Monday, July 21, 2008

As I Was Saying. . .

Here's a good article from the Canine Chronicle about the very same thing I was talking about just a few months back. . . Except that she says it all so much better than I did.

Some quotes:

". . . in the case of Eight Belles, Parker had seen the same dangerous crosses, lines of known unsoundness triply crossed behind an unsound sire line: a family tree that bore three branches of the brilliant but unsound racehorse, Raise A Native. He was a very muscular chestnut, heavy on the front end, that had won all four of his starts before he broke down in front and was put out to stud."

"Boundary, Big Browns’ sire, had chronic hoof ailments so a genetic predisposition is more than suspect."

". . . referred to Ruffian as “an accident waiting to happen.” Her dam was a daughter of Native Dancer and her sire had broken a leg three times while in training and a fourth in a paddock accident while servicing a mare."

"As dog fanciers, we are historically tied to the Kentucky Derby. It is the only sporting event older than our own Westminster Kennel Club show. The Jockey Club and our American Kennel Club bear at least one similarity; both have closed studbooks. . . Lessons are to be learned from what has developed as a result of breeding for one quality to the exclusion of others. "

"A parallel might also be drawn, however casually, between the early starts of the racehorse and our young puppies. . . Our dogs often begin their show career as cute, beguiling puppies, gaining their championships quickly and frequently disappearing into the woodwork with no opportunity to determine how they might have matured."

". . . as breeders, we must be serious students of our pedigrees. . . it is imperative that we know the health status and structure, not just of the sire and dam, but also of those who came before."

I guess the really painful thing for me in the above posts is over and over and over, the reference to unsound horses (feel free to substitute 'dog' for 'horse') in the breeding shed. The insanity of that that insanity is so clear to anyone looking in from the outside. Destroy an entire breed in exchange for some big wins in your own lifetime? Sounds crazy, doesn't it? And, perhaps, eerily familiar?

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