Sires And Dams: Has Breeding Science Advanced?; Authorities Still Differ on Point.; Many Old Rules Have Lived On.; Bruce Lowe, Mendel Cast Aside., Daily Racing Form, 1941-06-17


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SIRES AND DA MS By CHALLENGER las Breeding Science Advanced Authorities Still Differ on Point Many Old Rules Have Lived On Bruce Lowe IVlendel Cast Aside A neverending controversy involves the question of whether or not our modern day breeders know any more of horse production than the school of fifty to seventy years ago The late Walter S Vosburgh one of Americas greatest authorities was of the opinion the presentday group know little more than their fathers did while the wellknown English scribe Harry Acton was of exactly the opposite opinion In fact Acton went so far as to say that prior to fifty years ago it was a hit or miss proposition and that only in the past halfcentury have breeders advanced along scientific lines In the humble estimation of this writer both of the above authorities went to extremes Just as doctors know more today so we believe do veterinarians and those who have made a scientific study of feed and its application to the production of a better race horse On the other hand we cannot accept Actons ideas that breeders of half a century ago were just lucky when a particular mating produced a great horse Too many horses which were great in all that the word implies were produced for it to be pure luck and nothing more Many of our best racers sires and dams of today trace back to a common ancestor which was anything but common in his or her qualities that passed on greatness generation after generation generationBreeders Breeders of earlier days had many theories or practices which are still sound today One of the oftheard maxims of John E Madden was breed the best to the best and hope for the best That saying we suspect came into use long before that shrewd Kentucky breeder came to this earth For one has only to check the matings of long ago to realize that breeders bred the best to the best and we daresay were just as fervent in their hopes as the modernday breeders We hear much today about conformation constitution and disposition but in the old days Count Lehndorff insisted that when his agents purchased mares they must be attractive physically sound and either ¬ if young have won races or if older have bred winners Yet those older breeders ignored the rigid applications of these rules just as presentday breeders do time and again Had they not done so it would have led to the rejection of Queen Mary in her early days and would have prevented Echidna from foaling the Baron or The Roarer rocahontas from giving birth to Stockwell The Emperor of Stallions No breeding rule ever written cannot be confused by a mass of contradictions If breeding is a science it will ever be a conjectural science Breeding theories have been endless Check back and you will find that the old timer had as many as we have Which simply proves to our way of thinking that our forefathers gave just as much thought to the improvement of the thoroughbred as we do and it may be more thought At one period it was considered fatal to inbreed to Stockwell Rataplan or King Tom the three famous sons of Pocahontas and there was a strong and strange antipathy to Blacklock blood in fact they called it the accursed Blacklock blood Pror to the turn of the present century they found these reputed heresies to be almost the touchstones to success It was not long before these to other fancies just as the mating of a Derby winner to an Oaks winner gave was once way considered the sesame to breeding success The sesame that is until Shotover had three foals by Bend Or one by Ormonde and one by Melton without striking any suc ¬ cess But regardless of the outcome of these matings they do prove oldtime brfeders DreedeK3 DreedeK3The were striving for more than the products of luck and haphazard methods The number one rule of breeding is Like begets like That expression can be traced back for over a century and it had the same meaning then t as has today The race hoyse was a complex organism and when the Bruce LoVo number system appeared it was eagerly looked upon as a key that wo uld solve many of the problems breeders had been confronted witl But Bruce II r rC C tly trfoubledto s ° lve the riddl as to why own brotlSs shoufd amir owe so greatly not only m their color conformation and racing abilities but a so in heir breeding qualities He hit upon sire influence or telegonv as the answer ana that was just one of the many mistakes which caused the Bruce Lowe number system to be cast aside excepting as a valuable guide of thoroughbred families Mendel too was followed but his laws were so puzzling cspecJuy the phenomenon of reversion that atane very few understood what he was driv5nff at ane Cl and hIS laWS In the modcrn vorYd of the Comparing the race horse of 100 or even fifty years ago with those of today is next to nnpossible A century ago stamina was the alldesired requisite Today breeders place speed and more speed as the beginning and end of all thoroughbred our production A modern day racer could probably run away and hide from a horse of a century ago up to one mile On the other hand a horse of long ago would have Httle trouble with a modern racer at fourmile beats Such arguments rove Httle or nothing for we cannot compare unlike quantities No system such as that of Bruce Lowe has pointed out how to produce a better race horse But in the horse as intho human gnant strides have been made in diet and food values The eradiation of parasites has engaged the attention of veterinarians and specialists and with the progress made along these lines we think the modern breeder knows more tl an the wi wif f StlH maintain t0 S do not compare

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