A. B. Hancock Gives Views: Talks Entertainingly on Thorbred over There and Here, Daily Racing Form, 1922-12-16


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A. B. HANCOCK GIVES VIEWS Talks Entertainingly on Thor-bred Over There and Here. Noted Kentucky Rrccder Toints Out That Health, Vigor and Prosperity of Country Built Up with Horse. At the recent dinner of the Horse Show Association of America held at the Drake Hotel, A. B. Hancock of Paris, Ky., one of the moet prominent of American breeders and an authority on the horse, spoke on "The Thoroughbred Over There and Over Here." His remarks were principally from the viewpoint of a business man, not going into any details of the great industry with which he is so largely interested. Mr. Hancock pointed out the alarming decrease in the number of horses in this country since 1910, but believes the pendulum has swung too far and a reaction is due. Here are Mr. Hancocks interesting views: " Horse Breeding Over There should read Thoroughbred Horse Breeding Over There, because the latter is the only kind of horse breeding over there that I know anything at all about. This is the topic that has been assigned to me on the program by our very efficient and persevering secretary, Mr. Dins-more, who is doing a splendid work for the horse and its allied interests in the country and, incidentally, for the country itself, because the health, vigor and prosperity of the country has been built up with the horse as the chief partner in the great development of the past, and we should be very sure that we have found a more faithful, efficient and economical substitute before we part company with him. TELLS OF TnRILLS. "I am quite sure that such a substitute has not yet been found. About a year ago, when farm products of all kinds had slumped fearfully, I received a statement of one of our country banks in Kentucky, and I asked the cashier how he accounted for his deposits keeping up so well. He replied that a good many of our people have money, but they are mostly these who drive to town in buggies. "Thoroughbred breeding over there now is very smiilar to thoroughbred breeding over here. We can have and have learned in the past a good deal about breeding and racing I say racing, as of New York or Chicago or San Francisco, and watch these noble horses in action how they move the great volume of traffic from steamship and railway train to its appointed place in the city. This is a sight to thrill any normal man and kindle the imagination with a warm glow of appreciation. Few other sights so satisfy the sense of fulfillment of animal beauty, power and life. "After all, what is the most beautiful animal living in the world today? Those of you who visited the International Live Stock Show four or five years ago and were privileged to see Lagos, the undefeated champion Percheron stalion of the world, saw the most beautiful living animal in the world. Those of you who visited the same exhibition last year and saw Wee Donald, the pure-bred Clydesdale stallion of Saskatchewan, saw the most perfect "and most beautiful quadruped in North America. "We love the horse, and we gladly pay him this tribute of sentiment. I have seen many statues of horses throughout this country, but who ever saw a statue erected to an automobile? "Tonight you expect me to say something about the horse question from the point of view of a business man, and particularly a man interested in the worlds grain trade. "You do not, of course, want to burden your minds with a mass of statistics showing the decrease in the number of horses in the United States during the last few years, due to the increased use of automobiles, trucks and tractors. The decline in the number of horses in the cities has been very Continued on twelfth pase. 1 g J i r a c c i 1 c 1 f , i i , , 1 . 1 , 1 A. B. HANCOCK GIVES VIEWS Continued from first page. great. Roughly speaking, in 1910 there wero 3,000,000 horses used in our cities; in 1920 there were half this number. Since the city hcrse is fed largely on oats, a falling oft in the number of horses of one and a half million in ten years would naturally mark substantial decrease in the demand for oats. There would be little effect on the other grains. The question naturally arises in our minds, Is it possible to detect any slack in the demand for oats since the gasolin3 motor has come into wide use? "A final answer cannot be given to this question, but I nave had some calculations made by scientific authorities who estimate that this slack in demand has caused a drop of about 3 cents a bushel on our oat crop. "Here is the way they figure it: Thirty or forty years agrj before we were using gasoline we found oat prices averaged about 62 cents lower than wheat prices. But now, during the last few years, oat prices average G5 cents lower than wheat. With one and a half million fewer horses to feed, a three-cent drop in price would be quite natural. Since our oat crop is usually about one billion bushels, you can readily calculate that this three-cents drop means a 0,000,000 annual loss to our American farmers. Probably the same amount should be added for the loss on hay. For our hay crop is as big as it ever was, but the demand is much less. HOUSE STILL HOLDS OWJT. "This is a pessimistic picture, but our alarms are much more numerous than our dangers. And economic ills have a way of working out their own remedies even without the help of legislation. So the first grand rush to substitute gasoline for horses was greatly overdone. Especially is this true in many farming sections where large-sized tractors were bought by small-sized farmers. This venture literally bankrupted thousands of farmers. Likewise in the cities many businesses turned to the truck when the nature of their business the short haul, the frequent stops, etc called for the use of horse labor. So now the advancing price of good draft horses is our best proof that the pendulum is swinging the other way. The farmer who is feeding a yard of colts of good blood and heavy draft type is on the safe side. The horse will not come back to his old place in the city, but he is sure of an important place in the field of industrial transportation. "In this matter, as in every other fundamental question, the interests of the grain dealers and the farmers are the same. "We will welcome the day when the American draft horse is back in the economic life of our cities anl playing the part he is entitled to play. "And now, in closing, let us go back in history and ask what and where were the very first beginnings of the horse? To settle this important scientific question of the origin of the horse we have learned the following from a famous professor of geology in one of our eastern universities. Whether he took the question seriously or not I cannot say, but at any rate he selected an answer actually handed in by a student of his at an examination in geology : EVOLUTION OF HORSE CITED. " Question : State briefly the main facts, biologic and geologic, relating to the evolution of the horse. " Reply : It is thought that the horse evolved from the camel and the giraffe. The camel originally got its food from the ground. Then external and climatic changes took place which made the camel reach higher and higher up for its food. Probably from trees. In a certain length of time the neck of the camel was lengthened to its needed length. Then another climatic change took place which resulted in the growing of vegetation close to the ground. Then the giraffe found that his neck did not need to be so long, so evolution took place, and we have evolved from the giraffe, with some other changes beside the neck, what is now the modern horse. "The horse population is decreasing and the tendency is to decrease, but the pendulum has swung too far ; a reaction is due both in the cities and in the country. There is no doubt that the big power tractor has reached and passed the saturation point. The small tractor is increasing and seems to be a permanent and growing institution, and we must not give ourselves false encouragement about the horse problem, but the whole history of our race seems to be connected up with the use of the horse, first in the breeding and improvement of the horse itself ; then the invention of leather, of steel, of the stirrup, then the social production of good roads. We cannot prosper without prospering others. All races, ages and all citizens contribute to and are benefited by the common advantages of the race. The horse market is said to be better than in seven or eight years. The demand is better and likely to hold its own. We do not know from any story or scientific authority where the horse came from. We do know he is here now and we hope he is here to stay, Long may he live and prosper with us."

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1920s/drf1922121601/drf1922121601_1_4
Local Identifier: drf1922121601_1_4
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800