Conformation- Positives and negatives. - Page 5

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Conformation- Positives and negatives.

This is a discussion on Conformation- Positives and negatives. within the Horse Conformation Critique forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category

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        01-02-2012, 09:28 PM
    [QUOTE=Horsegears;1290392]To win leading races as a 2yo a racehorse not only needs to be fast, but have a strong constitution and to an extent superior soundness.

    Champion 2yo winners have shown a remarkable record at stud as stallions, regardless of their records as older racehorses.

    I suggest you refrain from commenting on such issues.[/QUOTE]

    I know you have a direct connection to the thoroughbred industry, no doubt more than many who have posted on your thread. However, though you can disagree all you want, back it up with your extensive knowledge, argue with logic and statistic and passion, you cannot control who comments on what issues. Not on this forum.
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        01-02-2012, 09:40 PM
    Originally Posted by bsms    

    No. Racehorses do NOT need superior soundness. Excessive soundness would make them slow. If discussing it from a horse perspective confuses some, let's try tires.

    The comment was that 2yo's do need superior soundness to win races while not yet matured, and it is certainly true.
        01-02-2012, 09:47 PM
    Originally Posted by tinyliny    

    I know you have a direct connection to the thoroughbred industry, no doubt more than many who have posted on your thread.
    Thank you.

    Originally Posted by tinyliny    
    ........, you cannot control who comments on what issues.
    We agree, that's why I only suggest.
        01-02-2012, 10:13 PM
    Amazing how that sounds when you pick and choose what to quote from my post.
        01-02-2012, 10:24 PM
    Originally Posted by Horsegears    
    The comment was that 2yo's do need superior soundness to win races while not yet matured, and it is certainly true.
    Actually, the comment was:

    Originally Posted by Horsegears    
    To win leading races as a 2yo a racehorse not only needs to be fast, but have a strong constitution and to an extent superior soundness...
    I disagree. Soundness implies they can sustain that use, and can do so without significant compensation.

    What they need is to grow fast enough (usually harmful to long term durability), and then run fast at 2 years of age. If that means they will have painful joints at 4, so what? They won when it counted. If you need to glue the hoof together, so be it - as long as they win.

    If you have to glue the hoof together, that isn't exactly what most have in mind when talking 'sound'.
        01-03-2012, 05:22 AM
    I would not put off breeding a sound horses purely because it has poor feet. I would find a stallion that has really good hooves. With propper maintainence a horse prone to bad feet will be fine. The trick to keeping Ellies feet under controll is trimming them every 7 weeks before they start splaying outwards and crack. If I keep on top of it her feet are fine. (rosehip helsp too haha)
    Thanks all for the tips on her confo and will keep you updated
        01-03-2012, 10:08 AM
    Originally Posted by bsms    

    No. Racehorses do NOT need superior soundness. Excessive soundness would make them slow.

    Given the same muscle mass, a heavy boned and hooved sound horse would not be competitive with the lighter poorly bred horses with scant bone and hooves. It would be like a horse carrying 170 pounds running against a horse carrying 120 pounds.
    No. Racehorses do NOT need superior soundness. Excessive soundness would make them slow.

    My goodness, I keep saying this stuff is no secret - it is highly publicized and well documented, yet some people seem to either be unaware of it or are trying to sweep it under a rug.

    Racing Thoroughbreds are purposely bred to an objective of light bone, and small light hooves, strictly for speed. There is a reason a substantial number of racing bred Thoroughbreds are not durable...they were not bred to be durable. They were bred to be like a match - to burn with great brilliance for a short period of time and then burn out. We went through a period like that in the you.S with our cars in the 70's and 80'. We called it planned obsolescence.

    The Jockey Club is faced with a very difficult situation - to a degree much like the AQHA has been faced with concerning HYPP. The registry has admitted that Thoroughbreds have become too light of bone, too weak of hoof, and not very durable. It has also admitted that this is due to breeding. But changes can't be effected overnight. Breeders, owners, and trainers are not about to invest their money in slow(er) sound horses and put them on the track to run against faster unsound horses. The playing field has to be level.

    A level playing field is a competitive playing field. If Thoroughbreds were bred for speed within a framework of soundness then yes, their times would be slower, but because they were all similarly bred, the races would be just as competitive and just as exciting...nothing would be lost. In reality, the industry would benefit due to the removal of the reasons a large percentage of the population is anti-racing.

    But the transition would be difficult, just as it has been for AQHA in trying to transition away from genetically faulted behemoth halter horses that can barely stand on their tiny feet, much less do anything useful. However the transition cannot be effected if people within the industry - owners, trainers, and breeders, ignore the problems their own registry admits to, and continue their irresponsible ways. The irony of that irresponsible attitude is they are shooting themselves in the foot. Revenues are down, attendance is down, and the public perception of the TB racing industry is very poor, indicating the industry will continue to decline.

    I love Thoroughbred racing, and always have. From conception through race day, it is a complex sport with many variables, which is what makes it so challenging and unpredictable. I really hate to see the industgry decline any farther than it already has due to the stubborness and greed of many of its principals.

    This is not intended a personal slight to anyone or any country... it is just a statement of fact. In Australia, about 70% of the 40,000 horses that are slaughtered each year are Thoroughbreds. Another 20% or so are Brumbies - wild feral horses. That means that almost 90% or 9 out of 10 domesticated horses slaughtered are Thoroughbreds. That is not intended as an anti-slaughter statement - I am actually pro-slaughter. It is, however, intended to demonstrate the state of Thoroughbred breeding in Australia, and it does give a bit of insight into what the attitudes of the racing industry there may be.

    In comparison, in the U.S., about 15% of the 100,000 horses sent to slaughter annually are Thoroughbreds, and 14% of our horses are Thoroughbreds, so the number slaughtered is closer to proportionate. Of course with that being said, many of our U.S. Thoroughbreds are sold live to Japan and end up slaughtered and eaten, so the percentages would not be quite as close as they seem. That does not mean the U.S. Does not have the same issues as Autralia - we still breed tdoo many Thoroughbreds and many of them are unsound - but it does illustrate the differing magnitudes of the problem.

    In any case, the bottom line is this - almost twice as many Australian Thoroughbreds are slaughtered as U.S. Thoroughbreds, and the U.S. Has 313 million people vs. 23 million in Australia. And I sincerely doubt the reason is that Thoroughbreds are more tasty than other breeds and therefore are raised for meat.

    If that isn't food for thought, I don't know what is. Again, this is not a condemnation of anyone or of Australia...please don't take it that way. Different cultures and societies have different attitudes and practices. However it does offer an insight into the Thoroughbred breeding practices there and the attitude, at least within Australia's Thoroughbred industry, which in turn might offer an explanation why an Australian in the TB industry might consider a Thoroughbred that made it through his short racing career as "sound" - regardless of how sound or useful he might or might not be after age 4...
        01-03-2012, 10:54 AM
    I recommend the following links for a good discussion of why thoroughbreds are being bred the way they are, and how that economic model affects what they are bred to do:


    In this story, I quoted New York Post turf writer Ray Kerrison: “Breeders don’t breed to race anymore. They breed to breed, because that’s where the money is.

    “The result is that the tracks have nothing to promote, the public nothing to excite their interest.”

    Hall of Fame trainer P. G. Johnson agreed. “They’re breeding catalogue page to catalogue page. We’ve had a lot of brilliant horses retire. These horses sometimes sire unsound brilliant daughters who are bred to still more brilliance.

    “We should breed to soundness and outcross, but that is not what’s best commercially.”

    All that long while ago, I actually saw Eight Belles coming; I just didn’t know her name yet. And I have never in my life been so sorry to be right about something as I am about that. The problem now, however, is exacerbated by a total lack of diversity with which to affect outcrosses (actually, no true outcrosses are possible, but there was a time when we could come much closer).
    Also here:

    Racing's Royal Bloodline -
    "No matter what happens in tomorrow's Kentucky Derby, one outcome is guaranteed. The winning horse will be related to Native Dancer. All 20 horses in this year's race are descendants of this massive thoroughbred, who died in 1967. Though he did not win the Derby -- he lost by a head in 1953 -- several generations of deliberate breeding have made Native Dancer's DNA the most valuable commodity in racing. The last 13 Kentucky Derby winners have been descendants, as was the last triple crown winner, Affirmed...

    ...Overbreeding has exacerbated the problem. "There's a lack of durability right now," says Ric Waldman, the former head of operations for Windfields Farm in Canada, which has bred and raced Native Dancer's descendants. "How much can we keep breeding into these same bloodlines? We're dealing with the law of diminishing returns."

    Eight Belles:

        01-05-2012, 01:08 AM
    Nice looking horse
        01-05-2012, 02:52 AM
    Originally Posted by HAFWalkers    
    nice looking horse
    Haha Thanks :) (i hope you're talking about mine haha) I think she is beautiful wheter she has super conformation or not :)

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