly. "The love of the horse, which is such a marked characteristic of all the English speaking races, should never be allowed to die out, or to grow stagnant, for it lias had a great deal to do in making them what they are. "The sport of racing is, so to speak, the climax of all other sports in which the horso takes part, and its influence on the people of a country is thus most important from a sporting point of view. It stimulates hunting and polo, because the maintenance of thoroughbred stock ensures the breeding of a kind of horse best adapted for these purposes. GROWN IJTTO NATIONAL PASTIME. "The influence which racing exercises upon the breed of horses is proved by the character of American sport throughout recent years. As more and more thoroughbred stock has been introduced into the country the sport of racing has become much more general everywhere, and is now practically a great national pastime. The breed of horses is thus improved and we see hunting on the English pattern existing in most parts of the country where the class of horse used shows power and quality. "The marked success of America in the field of international polo is largely due to their superior mounts, which again can be directly traced to the maintenance of thoroughbred stock, and the greater interest taken in the sport of racing. "I do not know if our old friend, Mr. Jor-rocks, is as popular in America as in England, but I quote a sage remark which he made when proposing the toast of Success to racing at a hunt dinner. It is, lie said, owin to racin and the turf that wc now j possess our superior breed of osses and so improve our cavalry as enables us to lick the world. "This is perhaps a somewhat exaggerated view, but there Is much truth in the general statement. "England owed much at the outset of the war to the fact that she had been for generations a hunting and a racing country. "The democracy of the turf is one of its most valuable and marked characteristics. There is nothing like it to bring people together and establish a common understand-,ing and happy reunion amongst them. This j never came out so conspicuously as during the last few years in Ireland. In the hunting field and on the race course the warring elements met on a common ground and the voice of rancor and hatred was stilled." 1 "Handly Cross," or "Mr. Jorrocks Hunt."

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