Tuesday, July 21, 2009

American Jockeys Revolutionized British Racing

In the late 1800’s American jockeys traveled to England to race and their riding style created a revolution in British racing.

Using modern technology, veterinarians in the Structure and Motion lab at the University of London's Royal Veterinary College studied the riding style of the American jockeys and they have recently determined why American riders were so successful. In a nutshell, the crouched riding style of the jockeys caused the horse to use less energy when transporting them. Here are a couple of articles about the study:



Burchard Von Oettingen was a world-renowned expert on Thorougbreds and breeding and Director of the Royal Stud of Trakehnen Germany. He was in important figure at the beginning of the 20th Century in the development of the Thoroughbred. In 1893, Oettingen traveled to America to study the different breeding, training and riding methods that were employed at that time and here is what he wrote about those methods.

“The distinct successes of the Americans in training and riding during the course of the last ten years have caused Englishmen to think and reform where necessary. In both training and riding, Americans, who are not bound down by tradition, and who are not spoiled by the English pastures and galloping grounds, obtained great successes through their practical ideas and inconsiderate leaning to what is natural. Moreover, the Americans have reason to be proud of the fact that Old England, with its long history of classical races, has had to learn such a rough lesson from them!” – page 400.

The previous paragraph is just one of the many interesting insights and observations that Oettingen wrote about in his book Horse Breeding in Theory And Practice, published in 1909 by Sampson Low, Marston & Co. His book was the standard in its day and it is still highly regarded to this day.

The great breeder and trainer Federico used many of Oettingen’s insights when he created his stud farm Dormello. The most important insight used by Tesio was to raise his Thoroughbreds in a natural setting with their own paddocks and pastures instead of raising them in stalls.

Oettingen’s book is out of print and copies that are available for sale are usually expensive. But, in my opinion, it would be a good addition to your library.

No comments:

Post a Comment