Great read - food for thought: Blame the Breeder

Post Reply
lurkey mclurker
Posts: 2445
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:15 pm

Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:44 pm

https://ayankeeinparis.com/2017/11/28/b ... e-breeder/

Apologies if this has been posted somewhere here before, but if not I found this to be very insightful. I actually stumbled across it via CANTER California's FB page.
By saying that it is the breeders responsibility for the horses life, we are not only enabling the current owner to be irresponsible, but we are also running the breeder through an impossible gauntlet. One where they are spending their time picking up the pieces of others shattered messes.
No, it does not rest on them. Instead, hold your owners accountable. Hold your trainers accountable. And hold your racetracks accountable.

Enforce their anti-slaughter policies. Enforce their drug restraints. Enforce the vetting that happens before a race, and disallow any injured or obviously neglected horse from running. Open their minds to legit punishments, that are more than a smack on the wrist and a fine that can be paid off mucking stalls for a day.
Increase the transparency over the options these owners and trainers have. Show them the CANTER website and inform them of competitions such as the Retired Racehorse Projects Thoroughbred Makeover. Increase the number of “End of the Meet Showcase Days”, where trainers can highlight their horses which are ready for retirement while attracting local equestrians to attend.

And at the end of the day, a sound horse is a safer horse. A sound horse has a 90% chance of finding a second home – a second career. Us breeders have to prove our horses soundness before they are purchased at the mass auction houses like Keeneland and Fasig Tipton. They leave our farms able and ready. But they do not always leave the track in the same fashion.
User avatar
Sparrow Castle
Posts: 5619
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:44 pm

Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:28 am

I've read and enjoyed Carleigh's blogs before. As usual, things are more complicated at the middle/low ends of the sport.

The thing about holding owners accountable is being at the mercy of the claiming game with most of these horses. We would happily keep our horses for years, until they are ready for new careers, if there were non-claiming races we could run them in once they run out of conditions. Other countries do that much better by grouping horses by class level and giving owners a choice. I hate the claiming game.

We've never had a breeder contact us willing to take a horse back, but we've claimed back some just to get them off the track.

She's right about everyone has to be a part of the solution, especially tracks and even fans.
User avatar
Gemini
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:26 pm

Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:01 pm

Sparrow Castle wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:28 am
I've read and enjoyed Carleigh's blogs before. As usual, things are more complicated at the middle/low ends of the sport.

The thing about holding owners accountable is being at the mercy of the claiming game with most of these horses. We would happily keep our horses for years, until they are ready for new careers, if there were non-claiming races we could run them in once they run out of conditions. Other countries do that much better by grouping horses by class level and giving owners a choice. I hate the claiming game.

We've never had a breeder contact us willing to take a horse back, but we've claimed back some just to get them off the track.

She's right about everyone has to be a part of the solution, especially tracks and even fans.
I've been a racing fan since I was in first grade... and even after that much time I still don't understand why claiming races are the only option for horses of modest talent in this country. All it serves to do is put humans and animals in the midst of a Byzantine labyrinth where horses disappear and people can abuse the system.
sweettalk
Posts: 2006
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:05 pm

Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:01 pm

friends who aren't horse racing fans have asked me, when i do get them to talk abt it, "what if your horse is good at that lower rank and hits the board often, but you don't want to sell it?" good question.

however, without claiming races, the stories of "we claimed the horse to save it" might go away, and more horses may be at risk - what horse was it that was recently claimed and retired, but the owner refused to sell and wanted to keep racing? now give them the option to keep running in low tier races that have no claiming prices.

i'm not saying i oppose low tier non-claiming races (i don't, i support the idea, i agree with the "he's good at this lower level but we don't want to sell"), i just wonder abt what new issues might come up. not that issues don't arise in claiming races as well. it's a tough situation.
User avatar
Gemini
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:26 pm

Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:27 pm

sweettalk wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:01 pm
however, without claiming races, the stories of "we claimed the horse to save it" might go away, and more horses may be at risk - what horse was it that was recently claimed and retired, but the owner refused to sell and wanted to keep racing? now give them the option to keep running in low tier races that have no claiming prices.
People could still purchase a horse privately and without the risk of it getting hurt/killed in said claiming race. I'm certainly not against all claiming races and I have utmost respect for people who step up and claim horses in order to give them a good home. Unfortunately in the claiming ranks it seems that more people lose horses they'd rather keep.
lurkey mclurker
Posts: 2445
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:15 pm

Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:41 pm

Gemini wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:01 pm

I've been a racing fan since I was in first grade... and even after that much time I still don't understand why claiming races are the only option for horses of modest talent in this country. All it serves to do is put humans and animals in the midst of a Byzantine labyrinth where horses disappear and people can abuse the system.
Same... and I'm amazed at myself that I never questioned before why we don't have more lower-purse races that are non-claiming. I guess I figured that was what allowance races were?
User avatar
ElPrado2
Posts: 1959
Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:45 pm

Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:47 pm

Which is entirely predictable.
The new owner claims a horse whose name is recognized. Even the a---oles can see themselves in the winner's circle. The horse has a name. The owner (in what mind it has) can look good for at least 30 seconds.
The horse in reality is going through the motions. What else does it know? Go out and try. Maybe it found a spot it is sound in mind or body enough for a few races, maybe not.
The new owner still has a dream, hopefully not until it is too late.
User avatar
Sparrow Castle
Posts: 5619
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:44 pm

Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:53 pm

I think claiming (selling) races can exist along with non-claiming (non-selling) races. My understanding is that non-selling races group horses by class level similar to the rating levels horses receive in Europe and other countries. I think this is one change that can be implemented little by little and, if it proves popular to owners and trainers, maybe those will naturally exceed the number of claiming races some day. I don't see how this change would affect handicapping, handle and tracks at all. I also think this type of race could replace what we now call Starter Allowance races.

Since any horses we've been able to race throughout the season get the winter off at the farm, their first race back is usually whatever level Waiver Claiming race they qualify for at no risk of losing them. After that, when they're out of conditions we get stomach ulcers, with one exception, Starter Allowance races.

Our track cards a very small number of Starter Allowance races a year, which we take advantage of when we meet the conditions and the distance is right. The conditions are strict (eg Fillies/Mares, 3 years&up, which have started for a claiming price of $XXk or less in 2017 or 2018 (current and last year). You have to decide if you are okay with the distance and that the race fills, which it often doesn't. The purses are set at the level of the claiming race that qualified you for the race.

Then you either run them where they don't belong (we ran our girl in an overnight stakes last year that was quite a stretch) or you expose them to a claim.

I wish the folks who read this board and are from countries that use the non-selling system for mid to lower level horses would discuss it with us. I really don't know enough about it to see any downsides.
sweettalk
Posts: 2006
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:05 pm

Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:10 pm

Gemini wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:27 pm
sweettalk wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:01 pm
however, without claiming races, the stories of "we claimed the horse to save it" might go away, and more horses may be at risk - what horse was it that was recently claimed and retired, but the owner refused to sell and wanted to keep racing? now give them the option to keep running in low tier races that have no claiming prices.
People could still purchase a horse privately and without the risk of it getting hurt/killed in said claiming race. I'm certainly not against all claiming races and I have utmost respect for people who step up and claim horses in order to give them a good home. Unfortunately in the claiming ranks it seems that more people lose horses they'd rather keep.
IF the current owner is willing to sell. they aren't always.
User avatar
Curtis
Posts: 1006
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:17 am
Location: Monroe, WA
Contact:

Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:01 pm

sweettalk wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:10 pm
Gemini wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:27 pm
sweettalk wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:01 pm
however, without claiming races, the stories of "we claimed the horse to save it" might go away, and more horses may be at risk - what horse was it that was recently claimed and retired, but the owner refused to sell and wanted to keep racing? now give them the option to keep running in low tier races that have no claiming prices.
People could still purchase a horse privately and without the risk of it getting hurt/killed in said claiming race. I'm certainly not against all claiming races and I have utmost respect for people who step up and claim horses in order to give them a good home. Unfortunately in the claiming ranks it seems that more people lose horses they'd rather keep.
IF the current owner is willing to sell. they aren't always.
Very true, I tried to buy one of my OTTB’s, Anniversary Year, privately. I offered the most recent claim price as well as the winner’s share of the purse. His owner/trainer said he wasn’t for sale. One of his former trainers had felt bad she hadn’t retired him so she claimed him for me and I’ve had him now for almost 16 years.
sweettalk
Posts: 2006
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:05 pm

Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:28 pm

and now he has the best home he could ever want! :D
User avatar
Curtis
Posts: 1006
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:17 am
Location: Monroe, WA
Contact:

Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:09 pm

sweettalk wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:28 pm
and now he has the best home he could ever want! :D
I’m not sure how official your ranking is but thank you. A.Y. made into the Offspring of Secretariat Calendar this year along side Border Run. Had I known that was a possibility, I’d have taken his fly mask off. He’s a good boy. I’m not much of a rider and every time I was feeling lucky and decided to get on him, he always took care of me up there. Once, a big gust of wind blew an entire sheet of newspaper through the arena as we were trotting. A.Y. slowed down, stopped and rolled his eye back to look at me as if to say, “You al’right up there?” His trainer, at the time, turned white as a sheet. Let’s just say A.Y.’s biggest attribute hasn’t always been known as his head. The trainer figured A.Y. would be up in his hind legs and that a call to 911 would be in order.
Catalina
Posts: 3483
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:08 pm
Location: South Texas

Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:54 pm

That's too funny! I am so glad you were able to obtain him and retire him.
Post Reply