Weight Carrying: What It Means-II., Daily Racing Form, 1943-05-12


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Weight Carrying What It Means II By SALVATOR As stated in the previous article the average person cannot understand why an animal like a thoroughbred race horse which stands over 16 hands high weighs over 1000 pounds in racing con ¬ dition and is possessed of immense strength and power muscular and nervous as well is so sensitive to a mere couple of pounds or so upon his back when it gets above a certain limit limitTo To them it seems absurd or wellnigh so that Whirlaway can win race after race under 130 pounds but when asked to carry 132 is beaten upon each occasion And similar things which happen right along alongOr Or to take the matter from another angle angleThe The average racing plate of a thorough ¬ bred weighs about four ounces being a slim rim of steel barely heavy enough to be carried without danger of twisting warping springing or the like As a matter of fact many of them are con ¬ stantly being twisted warped and sprung by the horses carrying them themThe The four plates on the four feet will together weigh about a pound or some ¬ thing less as the hind shoes are usually quite a bit lighter than the front ones What is a pound for a 16hand 1000 pound horse to carry in this way wayHowever However if you want to anchor him and ensure his getting beaten it is only necessary to increase the heft of these slim and delicate circlets of steel by a few ounces ouncesIn In the case of harness race horses this goes double The modern twominute trotter carries about a sixounce shoe But if you add two ounces to its weight you will perhaps take away seconds of his speed and racing capacity Indeed a single ounce has been known to bring that result resultFew Few Ounces Destroy Balance BalanceWhen When a trotter is perfectly balanced that balance can be destroyed by the shifting of very few ounces Many trot ¬ ters carry what are known as toeweights which are small pieces of metal usually brass attached to their hoofs by means of screws It has been found that if the weight on their feet is distributed in this manner instead of being all concentrated in the shoe they will go faster and better gaited and race much better betterSo So delicate is the balance of some of the best trotters that if one casts a shoe or sometimes just a toeweight he may be thrown off his gait and badly beaten beatenThis This seems extraordinary when we con ¬ sider the size and strength of the animal but so it is isThe The trot is not the natural gait of a horse at the most extreme speed That gait is always the gallop or run Hence the balance of a runner is not so precise a matter down to a single dunce as that of a trotter Nevertheless it is a very im ¬ portant matter indeed for without it there is no rhythm ease or evenness of stride strideThere There are great variations of gait among runners which vary all the way from the flying floatinggaited kind that seem to skim over the track in the most graceful and effortless way to the climbing pawing laboring going ones that it is sometimes almost painful to watch watchHorses Horses Overcome Bad Gaits GaitsSome Some great race horses have been rough and badly gaited but have tri ¬ umphed over the defect by dint of their strength resolution and gameness As a rule they get away slowly and have to have time to unlimber hence are useless in short races but in longer ones smooth out as the furlongs increase and finally when fully extended can turn in tre ¬ mendous performances performancesTwenty Twenty Grand was one of that kind And long before him the famous Morello that sold for 100 as a yearling and proved the champion two and threeyearold of his time timeRhythm Rhythm in the stroke or stride of a race horse is a sinequanon and when it is broken the consequences can be se ¬ rious if hot fatal fatalThe The way in which one is shod con ¬ tributes greatly to it and this involves beside the size nd weight of the shoe the length and angle of the toe A flyer can be converted into a lizard if his toes are improperly trimmed or leveled before the shoe is set setWeight Weight especially excessive weight kills off many race horses by destroying the rhythm of their stride because of the effort necessary to carry it They will then reel plunge flounder make desperate ef ¬ forts to regain it and end by knocking their legs almost from under them themIt It is at such times that tendons are struck quarters grabbed ankles scratched and skinned pasterns wrenched and so on through a long category of injuries injuriesAction Action varies so greatly that at times we even see thoroughbreds equipped behind with hock protection as they are so high gaited that they strike or scratch them selves there in passing passingOne One reason why excessive weight is so baneful in its effects upon the modern American race horse is because of the mod ¬ ern jockey seat the monkeyonastick posture that Tod Sloan if he did not in ¬ vent it left as a legacy or doubtful value to racing racingThis This has removed the greater burden of the weight from its natural seat the back of the horse and thrown it forward i upon his shoulders and out along his neck calling upon his forehand in effect to shoulder the entire impost impostA A much greater percentage of race horses go wrong or break down in front than behind normally speaking This being caused by the mechanism of the run which compels the animal to hurl himself through the air by propulsion from his heavy and powerful hind quarters and then to land upon his front feet or rather but one of them as he never lands upon both at the same exact instant instantGreat Great Strain on Foot and Leg LegThe The foot and leg upon which the im ¬ pact of landing falls when a horse is ex ¬ tended at full speed has therefore to sus ¬ tain a tremendous strain strainUpon Upon the leg the heaviest strain is borne by the tendons between the knee and an ¬ kle Thist causes the ravages of tendon trouble which has ruined the careers of innumerable racers The battering which the foot is obliged to withstand causes quarter crack shelly hoofs naricular disease etc also extend ¬ ing up into the pastern and involving it in unsoundness unsoundnessAs As abovesaid the strain upon the leg and foot is sufficiently terrific with the jockey riding in the oldfashioned way when he sat upon the horses back Now that the jockey perches upon his withers and leans out along the neck it is far greater greaterIn In cases where a jockey has to carry dead weight and often from ten to twenty pounds is thus carried when high weights are to be assumed there is a double strain upon the horse He will have the dead weight affixed to his sad ¬ dle in the middle of his back while the rest of it is embodied in the jockey hunched up on his shoulders and lean ¬ ing out almost to his ears earsThe The old idea before the modern jockey seat came into vogue was that five pounds of dead weight was harder for a horse to carry than ten pounds of live weight If that was so then it is still more so now nowWhat What complicates the problem we are studying is the fact that in the mysteri ¬ ous way that Nature works her7 her7Wonders Wonders to perform it is impossible to tell from outward conformation what a horses ca ¬ pacity to carry weight may or may not be beHindoo Hindoo and Tenny Belie Experts ExpertsHindoo Hindoo one of the great American thoroughbreds of all time was so slack over the loin and said the experts weak ¬ ly coupled that he could riot be ex ¬ pected to go on when he had to take up heavy imposts but he took them up as he came to them without trouble troubleAnother Another famous case was that of Tenny he being positively a swayback to such an extent that he was almost deformed but he could carry high weights arid make great concessions to horses which looked almost more able to assume them themPierre Pierre Lorillards great gelding Parole during his first two or three seasons on the turf was regarded as being top weak ¬ ly formed to be able to carry highweight but he proved a glutton for it and finally going to England won a handicap there under 134 Ibs IbsSuch Such horses are physical enigmas As are also the little giants like Isonomy and many others that might be named which stood Httle over 15 hands and some of them under it but that shouldered enormous successfullyBut imposts successfully But leaving such enigmas unsolved it is fair to say that the old racing proverb A good big one will always beat a good little one is a lesson of experience Our two greatest modern American weight carriers Exterminator and Discovery were big horses of prodigious strength And Man o War undoubtedly up to higher weights than any other threeyearold of modern times for he took up 138 pounds and han ¬ dled it like a feather was a physical giant in both size and power

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