The need for re­form

EQUUS - - Eq Letters -

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

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