The need for reform
Thank you so much for the Conformation Insights article “Promoting The Classic Thoroughbred” (EQUUS 453). It was a very wellresearched and in-depth look at some of the major issues in the Thoroughbred racing industry. I could not agree more about the logical and fundamental changes that need to take place in the breeding and training of Thoroughbreds.
I have said many of the very same things myself countless times---passionately---from “we are breeding the feet and legs right off these horses” to my main sermon: The fact that these horses should never be worked under saddle, pushed or raced as 2-yearolds! Thoroughbreds are not any more mature physically at that age than any other breed, and less so than most. It’s a ludicrous and wholly detrimental practice! And I agree that both licit and illicit performance-enhancing drug use would almost disappear if this common practice were changed. Most of these horses never get to demonstrate their true potential that comes only with maturity and soundness.
I wish the Jockey Club and every person involved in Thoroughbred racing were required to read your article and change this one fundamental issue above all others. The industry also needs to realize that their attitude of “It’s all about the breeding and pedigree” really just means more inbreeding and issues. They have brought all of today’s major problems upon themselves,
and they’ll have to be forced into fundamental changes from the breeding through the training and racing. I hope they soon understand that the survival of the industry and what’s best for these horses just might go hand-in-hand. Jan Hoagland North Lima, Ohio