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Conformation- Positives and negatives.

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    01-01-2012, 06:26 AM
  #21
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by Faceman    
Perhaps in the UK and Australia, but there is far more to the picture here. Poor TB breeding practices have resulted in many TB's with poor hooves. Look to Big Brown as a prime example...3 generations of poor hooves, so let's breed him because he is fast...

I don't know Big Brown, but without knowing his diet and whether it was high in sugars (most probably, as probably his forefathers had too), there is no way of knowing if it is genetic or management. Poor management such as shoeing early and high sugar diets will lead directly to poor hooves, too many people just accept it is genetics without actually testing it which only can be done by removing shoes and providing an ideal environment and seeing if strong hooves grow. I certainly know of tb hooves which have been written off as genetic and then it has been demonstrated not to be with a new regime of management. See examples on this site Rockley Farm
     
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    01-01-2012, 09:31 AM
  #22
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clava    
I don't know Big Brown, but without knowing his diet and whether it was high in sugars (most probably, as probably his forefathers had too), there is no way of knowing if it is genetic or management. Poor management such as shoeing early and high sugar diets will lead directly to poor hooves, too many people just accept it is genetics without actually testing it which only can be done by removing shoes and providing an ideal environment and seeing if strong hooves grow. I certainly know of tb hooves which have been written off as genetic and then it has been demonstrated not to be with a new regime of management. See examples on this site Rockley Farm
As I said, he has 3 generations of bad feet behind him and he himself has bad feet. With or without the introduction of environmental factors, horses that are genetically unsound should not be bred

To be redundant, I can't speak for breeders in other countries, but in the US many TB breeders breed only for speed with no regard to soundness. It is certainly no secret that this method of breeding has resulted in feet, bone, and joints insufficient for the weight of the horse.

That does not mean that all breeders follow that philosophy, nor does it mean that all racing bred TB's are unsound. It does, however, mean that the incidence of poor legs and feet in racing bred TB's here is higher than in a population of horses bred for soundness...which is exactly what one would expect from breeders that disregard soundness issues and breed strictly for speed, nurse the horse through a couple of years racing, praying it won't fall apart, and retire it to stud...
     
    01-01-2012, 09:39 AM
  #23
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by Faceman    
As I said, he has 3 generations of bad feet behind him and he himself has bad feet. With or without the introduction of environmental factors, horses that are genetically unsound should not be bred

...
Where is the proof that this is genetics? Just because three generations before him where possibly poorly managed (as most racehorses are in terms of hoof health with reagrds to shoeing and diet) it does not mean that it is genetic. My great grandmother, grandmother and mother could all have been fat, but it does not mean that they had a genetic problem, it could mean they just ate too much. Hooves and hoof health is often not considered when a quick solution is to whack a set of shoes on.
     
    01-01-2012, 10:36 AM
  #24
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Faceman    
in the US many TB breeders breed only for speed with no regard to soundness. .
A horse that is proven fast while consistently sound has effectively proven itself sound for the purpose.

A sound horse that runs slow is untested for soundness at faster speeds. Breeding slow horses that remain galloping sound is of no challenge, and effectively pointless for the purpose.

The Thoroughbred is further refined (And significantly lighter), but generally only in comparison to western types that don't have the muscle type or body type to run distances of significance in relation to TB racing. Quarter Horse or western types generally also possess a muscle type that suffers further micro-tears and therefore muscle tightness/soreness, which in turn can place additional pressure on the joints/tendons etc, if they are worked over longer distances at the sustained racing speed on a regular basis.

All considered the Thoroughbred is sound for its purpose, and actually sounder than the bulkier type of western horse for the purpose of galloping over TB racing distances.
     
    01-01-2012, 01:55 PM
  #25
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Horsegears    
A horse that is proven fast while consistently sound has effectively proven itself sound for the purpose.

A sound horse that runs slow is untested for soundness at faster speeds. Breeding slow horses that remain galloping sound is of no challenge, and effectively pointless for the purpose.

The Thoroughbred is further refined (And significantly lighter), but generally only in comparison to western types that don't have the muscle type or body type to run distances of significance in relation to TB racing. Quarter Horse or western types generally also possess a muscle type that suffers further micro-tears and therefore muscle tightness/soreness, which in turn can place additional pressure on the joints/tendons etc, if they are worked over longer distances at the sustained racing speed on a regular basis.

All considered the Thoroughbred is sound for its purpose, and actually sounder than the bulkier type of western horse for the purpose of galloping over TB racing distances.
That is perhaps one of the most naive and uninformed observations I have encountered.

To repeat, perhaps that is the case with Australian bred Thoroughbreds, I am not one that pretends to judge horses I know nothing about, but it is certainly not the case with many of those bred here.

For Heaven sakes, even the Jockey Club has addressed the issue of the durability of Thoroughbreds and the injury issues in the last few years. One of the issues and recommendations of the Jockey Club's 2006 "Welfare And Safety Of The Racehorse" summit is as follows...

Quote:
RECOMMENDATION No. 4: BREEDING
Primary Objective: Encourage Breeding of Horses with Longer Racing Careers
Related Objectives:


Develop durability statistics and reports for stallions and maternal grandsires

Develop a durability index for stallions and maternal grandsires

Develop durability statistical sections in racing industry trade publications

Develop strategies to reward for durability

Tasks for Consideration:

Recommend that winning progeny be reported as a percentage (rather than
number) in publications

o Develop a durability ranking page for stallions and maternal
grandsires breeding X number of mares starting with their 3-year-old
crop

o % of starters per foal crop

o avg. Earnings per start

o avg. Number of starts per starter

o avg. Distance per victory

Encourage racing industry publications to include durability section with
their stallion rankings

Recognize breeders, e.g., farms that produce highest percentage of winners
per foal crop

Potential Participants:

Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation

The Jockey Club Information Systems (TJCIS)

TOBA

Possible Resources:

TOBA

The Jockey Club family of companies

The Blood-Horse

Thoroughbred Times

Daily Racing Form

Tentative Timeline:

January 2007


Perhaps in Australia the racing industry still hides its faults - again, I don't know. But over here the decline of the industry due to its poor breeding practices has finally forced the Jockey Club to publicly recognize them and attempt some resolutions. Safer training methods, safer racing, and a review of pharmacology practices have been addressed also and in some cases changes have been made, but breeding has also been addressed as durability and hardiness of Thoroughbreds have continued to deteriorate with each passing generation.

This is no secret - either to me, to the public, or the Jockey Club. I can only assume, as you are associated with the industry, that you are aware of all these issues - to not be aware of them would be a sign of incompetence, and I am am also assuming that you are competent. While 15 years ago the TB industry over here persisted in denying these issues, we have at least progressed to the point where the industry now admits its problems and is taking steps to address them, albeit under public pressure to do so.

Breeding stallions and mares that have genetic issues that lessen durability is most certainly an issue in the TB industry - obvioius by simple observation, and by admission of the industry itself. If you choose to hide those issues, than so be it...far be it from me to dictate to you. However, it does convey the appearance that you are out of step with your industry - at least as the industry exists over here...
     
    01-01-2012, 02:47 PM
  #26
Super Moderator
I am not saying they don't have genetic issues or problems, of course they do, what I said was where is your proof that their poor hooves is one of them? When there are so many factors that you cannot rule out or have not been ruled out (as few are run barefoot and given ideal conditions to grow a strong hoof in order to test the issue).
     
    01-01-2012, 05:19 PM
  #27
Banned
Of course there are environmental factors. Some of those factors are exactly what the Jockey Club is addressing to attempt to make TB racing safer for the horses. However, when a horse has bad feet, the immediate 2 or 3 generations of its ancestors have bad feet, and its progeny have bad feet, to dismiss genetics is to not see the forest for the trees...or, as in the case of the industry itself until very recently, to try and hide the sordid truth, which is breeding horses without the underlying conformation to support both their weight and the job that they do - then, through pharmaceuticals, diet, comditioning, and intense farrier care, try to nurse them through a brief 2 or 3 year racing life.

More directed at Horsegears, a horse that is carfully nursed through a 2 or 3 year career hardly qualifies as "consistently sound". Consistently sound would be defined, or at least should be defined, in terms of lifetime soundness.

Once again, all racing TB breeders are not irresponsible in the sense of placing money above responsible breeding, just as not all racing TB trainers place their horses at unreasonable risk - and I am not intimating otherwise. However there are many breeders and trainers that fall into that category, just as there are breeders that irresponsibly breed behemoth grotesque halter horses that can barely waddle into an arena

I am not an anti racing wacko...I have been a TB racing fan for over 50 years. However, I have been around long enough to see the industry deteriorate over the years and breeding practices become more and more irresponsible. I used Big Brown as an example because he and his geneticly poor feet have been highly publicized and most people, at least in the US, are familiar with him. Big Brown to me is the stereotype of poor breeding practices...it was known before he was even born his feet would be bad, and of course they are. Not only should he have not been bred himself in the first place, mare owners are waiting in line to breed him...
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    01-01-2012, 05:32 PM
  #28
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Faceman    

. Consistently sound would be defined, or at least should be defined, in terms of lifetime soundness.
That's absurd in Thoroughbred racing. No way should a horse be expected to remain 'racing sound' for its entire lifetime. Again that is not the purpose of Thoroughbred racing, and why would it ever be........

[/B]
     
    01-01-2012, 06:04 PM
  #29
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by Faceman    
However, when a horse has bad feet, the immediate 2 or 3 generations of its ancestors have bad feet, and its progeny have bad feet, to dismiss genetics is to not see the forest for the trees...or, as in the case of the industry itself until very recently, to try and hide the sordid truth, which is breeding horses without the underlying conformation to support both their weight and the job that they do - then, through pharmaceuticals, diet, comditioning, and intense farrier care, try to nurse them through a brief 2 or 3 year racing life.



...
I am not dismissing genetics, just saying that the genetics with regards to poor hooves are just one possible reason (and not the most likely one) and cannot be said to be the issue even if over several generations if the management of each generation has been the same. It makes me quite cross that people assume horses (especially tbs) have genetically poor hooves (i.e can't go barefoot because of thin soles, weak horn etc) when actually to prove that the horse would have to be taken barefoot and given ideal conditions and a chance to grow a decent hoof first (which many written off horses have done so). You have offered no proof whatsoever (and I would welcome it) that bad feet are a genetic issue, just because generations have had them does not therefore make it genetic.

What is the genetic issue with their hooves exactly? Which part of the hoof has the genetic problem?
     
    01-02-2012, 10:17 AM
  #30
Banned
Sadly, your opinion, which you have now stated repeatedly, is that it is just fine to breed horses with genetic faults, hope for the best, and try to nurse them through a 3 year career...and then just not worry about what happens to them as long as they make money during those 3 years. If they come up lame or injured, or worse after that, who cares?

That attitude, which is at the extreme end of the use side of the use vs. abuse debate, is exactly the attitude that has resulted in the decline of the TB racing industry in our country. Evidently you don't see that, which is OK by me as TB racing in Australia and what you do or do not do is of no concern to me. However we all should learn and benefit from history, and it would be prudent if you looked at what has happened to the TB racing industry in this country and learn from our mistakes so you don't repeat them there.

I have been to Australia, but only for a short time for rest and recuperation during the Vietnam war, and certainly was not there long enough to get to know the people and get a feel for their attitudes about horses and other domestic animals. So perhaps there is a cultural difference, which might explain why you see nothing wrong with breeding poorly conformed animals to use to make money and then discarding them. I would prefer to think Australians are no different than we are and you are just a person who, like many here in the TB industry, are out of step with society, out of step with changes in the industry itself, and still persist in the "win regardless of cost" philosophy.

There is more to responsible breeding than breeding a fast horse. Someday you may learn that...or perhaps not...
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