Vigors Tells of Development of Irelands Breeding Industry: Government Tax Revenue Used to Increase Stakes and Improve Race Course, Daily Racing Form, 1954-06-08


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Vigors Tells of Development 1 Of Irelands Breeding Industry Government Tax Revenue Used to Increase Stakes And Improve Race Courses WARRENTON, Va., June 7. Tim Vigors, Irish correspondent for Daily Racing Form, was the principal speaker at Fridays annual meeting of the Virginia Horsemens Association at the Springs Field Club in Warrenton. Vigors was introduced to the 65 Virginia breeders who attended the session by Tyson Gilpin, secretary of the association. Vigors told of the recent development of the thoroughbred breeding industry in Ireland and how its influence might be felt internationally. He said that Ireland, primarily an agricultural country, had not promoted its horse industry before Hitler took over the control of Germany. Until then, Irelands thoroughbred breeding had accented the hunter and steeplechase branches of the sport. In 1939, he said, the Irish government, cognizant of the fact that the Emerald Isle possessed "the best grass in the world" grass pasturage which was available 10 months of the year because of fairly constant temperature and rainfall decided to promote and encourage its breeding industry. Put Tax on Sport The government placed a tax on all betting and the revenue was and is turned over to a racing board of 12 men selected from all walks of life but whose background included some experience with thoroughbreds. The board was empowered to do what it could to help build up the industry. To that end, stake money has been tripled, racecourses have been improved, transportation is provided to horses to and from the many tracks, the cost of admission to tracks is kept at a minimum to encourage more people to come. They in turn bet more money, thus making more tax money available for reinvestment in future growth of the horse industry. The Irish government "established the Irish National Stud, to make top sires of every class available to breeders at reasonable fees. In addition to stallions, the stud also has obtained a few outstanding mares. Royal Charger, now standing in America, was the first of the top horses purchased by the National Stud. His subsequent sale to the United States provided the necessary funds to later purchase Tulyar.. Vigors said this transaction caused considerable comment. His own opinion on this was, while the sale of Royal Charger was a loss to Irish breeding, the whole transaction was of great benefit to the Irish turf picture, because of the advertising value and the attention that had been focused on Irish breeding. Today, one finds outside breeders coming to Ireland and a continued improvement in the quality of stallions. Irish breeders are competing with American buyers at the Newmarket and Doncaster sales for top . fillies. j Vigors said the world breeding picture used to be one of national loyalty, with the .feeling that national bloodlines should be kept pure. However, with recent trends, the idea should be to make use of the best bloodlines regardless of nationality. Outside blood is needed because it has been proven that countries, cannot retain only their own bloodlines and compete in international trade. Ireland has realized the need for this outside blood and procured much of it from England, France and Italy and, last year, had taken back the American Black Tar-quin and this season has provided him with a full book of top mares. Vigors commented that the need for this outcross blood was necessitated by the fact that Irish bloodstock was saturated with Nearco Pharis blood. To show the growth of the importance of the Irish breeding program and the influence of Irish horses on international racing, he ..pointed out that six of the 10 horses in the English Free Handicap were bred in Ireland. Vigors feels that horses could be brought from, one country to another to race if they competed within 10 days of their arrival. After that, he believes horses suffer a loss of form and require a period of six months for acclimatization. In regard to American racing, he commented that form can be more accurately predicted in America, than in Ireland. American tracks, he said, vary little in comparison to Irish tracks, where 50 odd courses might have 50 different types of conditions.

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