Keen Art in Training Horses: Not Enough Restriction About the Granting of Licenses, Daily Racing Form, 1907-10-31


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KEEN ART IN TRAINING HORSES. Not Enough Restriction About the Granting of Licenses. Latonia, Ky., October 30. A party of trainers wore recently discussing the merits and qualifications of their art at the nice track here when the conversation turned on the granting of licenses. Said one of the number, who seemed to voice the general sentiment, "I think the turf authorities ought to place greater restrictions about the granting of trainers licenses than they now do. As matters stand at .present, Almost any one who has been around witli horses for six months or a year, if a man of good character, can secure a license. In my opinion all applicants for trainers licenses should be required to have served an apprenticeship of at least two or three years in stables of some prominence. They should have served an apprenticeship of sufficient duration to make it certain that they know something about the training business." Another trainer, and a veteran in the game, said: "The turf is overrun with young business men who go into racing, buy a few horses, employ a second class trainer, most generally a rubber, and hang stromal the stable a few months until they think they know it all when they undertake to do the training themselves. These men are wont to Hatter themselves in the assertions that anyone can train a race horse, and that good horses make good traiuers. A greenhorn at the game cannot successfully traiu a race horse. If the horse is a Blitzen, the experienced man may pump the work into him and win a few races with him, but the moment he develops a lameness or an aihncntj the lKginier up a tree anil he will almost certainly sei che horse back so far that a really good trainer will be lucky to get him back to form again in the course of a year or more. Good horses of course help the reputations of good trainers, but the high class animals are more difficult to handle than thu cheap ones. In view of great winning possibilities, and the pointing for future stake engagements, thoy require more constant and more careful attention." "As to good horses making good trainers," remarked another member of the party. "I recall the handling and development of Henry of Navarre by Byron McClelland, who was then and is still conceded by his brother professionals in the east, to have been one of the very greatest trainers this country ever produced. So well established was McClellands reputation that every spring when he went east, his brother trainers were always anxious to have his opinion on matters horsewise, and especially his judgment as to any promising two-year-olds they might have in their stables. Henry of Navarre was a peculiar animal. lie was a tall, lengthy horse, but narrow in the barrel and delicate as horses of such build almost always are. In spite of this constitutional tendency, McClelland kept him in training throughout his two and three-year-old career, and if I remember rightly, did not miss more than one stake engagement with him while in all of his races he was close in around the money. Henry of Navarre was a delicate feeder and on more than one occasion McClelland was on nettles altout him prior to the ntnniug of important events. Here was a case where the great traiucV made the great race horse, for. In less competent hands, it is not likely that Henry ofl Navarre would have tiuished out more than half of his two-year-old form." Another illustration of the quality of a first class trainer was offered in a statement concerning John Rogers, when this famous horseman was getting Daily America ready for the Realization, which 1 i 1 1 j I 1 I , i , be won. The horse developed Some ailment and Hie veterinarians could mil locate it. Finally 1 Rogers sat up with tlu; horse all one night and j noticed him reaching back and trying to grab him- 1 self in the Hank. He made up bis mind that the 1 tronble was altogether a bowel disorder, treated Daily America accordingly and sent him to the post fit to run the best race of bis career. Under less competent management the horso very probably would have been taken seriously ill with fever and died." That efforts are not made to maintain a higher i professional standard among the trainers of the west, is partly due to the apathy and inactivity 1 of the trainers themselves, as both the American Turf Association and the Western Jockey Club would no doubt consider any suggestions they might make in the matter of restricting licenses.

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