Important Role Played by Racing: Legislation Against, Sport Has Lowered Standard of Cavalry Mounts Alarmingly, Daily Racing Form, 1918-05-23


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IMPORTANT ROLE PLAYED BY RACING Legislation Against Sport Has Lowered Standard of Cavalry Mounts Alarmingly. "The opening of the 191S metropolitan turf season makes an opportune time to impress on the iniiids of the people the true importani-e of thoroughbred racing." says a New York writer. "There are too many who regard racing as purely an excuse for gambling. "Racing plays such an important part in the de velopment of horses suitable for cavalry mounts that in France at the present time the government conducts private s|K-ed tests to prove the qualities of the horses lH-ing bred. It is from thoroughbred stock that all first class cavalry mounts are secured. "The situation in this country in regard to the thoroughbred and racing is appalling. Our standard of cavalry mount, according to the liest authorities, is far below that of either France or England. This iiindition is largely the result of short-sighted legislation, such as was enacted in New York state a decade ago, that threatened to wipe out racing altogether. "I have In-fore me an address delivered by Maj-August Belmont, president of the Jockey Club, at the Waldorf-Astoria back in 1912. Of particular interest is Maj. Belnionls quotation from the report of Maj. 8ml Leonard Wood concerning the horse situation then, which he terms a national calamity. Gen. Wood said: " As a result of recent state legislation affecting racing there has been and still continues to lie an extensive shinment out of this country of the best thoroughbred blood. These shipments in some cases consist of entire studs of thoroughbreds, and are assuming the magnitude of a national calamity so far as the effect on the breeding of thoroughbreds stock in this country its concerned. MOUNTED SERVICE AFFECTED. " This matter touches the mounted service in such a vital wav that the War Department cannot lie indifferent to it. While other countries are s|ieudiug immense sums of money in imported thoroughbred stock, iiianv of our renowned breeders have entirely s.dd out, shiupod abroad or are gradually reducing their establishments. " The loss of thoroughbred stock to such an extent as is now- taking ulace threatens the further improvements in the American horse and will gradually reduce the source from which the army can secure a prop, r mount. This matter is of such im portaiiee that it is thought that the atteution of Congress should Ik invited to it. •That was the alarming situation in respe-ct to the thoroughbred horse that existed six years ago. Of course, the shiimieiits of breeding stock abroad stopped with the war. But nothiug has been done to improve conditions here. "The imiMirtanee of cavalry in this war was greatly underestimated at the start. It may be of interest to know that during the recent Genua drive on the west front in France a serious gap in the allied line was closed by the timely arrival and effective work of mounted troops. "There is more to racing than the gambling side. That is overplayed and overcriticiscd. We should lie a big enough" people to realize the vital iinport-ance of the hNMHag of thoroughbreds and to tolerate the less savorv elements that perhaps unfortu nately. but still undeniably, are essential to the success of racing, which iu turn is the backbone of this industry."

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