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The racing industry - Opinions?

This is a discussion on The racing industry - Opinions? within the Horse Breeding forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category

     
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        11-13-2010, 12:26 PM
      #21
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by WildJessie    
    Zenyatta is a perfect example on how that can work.

    The thing is though, horse's like Zenyatta are few and far between. You know how it's been mentioned how 1 in every 20 horses bred will race? Well, of those 1's....probably 1 in every 1000 is a Zenyatta, regardless of what age they're raced from.
    I've known horses here to race as 2 year olds, get 2 or 3 group 1 wins under their belt before they hit 3, only to continue til they're about 4 or 5.
    I'm not advocating the racing of two year old horses. But while I believe they're too young, we also have to remember that this is the sport for which they were created. That while the *majority* of juvenile TB's can't cope with the workload and the stress, you do get the odd few who DO.
    I think if Trainers were less under pressure from their owners, then you'd find that the balance of horses in training would be raced when they were READY, irrespective of what age the horse is.
    TB's are genetically designed to mature a lot earlier than other breeds. I've put two year old TB's next to Warmbloods and Arabs of the same age, and there's just no comparason. In terms of mental and physical strength.

    Of course, that's my own personal observation and belief.
    I still stand by the fact that there NEEDS to be more control. A bit like how the - just for example - Warmblood breeders do it: Mares and Stallions are approved for breeding. As a rule, you can't just send any old mare to *that* particular stallion simply because he's very good and you think you're going to make a quick buck.
    That's not to say that people don't. But there is a lot more quality control.

    Centuries of refinement have gone into creating the most perfect specimin of athleticism. It's just unfortunate that human greed has to play such a huge role in the whole thing. (But isn't that always the way!?)
         
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        11-13-2010, 05:44 PM
      #22
    Weanling
    Havnt read all the posts, but ill put my two cents in.

    Its not cheap to produce a horse to race so those invovled want to get the horse out there and winning asap to try and get some of their money back, so if a horse doesnt show the talent out it goes. They ace them at 2 because its less time and money spent to get them out there.

    With the breeding part, the main aspect of the TB racehorse is speed, not conformation, not temperment, not good feet, not soundness, SPEED.
    Albiet that most of those factors can contribute to speed, but what is wanted by the breeders, owners and trainers is ultimatly the fastest horse out there. So when breeding they breed the fastest sire, or dam multiple times to get another one that is hopefully as fast or faster. Im sure there is a timeline somewhere showing how the average top speed of TB racehorses has increased phenominally (sp).

    It is sad that the industry is ultimatly based around speed, but its the way of racing. You don't win by being slow.
         
        11-13-2010, 05:48 PM
      #23
    Green Broke
    While I agree that there are too many horses that don't make it to the track.....not every "backyard breeder" of TBs/SBs breeds crap horses. Just because they don't have big names in their lineage doesnt mean that there wasnt good stock.

    I don't think 2 year old racing will go away, because some people count on the money of their horses racing for their livelihood. What is the point of having a race horse that doesnt earn you money? It isnt neccesarily greed that they are having the horses run, but out of neccessity to them. If you only have a small string of horses, you need all of them to be racing and doing well, so you arent going to over do it. BUT....if it was narrowed down to select races or a 2 year old only being allowed to qualify after the first half of the year with only so many starts allowed on their card, it would help clean it up.
         
        11-13-2010, 06:24 PM
      #24
    Yearling
    Some people have talked about the throw away mentality in racing. I think the real problem is the gambler mentality. Gamblers focus so much on the times they win they don't realize that they're losing in the long run. They keep throwing money (or in this case horses) away because they have unrealistic expectations of winning again. I think a lot of people in racing have this mentality because as people have said their breeding choices aren't very strategic. They basically roll the dice and see what they get.

    Unfortunately I think legislation is the only answer and that's not ever likely to happen.
         
        11-13-2010, 08:00 PM
      #25
    Yearling
    Just to add my $0.02 again =P

    [QUOTE=VelvetsAB;815224]While I agree that there are too many horses that don't make it to the track.....not every "backyard breeder" of TBs/SBs breeds crap horses. Just because they don't have big names in their lineage doesnt mean that there wasnt good stock.

    I totally agree but there is a HUGE difference between a small time, well managed breeding farm and a backyard breeder and most knowledgeable horse people can easily tell that difference. And I also agree that there does not need to be big name "current" bloodlines in a horse to make a good racehorse. However most small scale breeders breed to sell at the weanling and yearling futurity sales and don't maintain their babies through to their first race so they breed to "fad stallions" so that the general public buys them up for big bucks at the auctions as prospects and if the general buyer doesn't recognize a name in their pedigree they will most likely not bid on them or as high. Hence why some of the late greats were bought for pennies as a yearling and later went on to be amazing even though they didn't have "popular" bloodlines for their time.

    I don't think 2 year old racing will go away, because some people count on the money of their horses racing for their livelihood. What is the point of having a race horse that doesnt earn you money? It isnt neccesarily greed that they are having the horses run, but out of neccessity to them. If you only have a small string of horses, you need all of them to be racing and doing well, so you arent going to over do it. BUT....if it was narrowed down to select races or a 2 year old only being allowed to qualify after the first half of the year with only so many starts allowed on their card, it would help clean it up.[

    ^Totally agree. I do think the push to synthetic tracks is going to help at least a little bit in the wear and tear of babies but waiting until late in the season to offer 2 yr old races and/or making maiden 3 yr old purses more lucrative and offering an incentive to race them lightly at 2 or wait until 3 more of a financial incentive would help as well.

    /QUOTE]
         
        11-14-2010, 01:55 AM
      #26
    Green Broke
    I am not sure legislation is the right way to do it either though ponyboy. The government can do well with some things but they are just as good at screwing things up. I think it is up to the Jockey Club, US Trotting Association, Standardbred Canada etc etc to look at this as a whole collective racing group (TBs, QHs and SBs) or together as breed distinguished associations and set the rules out, world wide. That way, the people with the money arent shipping their horses somewhere else to race their 2 yo season since that particular place allows it.

    The racing world is having some financial difficulties as well. Right now from what I have heard is that money is being funnelled into Quarter Horse racing here in Ontario. Sure that is fine and dandy....but there is nothing being added for the 2 other breeds who have a bigger need for it. QH racing has only a small fraction of the horses that are racing compared to TBs and SBs.

    Anyways....
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NittanyEquestrian    
    I totally agree but there is a HUGE difference between a small time, well managed breeding farm and a backyard breeder and most knowledgeable horse people can easily tell that difference. And I also agree that there does not need to be big name "current" bloodlines in a horse to make a good racehorse. However most small scale breeders breed to sell at the weanling and yearling futurity sales and don't maintain their babies through to their first race so they breed to "fad stallions" so that the general public buys them up for big bucks at the auctions as prospects and if the general buyer doesn't recognize a name in their pedigree they will most likely not bid on them or as high.


    I have to disagree with this.... The line can blur between the two in some particular cases. There are some small barns who have a few select mares that they breed to something that did well at the track (good times, consistantly raced well) and not to the lineage. They keep the babies through racing age and put the training into them required, and hope for the best in the end. They arent a small breeding farm, but are "backyard breeders" of sorts and are trying to do well. They arent breeding to any old stud, but they arent paying out the $10,000 stud fees eithers. So it isnt a breeding farm, but a farm that encompasses several stages of a race horses life....but it is still a backyard breeder. Where is the difference? They are trying to breed for something that is hopefully going to end up at the track and make them some money.
         
        11-14-2010, 08:02 AM
      #27
    Yearling
    The difference to me between a "backyard breeder" and a small breeding operation is that backyard breeders generally have a bunch of unregistered and unaltered horses in a pasture and they just pop out random babies. And/or they have a few mares and find the cheapest stud around and breed them to it because they think they will make money that way or have cute babies. Anyone that puts thought into what they are breeding to what I do not consider a backyard breeder. Yes you can have a backyard breeder breeding registered horses but again it comes down to if they are actually taking the time to put two horses together that complement and could produce a better foal than the two parents even if they are doing it on a smaller budget.
         
        11-14-2010, 09:21 AM
      #28
    Started
    I have a love/hate relationship with horse racing. It's so exciting to watch them storm down the track and Thoroughbreds are one of my favorite breeds... but on the other hand, the industry (for the most part) isn't really about the horses. It's about the money and betting and glamour. The horses' welfare is put on the back burner. Racing them way too young, doping them up with steroids, disposing of them like trash when they aren't needed anymore. I know it's not always like that, but enough people do it to give the whole industry a bad reputation.
         
        11-14-2010, 01:15 PM
      #29
    Yearling
    I'm going to be the person who says something but doesn't know all that much about the industry. It was interesting to read everything that Sarah and Maura posted, I feel much more informed. Thanks!

    I wanted to add that TB's would be greatly improved if people really started looking for the conformation. Not just the "ohh! They have _____ bloodline! Let's him!" I'm pretty sure somebody already posted that. Anywho, I also feel that horses should be started at a later age. And yes, even though Zenyatta is probably a 1 in 1000 if not more, horse, she is an example of something the industry should work towards.

    I also feel that trainers should really start thinking about after the horses racing life. I am lucky to have an OTTB that had great training and is a wonderful horse. I'm not sure why he was taken off the track, I just found out he won 3 races and got second in 3 as well. He only raced 8 times. But that is beside the point, sorry for rambling... but he was obviously trained exceptionally well after he left the track. Now people need to start training them better before they leave the track. It might end up not working out, but I think it would help horses being rehomed a lot. If they were already a good prospect for something, then the buyer could have a good idea of what they can do.
    Just my opinion though.
         
        11-15-2010, 01:22 AM
      #30
    Foal
    I was saying that Zenyatta was a good example of waiting because her trainer wanted her to mature and grow up before he raced her.

    But I do see what you are saying.
         

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