Sunday, June 30, 2019

Horse Racing - An Industry At The Tipping Point: PART II

©2019 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.

The death of 30 horses at Santa Anita Park since January and the Stronach Group’s banning of Hall of Fame Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer from racing at Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields, highlights the intense scrutiny that the Horse Racing Industry has received in recent months.
In Part I, we looked at the observations of Burchard von Oettingen on the training of horses. In Part II, we’ll look at his observations on the improvement of the Thoroughbred. His eight proposals at the end are especially interesting.
Burchard von Oettingen was the Director of the German Royal Stud at the turn of the Twentieth Century. His book Horse Breeding In Theory and Practice has had a profound influence, as well as my study of Franco Varola and Federico Tesio, on how I view Thoroughbreds. I’ve written numerous blogs about them and chronicled their story in Horse Profiling: The Secret to Motivating Equine Athletes – a book I co-authored with Kerry Thomas, founder of the Thomas Herding Technique.
Here’s a look at what Oettingen wrote in Horse Breeding In Theory and Practice (pages 194-205).

Conclusions and Propositions as to the Improvement and Breeding of Thoroughbreds

The great and important duties which the Thoroughbred accomplishes in the breeding of other light horses, justified, and even also obliged, those people who stood outside the domain of Thoroughbred breeding, to criticize the basis of all its performances, and breedings, on which it is built up, and on which it continues. Our present day Thoroughbred is the outcome of race propositions, and of the manner of breeding and training, which those propositions entail. These propositions are made on human understanding, and are influenced by human misunderstanding, and what is much worse, by many side interests. Only by clever and purpose-answering race propositions, as well as by reasonable breeding and rational training, shall we be able to still more improve our Thoroughbreds. After the observations made in the previous chapters, there seems to be no doubt that our present day Thoroughbred needs improving, and its room for improvement is just as certain as agreeable.

The chief attacks which have been made up to now against the Thoroughbred may be summed up as follows :—

1. Faulty conformation.
2. Want of endurance for long distances.
3. Want of cleverness.
4. A too weedy and light fundament.
5. A want of capacity to carry heavy weights.
6. Nervousness, difficult temperament, and the bad use of food.

1.—Faulty conformation. This oldest reproach against the Thoroughbred, rests partly on the fact that we over-estimate our knowledge of this matter, and partly on our inexperience in the judging of horses in training. I call to mind the opinion of the Landstallmeister von Burgsdorf, expressed in 1817 in a special brochure. He went on to say that most English Thoroughbreds had spavin, and that the English Thoroughbred must shortly disappear. We must not forget that from chipping come chips, and that of course every kind of breeding must produce a certain percentage of faulty individuals. Training and racing, moreover, show up many little faults in form which would not have been noticed when merely looking at a horse as, for example, at shows. Nevertheless, it is interesting and instructive to see that the Thoroughbred, even with such great faults, is still capable of performing very astonishing things, whilst a non-Thoroughbred with the same faults in most cases could not do anything. If with faulty conformation it is still capable of doing well, the substance used must be very good indeed.
The so-called Biedenweg's instructions for judging horses competing for State prizes, which are still in vogue in the Prussian State, but probably very rarely followed, can, in my opinion, be dispensed with. One cannot lay down laws to judge the conformation of a horse to suit all cases. The views as to what form a horse should have differ, and are, as history teaches, also changeable. There have been times in which long-legged horses were preferred to short-legged ones, and in which long shin bones were considered an advantage. I also believe that many so-called faults in a horse of 100 years ago were more dangerous than they are to the present day horse, and vice versa. In short, our doctrine as to the conformation of a horse will always have its limits, and will often change in the future, according to the experiences which we gather from the racecourse and from the other uses to which the horses are put. Races and other tests of performances will in themselves destroy what is useless. If, however, Biedenweg's instructions exclude a priori certain conformation, w'e rob those horses which are supposed to be better of the opportunity of showing that they can perform better things.
The better form has not been proclaimed as such by the vacillating opinions
of judges, but acquired for itself the right to be judged as such by beating competitors. The history of Thoroughbred breeding teaches that even without such police rules as Biedenweg's instructions are, faults are finally eradicated automatically. The best example of an effective elimination of faults by racing is perhaps the walk of the Thoroughbred. I know of no breed which produces so many horses which w-alk so correctly as the English Thoroughbred. Where is the half-bred stallion in Germany which without freshness walks as correctly, gracefully and beautifully as Ard Patrick, who, besides, won the Epsom Derby, and beat the four-year-old Rock Sand, and Sceptre? The eradication of horses with irregular walk is not done in England, as in the breeding of Half-breds, or as they do when buying horses for military mounts, by picking out the regular walkers for the stud or military service, but by training and the struggle on the racecourse. Military commissioners can be as strict as they like in refusing to buy irregular walkers, but they will never be able to judge as keenly and as correctly as the winning post. Anybody can prove this statement if he will only examine the same horses two years later at the troop after manoeuvres. He will find there are more irregular walkers than in the racing stables. The regular walk of horses that have not worked, but are well led in, disappears very often with working as butter melts in the sun.
Race propositions must therefore offer sufficient opportunity to eradicate these different faults, and not protect, for example, the roarers, not leave too much to chance, and not damage the temperament of young horses by too many short races. Those handicaps, so much loved by the bookmakers, for horses of all ages, with the light weights, for distances under 1 mile, have also no value for breeding, and should be much more restricted than is at present, unfortunately, the case in England. The making of racecourses, for example, over uneven ground (as more detailed in No. 3), may also have a favourable effect on the form of Thoroughbreds by eradicating every unharmonious conformation of racehorses.

2.—Want of endurance for long distances. This reproach is the most common, and not to use a stronger expression, a very ill-considered one. We have proved that no other race of horses has attained the endurance of the Thoroughbred in many long distance races. Generally the above reproach is applied to the former long races over 4 miles with heats, as they took place in the time of Eclipse. We must, however, emphasise that the removal of these long races with heats was the first step towards progress. The errors made must be found somewhere else, and as we shall soon see, one did not go far enough in the shortening of distances.
Not only representatives of Half-bred breeders, but also breeders and admirers of Trotters and Thoroughbreds, have always rightly aimed at the production of a horse with the greatest possible endurance as the goal of their breeding efforts. As history- shows us, however, they were wrong in demanding performances over too great distances in order to reach this goal. They forgot that races should not only prove which is the best, but that the object of this test, and of the training for this test, should be to improve the stock. A flat race, for example, over 20 kilometres or more (in Moscow there exists one for 20 versts) does not improve the stock but ruins it. The breeders of Trotters in America tried in the middle of the last century to get 100 miles covered in 10 hours. After that they wanted 20 miles doing in 1 hour. They also attained this result. They, however, observed at the same time that the health of the horses suffered, that is to say, that horses did not improve, but rather their value as breeding stock depreciated. The practical Americans soon found that the right distance for testing breeding stock is the one on which one can train horses, i.e., prepare them without damaging their health, and they found—and I think they are right—that this right distance is 1 English mile. Russian Trotters kept to their long distances. The result is, firstly, the American Trotter has improved its record in 1818 of 3 minutes per mile to 2 minutes to-day; secondly, the American Trotter to-day shows more endurance for every distance than the Russian. The improved record of Russian Trotters since 1860 (there are no reliable statements for former years) is mainly due to the establishment of good racecourses (hippodromes instead of roads), and to the introduction of sulkies instead of the four-wheeled droskies, which weighed two and more puds heavier. In 1860 the six-year-old Wehsar from Chrenowoi, ran in a four-wheeled drosky 2 versts in 3 minutes, 27 seconds, and in 1896 the best record was in a sulky, 2 versts in 3 minutes, 13½ seconds. Since 1893, the year in which sulkies were generally introduced, the record performances of Russian Trotters have made very little progress indeed; for example, in 1896 the best record for 1½ versts was 2 minutes, 15½ seconds, and in 1907 the best record for the same distance 2 minutes 14 seconds. Trotting races for distances over more than 1 mile are justified and useful as a test for an individual horse in use, just the same as all kinds of long distance rides for Thoroughbreds and Half-breds. As a matter of principle, one ought to distinguish tests for breeding stock from tests for stock in use. The former have for object the improving of the production of capable breeding stock, whilst the latter serve to show what the maximum performance is, and how it may possibly be best attained, if need be. Without considering whether the stock is hereby damaged or not.
The question, what distance, looked at from the above point of view, is the right one for flat races, still requires solving. At the time of Eclipse the chief races were run over distances of 4 miles. The classical Derby is now run in all countries over about 2,400 metres. The Grand Prix de Paris over 3,000 metres. The Doncaster St. Leger 2,937 metres. The longest races are in France, in the Prix Gladiateur, 6,200 metres. In England there are now no races over 3 miles. In Ireland there is still one over 4 miles, and two over 3 miles, and in Germany, Second Class Autumn Meeting in Hoppegarten, 4,800 metres. In the course of time the art of training has, of course, made much progress, and trainers have learned that gallops for more than 2,000 to 2,400 metres, also in preparation for the Derby and longer distances, are bad. The gallops which were still in force twenty years ago, and which were often run like a race over the Derby distance, have almost totally ceased. Most trainers incline to the opinion that such long gallops do not improve the condition of the horse, but rather the reverse. If that is so, it is a mistake to have flat races for longer distances than about 2,400 metres. It is a mistake to have races over distances which do not improve the rightly trained stock, but rather do it harm. To fix the right limit with certainty is very difficult, but the Derby seems to be the utmost limit for a useful race distance. My own opinion is that for three-year-olds 2,000 metres, and for two-year-olds 1,200 metres is the correct and most useful test distance, and I should consider it a sign of progress if all so-called classical races, i.e., such as serve for breeding stock, were raced over these distances, as is the case with the American Trotters. Training would not only be facilitated thereby, but the horses would also prosper more. To train horses for different distances at the same time, and especially for very short distances of 800 to 1,400 metres, as is now demanded, is of no use whatever for breeding stock. Races held for long and short distances, in order to use stock which is not used for breeding, may be useful and instructive, as long as the number of these races is kept in moderate bounds and suitable to the requirements. For the same reasons there should not be too many selling races and handicaps.
It is wrong to believe that races of 2,000 metres for three-year-olds and 1,200 metres for two-year-olds would give little chance to so-called stayers, and would thus endanger the aim and end, namely, the breeding of horses for endurance. What is called generally a horse with plenty of endurance, and therefore one specially suitable for long distances, is not the same as what is called a stayer on the racecourse, as opposed to a flyer. I really believe that flyers are often more suited for long distance rides and other feats of endurance, as well as for steeplechases, than stayers.
The quickest pace in which a horse can gallop a certain given distance without endangering the speed necessary for the finish, I would like to call its special pace. This special pace diminishes in the case of every horse with the growing distance. In the case of horses which we call stayers, this diminishing of special pace is less than in the case of those which we call fivers. At the same time the former have to put in a less speed than the latter. The scale at which this decrease takes place, and the amount of reserved speed, show in which degree the horse is a stayer or a flyer. Here 1 would like to further remark that the stayer can increase its speed only very little or not at all after a pace which is under its special pace.
The special pace t of the stayer is greater than the special pace t1 of the flyer. The stayer, therefore, gains on the way per metre a distance equal to M. On the whole distance d the advantage of the stayer amounts to d M. If s equals the speed of the stayer, and s1 equals the speed of the flyer, the question is whether

d. M. > s1—s or d. M. < s1— s

i.e., whether the flyer on a given distance can, through its superior speed, gain the advantage which the stayer has obtained on the way (about to the distance) on account of its greater special pace. If this be not the case, the flyer will have to increase somewhat its special pace, but only in so far as s1—s becomes larger than d. M.
The pace in steeplechases is limited by obstacles and the ground. The stayer therefore in steeplechases is prevented from fully developing its chief force. The flyer, on the other hand, can make use of the pace necessitated by the ground, which perhaps just corresponds to its special pace, and put on a better speed at the finish. The less the obstacles, the more even the ground, the more advantage there is for the stayer.
In races of such great distances as in the above-mentioned 20 verst race at Moscow, the racing galloping ceases more or less, and the special pace of the stayer as well as of the flyer {ceteris paribus, viz., in horses of approximately equal class) becomes pretty equal. For this reason, in case of such unraceable distances, the flyer will very often have the advantage.
The above comparisons apply in general only to horses of approximately equal class. A horse of the first class, for example, which is at the same time a stayer, may have a greater speed than a horse of the third class which is a typical fiver. In a race between the two, therefore, the latter will not have need to put on his better special pace. In the case of such champions of the course as Gladiateur, Kincsem, Ormonde, Plaisanterie, Isinglass, etc., it will be very difficult, for want of a reliable standard, to decide whether they are stayers or flyers. The best proof as to whether two horses belong to different classes will be found in the fact that one of them can beat the other with the tactics of the stayer as well as those of the flyer. As a rule, I would say that racehorses between whom there is more than a stone belong to two different classes.

3.—Want of cleverness. This reproach has a certain justification, as it very likely is possible to still further increase the cleverness of the Thoroughbred by a different method of rearing and other tests. In consequence of their peculiar rearing up, for example, the Steppe horses, or the horses brought up in the Mauerpark of Sababourg (Beberbeck), are certainly superior to the Thoroughbreds in cleverness. It is reasonable to expect and also probable, that the race tests for many generations only on flat, level tracks, may cause neglect of several useful and important qualities of the horse in use (riding horses, school horses, hunters and military horses). To these qualities belong chiefly cleverness, which is best cultivated and tested in steeplechases. But also the shape of the flat racing track may have a favourable influence in cultivating and rewarding cleverness. Quite level and flat tracks, as, for example, those of Newmarket, are not suitable. Of the classical courses which I know, the Derby Epsom course is the most suitable for testing and rewarding the ability to go up and down hills and to pass such sharp bends as are found on very few steeplechase courses. The Epsom Derby course is known as a hard and very reliable test. Its chief value consists in the following :

1. The very strong incline, about half a mile from the start, demands so much from the horse, that roarers, unfit horses, and those of inferior quality and without sufficient stamina, drop out very early or have finished with the last incline before the winning post.
2. The uneven and often varying ground, with its several sharp bends, requires great efforts in the cleverness of the horses.
3. A one-sided capacity does not avail. Such a one-sided capacity might exist, for example, in the special cleverness to climb up a hill well; it is possible over-built horses with strong hind quarters might excel here. Or, again, such a one-sidedness might enable them to go better down hill, which shows a better developed fore part than hind part. Finally, this—at Epsom unavailing—one-sidedness might be a too long galloping-stride (Galoppsprung). It is possible that this too long galloping-stride results from a conformation that has not the necessary symmetry, which enables the horse to adapt in time the pace to an uneven ground and to sharp corners. This lack of symmetry would be less troubling on a level and straight course like Newmarket ; perhaps it should even be of some use.

In the breeding of Half-breds, Steeplechasers have often been used with good results. In Beberbeck, The Colonel, twice winner at Liverpool, has produced well, and from him are derived the good and strong limbs which, through Optimus and Obelisk (the dams of which were daughters of Colonel) one often finds in Trackehnen. The number of Steeplechasers which have been successful in English Thoroughbred breeding is indeed very small. The best known example is Touchstone's grand-dam, Boadicea (Banter's dam), who, between its seventh and twelfth year proved itself an excellent hunter, and as a 19-year-old produced Touchstone's dam. A great mistake in all propositions for steeplechases both here and abroad is that geldings have to carry 3 to 5 lbs. less weight, instead of having to carry 5 lbs. more. Such classical steeplechase races as the great Liverpool National should only be for colts and fillies, weight for age. Then also steeplechases would supply more useful sires. Everybody who has seen the Grand National steeplechase at Liverpool, run over a distance of 7,200 metres, with its 3-2 jumps, of which each is a great performance, and who could admire the 11-year-old Manifesto coming in as a victor for the second time among 28, and 19 starters, carrying 12 stone, 7 lbs., will at once admit that such a performance is just as imposing as a Derby victory, and the only thing to be regretted is that Manifesto, like many other steeplechasers, was a gelding. The mare Empress by Royal Blood, who ended her career as a steeplechaser as a winner of the Grand National Steeplechase in 1880, produced still 9 good foals, among them in 1889 Red Prince by Kendal, winner of the Lancashire Handicap Steeplechase, one of the best known sires in Irish Hunter breeding, and an ideal mating stallion for Half-bred mares.
The value of steeplechases as a breeding test depends on the kind of track. Steeplechase tracks like Auteuil are less suitable for testing breeding stock, because the kind of obstacles and the ground there admit of nearly the same pace as in flat races, besides, the distance, according" to the observations just made, is too long to be a useful test for flat racing. Steeplechase courses like Auteuil ruin the material more than difficult tracks like Liverpool, for example. Perhaps this accounts for the fact that the same horse (Peter Simple, Abd-el-Kader, The Colonel, The Lamb, Manifesto) has won and obtained places more than since in the Liverpool Grand National, whilst only one horse (Wild Monarch, won 1878 and 1879) has done the same feat in the Auteuil great steeplechase. An obstacle course which has to be used also for the test of breeding material, ought to consist of difficult obstacles, and varying, if at all possible, uneven fields with sharp corners. The distance ought to be in proportion to the topography and soil, about 6,000 metres, with a run in of at most 500 metres. Obstacles as well as the ground should prevent an uninterrupted flat race pace, and admit at most only of a good hunting gallop up to the distance (the finish), which, of course, must admit of a real struggle in the best pace, just as in a flat race. Such tracks would, of course, demand a much more careful preparation for riding and jumping than is the case at Auteuil. Whoever buys the winner of the great Auteuil steeplechase hoping to get a good hunter will very likely be deceived. Horses who have chanced to win on such tracks as I have just described, must be so far prepared that they are always well in hand and always willing to suit their pace to the ground. They must be very carefully jumped, so that they may be able to get over large and various' obstacles safely at the required pace and without giving too much away. Finally, after having surmounted the last obstacle, they must still have enough speed left for the final struggle. A test over such a course is, naturally, different to a test on the flat. The latter will certainly measure more correctly the galloping capacity, whilst the former makes more demand on the cleverness, docility, temperament, successful training, and, finally, on the speed of the horse. All these qualities have great influence in the practical breeding of horses, especially of military horses. I consider it an advantage that on such courses so-called flyers have a greater chance of winning than stayers, especially as the flyers are more symmetrically built, and have more energy than the stayers. It is very noteworthy and interesting that the development of a great speed over short distances requires a horse to be symmetrically built. One will find more often amongst stayers high-legged and narrow horses with upright shoulders and straight pastern than amongst flyers. Moreover, we do not here speak about flyers which are only very quick over 500 metres, but about such which, carrying 80 kilos,after a gallop of 6,000 and more metres, and over about 30 different jumps, still retain enough energy, force and breath to be able to put on enough speed to succeed in the final struggle. These are not only performances worthy of recommendation, but they are also guarantee for characters, which are especially valuable for all noble Half-breds.
Unfortunately, such steeplechases, so important as tests of breeding stock, are becoming more and more scarce, especially where bookmakers exercise much influence on racing propositions, like they do in England, even for flat racing propositions (many handicaps and short selling races). It is very clear that the special trainers are afraid of the work and preparation necessary for horses for such steeplechases, especially as very few of them are sufficiently conversant with it. This work belongs particularly to gentlemen riders, and here Germany is probably on top. This work will also cultivate the love and knowledge which are essential to the future breeder of Thoroughbreds and Half-breds, and, finally, this work will produce and animate the love of sport and the daring which soon disappears in long periods of peace, and without which every people would soon decay. The further spread and reserve of steeplechases, especially for gentlemen riders or officers, might also prevent a modern return of the times of ancient Greece and Rome, in which slaves did the fighting and dancing, whilst the Grand Seigneurs looked on and applauded.

4.—Faulty and too light fundament. This reproach, unfortunately justified, is the weak point in the whole Thoroughbred breeding. Every Half-bred breeder knows how difficult it is to improve by the infusion of Thoroughbreds the important fore-legs, and any rider who knows the Thoroughbred outside the racecourse will confirm that the galloping capacity of the same is a greater one than the fundament will stand. Whoever has ridden Steppe horses will know what good fore-legs can stand. In this respect, next to the Steppe horse come the Irish Half-breds. We have seen in Germany several such Irish Half-breds on our steeplechase courses. Certainly they broke down now and again, but they were put right and won races again, and they did performances on three legs which a classical Thoroughbred can very seldom perform. As typical examples of these kinds of performances, let me mention the following Thoroughbreds and Half-breds :—Red Nob (Half-bred) 1866 by Neville, Et Cetera 1884 by Town Moor, Teviot 1886 by Harden or Lucebit, Gardenia 1888 by Reyeller, Handy Andy (Half-bred), Sixpence 1889 by Man-of-War, Balrath (Half-bred) 1898 by Alban, Sportsman (Half-bred) 1894 by the Dethroned, Scotch Moor 1895 by Town Moor.
It is fairly clear from the observations made in the chapter on weight differences, as well as from the list of horses whose fundament admitted of their successful use on the racecourse up to their eighth year, and even beyond that, that the two-year-old races, and especially those which are run early in the year, may be considered the chief cause of a general retrogression in the capabilities (Leistungsfahigkeit) of the Thoroughbred, as well as of the special deterioration of the fundament. A sequence of the early two-year-old races, as well as of the many early entry closings, is the breaking in of the yearlings, which often takes place in July, and the dangerous trials of same in autumn. The yearlings lose through these causes the benefits of grazing, which really cannot be over-estimated. How much the long-extended grazing influences the production of good fore-legs can best be seen with the Steppe horses and Half-breds in Ireland. It is clear that the movement connected with life on the Steppes, on hard meadows (in summer day and night), produces better, i.e., stronger, dryer and firmer fore-legs than the 2 hours' training and the 22 hours' rest in the stable of the yearlings. Besides, the American training method, to keep them in motion twice daily, and to give them plenty of walking exercise, seems in this respect to be very effective, especially as it avoids the effeminate treatment which is resorted to in Europe without any advantage whatever. In America in 1893 I thought that the American Thoroughbreds possessed better fore-legs and a more regular walk than our horses, perhaps since then, however, even there the steady increase of races for two-year-olds in the early part of the year (even beginning in January), may also have had a bad influence in this respect. The law which has been in force in France since 1867 that two-year-olds must not be run before the 1st of August is very reasonable. Unfortunately, this law has been extended since 1907, so that in July also, races may be run for two-year-olds (at most two on each race day), for a prize up to 5,000 francs, for a distance not over 1,000 metres. In Germany, since 1905, the 2nd of June has been fixed as the earliest date for two-year-old races. The above particulars on changes in weight differences seem to prove that the few two-year-old races not run too early in the year have had a favourable effect on Thoroughbred breeding. Yet I believe that the complete elimination of two-year-old races would be the best means to improve Thoroughbred breeding, and especially to improve the fundament. As long, however, as the bookmakers and their following are so powerful as they have been hitherto, a change will, scarcely be possible in England in this respect. One may expect the unfeeling energy necessary to carry out such a trenchant rule, together with prudence and careful work, only in France and Germany. In Germany, first of all, one might attain an improvement by forbidding two-year-old races before the 1st of September, and also to offer the best prizes for four-year-olds and older horses, for distances of 2,000 or 2,400 metres.
If one, however, objects to this, the fact that most classical winners of about the last fifty years are derived from dams who ran and won as two-year-olds, the question seems to be justified, as to whether these dams have produced so well, in spite of, or in consequence of, the two-year-old tests. Those fillies as well as colts which can stand the two-year-old race tests are, especially if they come out as winners, without doubt by nature the best and hardest horses, and can therefore produce well in spite of two-year-old races. That the two-year-old races are a good thermometer as to hardness, health, and quality of young horses can be taken for granted, just as surely as we can accept their directly injurious influence. Besides, these young horses, through their early training, lose benefits which nothing can replace, such as the one year's grazing, which is especially useful for the whole constitution, and more particularly the fundament. Moreover, against the fact that most classical winners are derived from dams which have also run as two-year-olds, we have the other fact, which I have discussed above, that horses with prominent performances at great ages, as well as the champions of steeplechases, are derived in the majority from stallions and dams which did not run as two-year-olds. If two-year-old races are altogether abolished, I would recommend, and especially for countries in which grazing is interrupted by a long winter, to break in the yearlings late in the autumn, to work them well through the winter, and to send them again as two-year-olds in the summer to grass.

5.—Want of capacity for carrying heavy weights. I do not consider this reproach justified. The statement so often heard that horses carried heavier weights formerly is only correct in so far as the so-called King's Plates are concerned, in which five and six-year-olds and older horses were tested under great weights up to 12 stone, mostly for 4 miles with heats. Besides, in the 11 King's Plates, the never beaten Eclipse carried, for example, as a five and six-year-old, in its remaining 8 races, only 8 or 9 stone. In the second half of the nineteenth century 8 stone, 7 lbs. was the usual weight for four-year-olds. The weights of the Derby, of the St. Leger, and the Oaks, have been increased by 1 stone since their inauguration. In the first races for two-year-olds (1780) the weight for colts was 7 stone, 9 lbs., and in the first classical races for two-year-olds (1786), 8 stone, 2 lbs., against 9 stone of to-day. In Germany the Derby weight is the highest, namely, 58 kilos. Then follows England with 57.15 kilos. France and Austria with 56, America and Russia with 54.9. A greater weight than 58 kilos for three-year-olds in classical tests does not seem to be desirable, especially as the danger to the legs would thereby be increased without obtaining any advantages. A great mistake, however, are the feather weights, which are still usual in England in many handicaps and selling races. English earnest hippologists have often tried to do away with this, but the power of the bookmaker has always prevented it.

6.—Nervousness, difficult temperament, and bad use of food. I only mention this altogether unjustified reproach on account of completeness. If a chronometer must go as well as it ought to, you must handle it in a proper manner, and the same thing applies to the Thoroughbred. The worse and more unreasonable the rider, the less is he suited to handle a capable Thoroughbred. The Thoroughbred demands only a reasonable, not a tender treatment, and no good Thoroughbred can bear, for example, to stand a whole day or longer in the stable. In right hands, the Thoroughbred is neither nervous nor difficult, and uses his food better than any other race of horses, especially when it works hard. The above reproach is a characteristic judgment of people who do not know the Thoroughbred thoroughly, and who cannot distinguish the racehorse in training from the Thoroughbred in use.

On account of the above observations, I make the following proposals :—

1. Forbid two-year-old races before the 1st of September, also under 1,000 metres.
2. Regulate distances for three-year-olds and older in breeding races to 1,600—2,400 metres.
3. Establish well-endowed races for four-year-olds and older for 2,000-2,400 metres.
4. Lay out flat races over uneven ground with sharper turnings than is usual in Germany up to now, after the model of Epsom.
5. Arrange steeplechases as breeding races for four-year-olds and older colts and fillies on courses with great obstacles, varying and uneven ground and sharp turnings, for 4,000—6,000 metres, with age weights for gentlemen riders.
6. Abolish all races under 1,000 metres, all handicaps for two and three-year-olds, all hurdle races, and the so-called Biedenweg rules.
7.—Abolish the early entry closings, as they lead to too early trials, put heavy taxes on breeders, and are the cause that good horses often cannot run in important races.
8. Increase breeders' rewards, so that more breeders may participate in the earnings of races, and increase the interest in the breeding of hardy yearlings.

If, however, the representatives of Thoroughbred breeding will decline to reorganise the race trials in the above-described or a similar manner, and will persist in going on as they have done up to now, and if, further, as is unfortunately the case in England, the influence of bookmakers and other business people should increase in the framing of racing propositions, the proud words, "pro republica est dum ludere videmur," will soon be no longer true as regards race tests. Half-bred breeders will then be forced to apply to their own breeding the care and expense which has been the cause of the origin of the Thoroughbred, and they will be forced to demand from their own breeding stock those tests of performances which have made the Thoroughbred so capable. In other words, Half-bred breeders will themselves have to produce a sort of Thoroughbred. Of course, that is a long way off, and several generations will have to work before that standard can be reached to which the Thoroughbred of to-day has attained.

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