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Horsebreeding and racing in Ireland-time for a quota?

Home Forums Horse Racing Horsebreeding and racing in Ireland-time for a quota?

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  • #4707
    SirHarryLewis
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1208

    I was at the sales recently. Tattersalls Derby Sale to be honest. Its been a few years, 3 actually, since I was there last and yet its only now Im becoming aware of a serious problem. There are too many horses in this country. All very well if you want a better raiding team for Cheltenham. Think New Zealand and rugby.

    On the other hand, the wastage is nothing short of frightening and I for one think there should be a limit as to the amount of horses that are allowed to be bred in the country. Quotas are in order. I daresay it would be interesting research for someone to actually count the number of horses going through tattersalls or goffs in Ireland these days compared to 10 or 15 years ago. Theres just not enough opportunities for them and anyone with an interest in animal welfare or even in the overal health of the industry should be concerned.

    As Dessie Hughes said last year, theres not enough racing for them. He might be right but can we actually sustain enough race meetings to make any real distance? Racing in recent years means lots of balloting and too many divisions of point to point races.

    Heres a recent comment from Horse racing Ireland (July of this year) on the situation.

    “The total number of fixtures and races also increased, by two and twenty eight respectively, with 15,275 runners giving an average field size of 14.6.

    The average number of horses in training increased by 3.2% to 6799, reflecting both the strong demand for racehorse ownership and a growing foal population.

    This, however, has resulted in too many horses being entered for the available races with the result that over 11,000 horses were balloted out of races in the period.

    Brian Kavanagh commented: ‘This situation is not sustainable and was the subject of a special HRI Board meeting in June to consider ways of addressing the problem. After detailed analysis the HRI executives will bring forward proposals to the Board in August and, once finalised, their conclusions will be published thereafter. “

    There you have it. This was written in the half year report. Im pretty sure he doesnt mention anything about Point to point racing (but Im not sure) and its only there that you see how scary the situation is.

    Also, and Id be interested in hearing from anyone who sells store horses but the price of foals is extraordinary and trying to turn a few bob on them by selling at 3 and 4 is getting tougher and tougher.

    SHL

    #108965
    TheCheekster
    Member
    • Total Posts 329

    I completely agree about the state of the breeding industry.
    I think it would be wise to follow the lead of the various sport horse associations on this one. Only let ‘graded’ mares stock be registered.
    Would be very hard to implement, but worthwhile. No need to go showing , if the mares won they get in. If the mares placed and has a good pedigree they get in.
    I think the ‘unraced’ mares are the problem. There is just no knowing if whatever caused them not to race can be overided by the obvious strong genes in a good page. These would have to be assessed carefully.
    I hate going to the sales with a list of 50 to look at, and only finding 2 that I would consider staright enough to race soundly for a few years.
    TBH I can get quite angry about it.
    I guess I will keep on doing so too, no way will the HRA/Weatherby’s grow the backbone they need to tackle this issue and blow the Irish con artists out of the water.

    #109100
    SirHarryLewis
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1208

    I completely agree about the state of the breeding industry.
    I think it would be wise to follow the lead of the various sport horse associations on this one. Only let ‘graded’ mares stock be registered.
    Would be very hard to implement, but worthwhile. No need to go showing , if the mares won they get in. If the mares placed and has a good pedigree they get in.
    I think the ‘unraced’ mares are the problem. There is just no knowing if whatever caused them not to race can be overided by the obvious strong genes in a good page. These would have to be assessed carefully.
    I hate going to the sales with a list of 50 to look at, and only finding 2 that I would consider staright enough to race soundly for a few years.
    TBH I can get quite angry about it.
    I guess I will keep on doing so too, no way will the HRA/Weatherby’s grow the backbone they need to tackle this issue and blow the Irish con artists out of the water.

    Interesting points but a couple of things to consider.

    Firstly, I can talk about Flat racing but I find in the case of national hunt that when it comes to winners, alot of them come from unfashionable backgrounds or were bought cheap at the sales. National hunt racing in particular is litterd with horses like Desert Orchid, Limestone lad, Lady Rebecca, Best Mate at the time who were cheap enough at some stage in there lives.

    In fact its usually the more expensive ones that then come later that fail to live up to reputation. And we might spend ages looking at there confirmation, at height, the length of the back and the proportionality but stand beide the ones that make the grade at cheltenham and its hard to find correlations. Currently, vets at the sales are commenting on everything that used to be considered nothing, if only for reasons of litigation fear and of course, when these little things are mentioned its can be very hard to sell a horse mainly due to the fact.

    Its actually easy to buy a pretty cheap four year old that would have cost more money if that flaw that has no relevancy to racing had not been mentioned and the reason for this is that there is such a glut of well bred ones without the flaw and agents in particular dont take chances. Anyhow I digress.

    The other point is that by restricting horses to well bred ones only is that you would effectively be making the sport elitest. This is self explanatory.

    As for the injuries. We are breeding horses (and this a flat problem also) to be more precosious (or however you spell that) and less tough in my opinon. Just as youll probably see horses needing a narrower range of distance and probably more time between races to run faster, so will the fraility in the limbs also be a problem. This is not my opinion but the opinions of other experts but it seems to make sense I suppose.

    SHL

    #109164
    Sal
    Member
    • Total Posts 562

    I don’t think it can be judged on racing/non-racing performance – the quality of the mare should be measured by her offspring. If she has had a chance, but has only produced bad horses, then the mare should be retired from production. As there are many definitions of a bad horse (physical weakness, conformation, temperament, ability), the responsibility falls on the breeder to judge exactly whether a mare is adding to the breed. You would expect this to be regulated by market forces – but this does not appear to be working as breeders continue to breed even when a mare’s produce has sold poorly for several years.

    John Lynam addressed this problem a couple of years ago to the ITBA, and caused an outcry when his suggestion of a cull was misinterpreted as an order to slaughter a thousand broodmares. New Zealand have also been studying the issue, with one of the leading breeders calling on other breeders to show more care and responsibility when choosing which mares to breed from.

    I believe the International Stud Book Committee are looking at the issue, but ultimately any restrictions on mares would have to be both workable in practical terms and accepted by all breeders.

    #109171
    apracing
    Participant
    • Total Posts 3105

    No experience on the breeding issue, but I’ve been amazed to see horses bought from the Tattersalls in training sales ending up in Ireland. Given the massive field sizes everywhere, why on earth woud people feel inclined to import more horses.

    I should admit to a touch of personal bitterness, as it was an Irish trainer that outbid me for a 3-y-old at the July sale last year – Jack Absolute from the Meehan stable – who ended up finishing 7th in the Fred Winter at the Festival in March.

    I thought if I’d found one that Graham Wylie or Harry the Dog didn’t want, that I’d be taking him home with me!

    Also noticed a couple of sprinters (If Paradise for one) that have been transferred to Ireland and get a chance to race about once every three weeks.

    All very different to ten years ago …..

    AP

    #109209
    SirHarryLewis
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1208

    No experience on the breeding issue, but I’ve been amazed to see horses bought from the Tattersalls in training sales ending up in Ireland. Given the massive field sizes everywhere, why on earth woud people feel inclined to import more horses.

    I should admit to a touch of personal bitterness, as it was an Irish trainer that outbid me for a 3-y-old at the July sale last year – Jack Absolute from the Meehan stable – who ended up finishing 7th in the Fred Winter at the Festival in March.

    I thought if I’d found one that Graham Wylie or Harry the Dog didn’t want, that I’d be taking him home with me!

    Also noticed a couple of sprinters (If Paradise for one) that have been transferred to Ireland and get a chance to race about once every three weeks.

    All very different to ten years ago …..

    AP

    Dont worry Ap,as Carly Simon sang….IT’ll be coming around again. Indeed it will.

    SHL

    #109371
    carvillshill
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2778

    The main reason for all this is the ocean of cash floating around in Ireland mainly due to our economic success and property boom.
    I wouldn’t mind betting you that the market will take care of a lot of the overproduction in the coming years when the inevitable downturn comes.

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