Monday, August 13, 2012

The Good Old Days of the Thoroughbred

I just read a very good blog post on Statford Hall's web page written by one of their collection's interns.  She has been investigating the horse tack in the plantation's stable.  Through her research she discovered that Stratford bred a horse named Time O' War, a grandson of the great *pause, wait for it* Man O' War.  (one must always take a deep breath before mentioning the name Man O' War.  See the orginal Seabiscut movie starring Shirely Temple for reference.)

Anyway, one thing many thoroughbreed breeders are notorious for is looking back at the way the horse racing and breeding industries were run in the days of long ago.  Here's why: Time O' War raced 225 times! TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY FIVE TIMES and was in the money 37% of the time.  All without lasix, modern supplements, or anything else.    The writer also discovered this piece of breeding wisdom from Stafford's first resident superintendent:

“The object is not to attempt breeding on a large scale, but to make horses, and good horses at that…So that a visitor to the Northern Neck may see them in the flesh and be reminded of the time when every gentleman of this section had a horse which he was willing to back for a reasonable amount against all comers.”

*sigh* the good old days.

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