The Judges Stand: More About Breeders Awards; Industry May Help Itself; Must Reach Proper Channels; A Plan Worth Considering, Daily Racing Form, 1943-06-15


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Charles Hatton THE JUDGES STAND Bv Charles Hatton More About Breeders Awards Industry May Help Itself Must Reach Proper Channels A Plan Worth Considering NEW YORK N Y June 14 14Every Every wellinformed racing man with whom this observer had discussed the somewhat alarming economic phenomenon of increased patronage and purses and a flagging yearling market is agreed that thoroughbred breeding has borne the brunt of the wars impact upon the industry in general It is in fact patently imperative that some program be devised whereby the anemic production phase of the business may be administered a kind of blood transfusion from racing which is enjoying com mratively a radiant state of health It is pretty generally agreed too that the breeders awards are the soundest approach to this problem anyone has as yet advanced At this juncture in our explorations of the subject however it grows complex and we have almost invariably arrived at some divergence of opinions theories and ideologies It seems to us this confusion evolves from a misunderstanding of the objective There is some vagueness about whether the purpose is simply to encourage and assist breeders to produce a greater quantity of thoroughbreds or to endeavor producing a generally higher quality or more idealistically Obviously a good deal of the final form which this program of aid to the breeder assumes de ¬ pends upon the ultimate aim aimAgreement Agreement among the associations and breeders on this point it is clear is the first step to be taken before the policy adopted in tentative form by New York tracks may become national in scone A thoroughgoing practical examination of the patient needs to be made diagnosing the ailment with meticulous particularity before prescribing Otherwise there is not the remotest possibility of effectuating a cure And the net result can only be a waste of the money clubs so expend expendWhat What has occurred is that Whereas the values of horsesintraining have not depreciated noticeably the market for yearlings has paradoxically dwindled at a really appalling rate during these war years Some compensation must be made breeders breedersNot Not the millionaire ownerbreeder who owns fashionable stallions and producers who can afford to indulge his fancies in bloodlines without curtailment through the present strife He is independent of whatever sums his culls bring at the auctions is contributing all he possibly can toward improvement of the breed and would be quite unable to achieve one whit more in this direction were he to receive all the available breeders awards awardsThere There are also a few millionaire marketbreeders who own or have access to the highest quality of sires and brood mares and can withstand several lean years at the sales paddocks without recourse to drastic retrenching retrenchingThese These two elements among breeders contribute most toward the better ¬ ment of the American thoroughbred type and their importance to the turf in this country would be difficult to exaggerate But an occasional 25 award from some overnight event or five per cent from a rare stake scarcely can be expected to make any appreciable difference in their volume of pro ¬ ductionIt duction It is Mr Average Breeder whose pulse is behaving so erratically And he is vastly in the majority in Americac bloodstock production industry Oftener than not he is a farmer who maintains a small unpretentious group of brood mares as a sideline Now he finds it more profitable to run cattle on the Blue Grass or plow it under and cultivate truckfarm commodities which have become more salable as yearling prices diminished diminishedIt It costs an average of 1000 fo breed rear and market a yearling thor ¬ oughbred patronizing mediocre stallions and enjoying extraordinary veterinary bills In 1942 the average realized for yearlings was 63775 On the average he kept three brood marcs and their produce at an estimated loss of 1089 our theoretical combination of the American breeder might have harvested a tidy profit in almost anything a rationed vitaminconscious public can use for food with a modicum of luck So this is not merely calamity howling howlingPlainly Plainly racing must devise some method of alleviating this situation which is gnawing at the very roots of the thoroughbred industry Racing can no more exist without breeders than without bettors And the output studs maintained primarily to replenish fashionable stables is inadequate even in the days of a schedule of racing dates that is depleted nearly 50 per cent centProjecting Projecting ones view to the postwar era the present depression among breeders would inevitably be followed by a kind of inflation a thing track managements are striving now to avoid by regarding the values of overnight purses pursesThese These breeders awards we repeat are the soundest approach that has been advanced to improve conditions as an antidote for a sick market It has been estimated that a flat two per cent to the producer from the racing industry would spread 250000 annually over the breeding industry New York tracks will contribute 75000 or about onethird of the total Assuming there still are 800 of 1942s 834 active establishments functioning this would break down to a per capita of 320 That seems inconsequential but the two per cent is merely a suggestion and perhaps some system of distribution may be devised to direct these monies into the channels into which they would be most influential influentialThe The breeding industry can achieve a great deal toward helping itself through this crisis too One informal but seemingly meritorious proposal is that breeders fortunate enough to own stallions whose progeny are sought at the sales agree to sharecrop a quota of services with the farmerbreeder allowing the latter a liberal share in any profits accruing from this plan and permitting the farmerbreeder to register the foal so that any breeders awards would revert to him himThis This would encourage the average breeder to continue buoyed with the hope of marketing higher grade more attractive yearlings and with an even chance of garnering breeders premiums The American Thoroughbred Breeders Association might do worse than consider this proposition propositionMore More wealthy ownerbreeders than you would guess may be favorably disposed to some such altruistic plan Not being market breeders this project would not require them to compete against their own produce Many wish to maintain smaller racing stables these years others could be induced to increase the number of mares served by their stallions or to halve their stud fees until conditions improve So they could it is conceivable do a service to bloodstock production and racing generally without undue sacrifice

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