Racing at such a young age - Page 5
 
 

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Racing at such a young age

This is a discussion on Racing at such a young age within the Sport Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeding category
  • How much for a 5 yr old race horse
  • Horses race too young

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    09-15-2011, 10:56 AM
  #41
Weanling
that just SUCKS

I agree they race em young because if the $$. And $$ is power. Sad but a fact we have to deal with if we are in reality.

I often think like you how much BETTER the races would be without the stories of horses breaking down mentally AND/OR physically.

How many more track records would we set?? How much more interesting would the spectator sport be if everyone involved knew that we were actually doing the best for our horses?? Sheesh we could let the public back into the barn area .... there would be nothing to hide.

It would be great if there were alternatives. I think a few bigger races for older horses could indeed shift the tide and like you said even people who with hold their 3 year olds to race at 4 are still running them too hard too young. I'm nervous about starting my girl at 4 1/2 and I promise you that if she gets sore or I think ANYTHING is wrong then I and my trainer will pull her. PERIOD. I truly love my horse and plan on riding her myself someday as a dressage/sport horse but I realize that I am in no way the "norm". I'm not making my living from horse races tho either. I'm into it for the fun.

I wonder if we could put together some kind of website (I"m a web designer) to draw attention to racing horses too young and how it affects the horses and the industry and offer some other ideas/options?? Who knows maybe we could get someone or some biz to sponsor an older horse race??

There are older TBs out there racing. I've know horses as old as 8 or 10 racing but its not real common.
PM me and well see if we can come up with some ideas :)
Thanks,
Angi
     
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    09-15-2011, 11:42 AM
  #42
Yearling
There are indeed some older horses out there. And many people don't realize that these older horses (if all things being equal) run faster. It's like comparing a person between 20-30 who's been training and preparing themself since they were on the vacity team in high school (training harder has they got older) to a 16 year old who as been training since he was 13. The adult has better developoed muscle mass and probably more of it. Has trained longer and harder and can simply out run the younger person. How many 16 Olympic racing chapions do you see? :))

If you really wanted to kill the 3 year old racing business start letting the older horses race in the big races. How many people are going to race there 3 year old agains a proven 7 year old champion that is already running faster times then their 3 year old can in training. They're not. They'd just be throwing money away. Then you just have older, faster horses running.

It's all pie in the sky though.

I actually like seeing a faster race. And you can run them great distances. 300 years ago they use to race 3 and 4 miles, so you could enjoy a longer race being run by stronger and faster horses.
     
    09-15-2011, 01:07 PM
  #43
Weanling
There HAS to be many like minded horse lovers out there...

I totally agree it would change the way races are done to allow the older horses to compete in the big races. WHY DON'T THEY? I just hate hate hate to see these young horses so full of life and potential RUINED in the name on $$... it's a travesty. It honestly breaks my heart. Its EXACTLY like my friend Stan the trainer said, out of every 1000 race horses PEOPLE will screw up and RUIN 990 of them.... the other 10 will win some money.

I used to competitively trail ride when I was a kid and me and my brother and sister used to sweep those competitions with our horses and we were just there for fun. We didn't have high dollar horses we just rode alot, mostly because that was our transportation and we LOVED riding. Therefore our horses were always "been thee done that" type of mounts PLUS there were in great shape cause they were ridden alot. Not ridden hard just had lots of miles logged in. HA ha wed come pulling in with our junky old trailer and our old faded truck and set up our camp. We had a BLAST and left all these folks who had spent tons of money on custom fit saddles and matching trailers and trucks scratching their heads when we won most of the top spots away from the adults. LOL those were the good old days......

I know some trainers and owners are holding back their horses but it's far from the norm. What really gets MY panties in a knot it that those same people that are racing these 2 year olds are the ones who are captains of industry. Ppl that have TONS of money... that is exactly the kind of person who should WANT to wait. Yes they would have to feed the horses longer it's true, BUT why not let them live at pasture Like my little filly and get a chance to grow up and mature. Nobody says they have to live at the track in a stall and that you HAVE to pay 150. A day to keep them stalled. Why not buy several thousand (or even several HUNDRED) acres and let them roam and land and forage for some of their feed? Drop in good hay for them and just let them GROW UP?? It would be a paradigm shift that would benefit EVERYONE in the long run IMO but I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir LOL.

I just wish there was something I could do PERSONALLY to bring that about. I want to be part of the answer you know?? I think I'm going to start by researching some statistics, putting up a website and trying to get one of the TB racing magazines to run a story about the trainers and owners who ARE holding out. Let ppl see that others ARE doing it and see what the benefits are. I think the REAL answer lays like you said in making it PROFITABLE to wait. Making it more profitable to wait then to run early. The answer lays there.....
Could I get you to write or contribute a story or something for the web site??
     
    09-15-2011, 01:10 PM
  #44
Weanling
PS itslbsnotmiles

Your boy is very handsome :)
I'm talking about your horse of course.
     
    09-15-2011, 04:23 PM
  #45
Weanling
As someone who has spent a good 18 years in the Horse racing Industry in Australia, I think I can have my say.

In this time, I have worked as a track rider and stablehand, breaker and pre-trainer and traveling foreperson (nationally and international).

Yearlings that are bought are so based on breeding and conformation. If you have an animal that isn't put together well then you have more work (read more vet bills, farrier, etc) ahead of you, it is a balancing act. Soon as they show soreness you ease up, do what you need to, to make them comfortable. If they are showing shin soreness, then you tip them out for a spell, bring them back and see how it gos. Still not right, send them out again and bring them back in.

We had one bubby that was far from cheap (315,000AUD) she was broken in as a yearling, sent to spell to grow, came to us and put into light work. Showed signs of shin soreness, so we sent her off for a 12 week holiday. When she came back. Wow. What a difference. We'd change days up, maybe not a gallop today but, a swim. She went on to many races at Grp1 level.

If you don't look after you bubbies then they can not become good horses down the line. Lame horses don't win Melbourne Cups.

For my 6 years at Caufield Race course, there was 3 put down. 2 were race day one was track work (a heart condition that wasn't known about).
     
    09-15-2011, 04:50 PM
  #46
Weanling
There are lot bigger races where the horse has to be 4 years and up
     
    09-15-2011, 09:47 PM
  #47
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by WildAcreFarms    
Your boy is very handsome :)
I'm talking about your horse of course.
By "boy" is a 3 year old filly :) who is working hard at catching up with her 17.2 hands sire.
     
    09-15-2011, 10:30 PM
  #48
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCtazzie    
There are lot bigger races where the horse has to be 4 years and up
I can't say about Australia, but in the US, and also in the UK according to my British mates, there isn't anything bigger (with respect to the combination of money, prestige, recognition, publicity) than the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing (although my mates in the UK say that the Grand National is as big as any single event).
US: Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes
UK: 2,000 Geineas Stakes, Epsom Derby, St Leger Stakes

You might have bigger and more well know TB races for older horses in Australia, but in the US the Triple Crown is it. There obviously are races for older horses, but they are far less known or presigous. Now there are some great races, like the Tevis Cup, but it's a different king of racing and restricted to 60 month old horses and above. If you're not familiar with the Tevis Cup. 100 miles in one day across a variety of terrain. Some of it pretty rough.

As for training to race at such a young age. You can spin it any way you want. The history of racing 3 year olds that have been trained for racing during their developing years speaks for itself. Outside of Throroughbred racing the percentage of Thoroughbreds breaking down is a small fraction of those who break down in the racing industry. You have no choice but to train them hard at 2 if you want them to have the strength, endurance and speed to win at 3. And if they never win, you never get a return on the investment, so the money spent is lost. So, you while you will do what you can to keep them from breaking down in training, you still have to train hard on those young, developing joints in order to have a chance at winning. No wins = no money = lost investment. Won't be able to stay in the business long that way. Most people with money aren't to keen on the idea of always throwing it away on horses that don't win, so some horse is going to need to win, which takes us back to the need to train hard during the years before they race. There really is no way around it for 3 year old racing.
     
    09-16-2011, 10:29 AM
  #49
Weanling
I'm not spinning it, I tell you how it is.

As for not having a choice but to train them hard, you don't, you bring them on slowly. I can tell you owners will not send there horses to a trainer that has a rep for destroying bubbies. You want to build up the horses strength slowly or you have problems.

Someone that pushes a horse till they brake down isn't a horseperson, they are a moron and should not be allowed near one. I've lots of dressage horses screwed up in my time.

We have big 2yr races as well, the Goldern Slipper and the Blue Diamond.

I wish I was still in Oz and still working as foreperson. I would invite you out for a week to see how a nursery stable is ran. How the horses are conditioned, the level of care they have. Nothing is taken to chance.

Just the other week I had someone from a non-racing background, tell me I need to push my horse thru his lameness, I wouldn't do this on any horse. I have seen trackriders fired on the spot for not pulling up a horse that was slightly lame, or was feeling right in the front.

Yes there are clueless people out there getting into racing for the money. There are people in the industry today I wouldn't let near my horses. On the other hand some of the kindest riders I know ride trackwork, some of the best horse handlers I know are stablehands. The best horse wisdom and knowledge I have received have been from my old boss's. Who happen to be in the top 5 trainers in Australia.

Yes there are bad ones out there but, painting EVERYONE with the same brush isn't fair.
Corporal and WildAcreFarms like this.
     
    09-16-2011, 10:38 AM
  #50
Foal
A bit of information I can provide, is that it is not good to race so young because some bones and things might still be growing and it can be painful
     

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