current topics

ARE SALES HORSES WEAKENED BY NATURE OF HOW THEY ARE PREPPED?

I heard an interview with a family of Vets discussing the differencein their practise over the years. The grandfather Vet said his job andtreatment of the horses was always to have a sound racehorse as theend result.

The son and grandson, also Equine Vets, said that their practise wasgeared to having a good sale horse. Having a young horse peak at thesales may not be in the best interest of sound race horses. We knowthat steroids inhibit the absorption of calcium to the bone. Also, whenbone grows too fast then it may be weaker and more porous.

When I see the attrition rate of young fast horses, I wonder if thesales preparation has predisposed them to fast growth and weak bone.

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AN OVER VIEW OF SALES AREA AND BARNS BEYOND THE VIEWING AREA

When looking at Pictures of older famous horses in the last century,they tend to look fit with a slight bit of rib showing. In recentyears I have seen more and more thickly muscled quarter horse typerace horses. While it could be breeding for early speed, I think therush for quick wins has affected the way the youngsters are raised andprepped. I have been told that the hormone pellet that is used forfast growth in the steers, is used in some farms. This would enhancefast early growth and as long as it is out of the system before thesales, (45 days out), no mention of it's use need be made. Tremendousamounts of oil and feed are also put to these animals and they do lookspectacular! With so much money at stake in the sales, it isunderstandable that the consignors want the horses looking grand.

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EAGER BUYERS LOOKING OVER THE STOCK AT OCALA BREEDERS SALES

While there is no scientific method to follow the performance of thesehorses because of the tremendous variables in training, breeding andbone structure, the statistics show that horses today start fewer andfewer times.

Granted, many horses are stopped because the cost of training maynever compensate for the cheap races they may eventually win, so thatas well as early breakdowns in the training process all factor in tothe overall picture.

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A PONTENTIAL NEW OWNER?

In the thirty years I have been in this business, I have tried to findthe program that would work for me. I have bred, bought in sales,bought privately, and once in a while, claimed horses.

There is no one method that shows any consistency. Luck is a huge partof this business. Once in a while you will find a "Blue Hen" awonderful brood mare that throws all runners-but that is exceptional.

Meanwhile, I have come the complete circle. As old as I am, I ambreeding a few babies again. The vet costs have made this a veryexpensive proposition and one must have the patience of Job to getthat baby to the races. I still buy one or two in the sales but nowwill see if the youngsters I breed hold up to training and racing.

I have done a study of a few groups of horses. I purchased five yearlings in Keeneland all under the price of $4000.00, and the results of that group are in the fifth edition of my book, BACKYARD RACEHORSE.

I also purchased 10 two year olds in training at a sale all for under $3800.00 and their results are summarized in the fifth edition.

I now have a group of four two year old fillies, privately bred and raisedby me since they were weanlings or yearlings. We shall see how they hold up. All of this is tohelp those interested in racing to learn how to have long lastingsound racehorses.

Back to my original question. Is the process of prepping horses to besold in the sales one of the causes of unsoundness and breakdown?Something to think about...I will be happy to share my observations as we go along.

RACING OFF THE FARM

Race horses can and do run off the farm. You dont have to be a wealthy client to do so. In fact we are trying to embrace more competent horsemen to come into racing and become owner trainers. The industry must think out of the box. I would like to see an industry movement to recruit more horsemen from the pleasure horse industry...hunter jumper, rodeo, endurance riders...all with competence and a love of the horse, could become a part of racing. The roadblocks start when they try to get on the backside and they try to connect with trainers. It is very hard for newcomers to learn the "rest of the business" without legitimate mentoring by sincere trainers who want to see more long term owners in the business.

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AT THE FARM HORSES LIVE IN PADDOCKS AND CAN SEE EACH OTHER AND MOVE AROUND AT WILL

A pilot program is being presented to the Florida Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association by me. My premise is that we can market to those who have horses, have farms, have trailers and can buy a reasonably priced weanling, yearling or two year old at a sale or a brood mare, and ease into the business with guidence and cooperation from the race tracks and the industry. Workers Comp is only one of the many obstacles to be over come to make this all work. However racing is struggling with so many negatives that my program may now be considered. This is a tough business and only those very determined and with a dream survive. We can make racing more attractive to middle America by being more "user friendly". I have received thousands of letters over the years with the common theme of"all my life I've dreamed of having a race horse".

While the reality of having a winning race horse that pays its own way is slim, there is that opportunity if you get a talented one, and meanwhile, the horse that can't pay its way may become the owners next hunter jumper or trail horse.

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EASY GALLOPS TO BUILD FOUNDATION

If you go to the blog, you can see how to train on your own terms. The site is backyardracehorse.blogspot.com and learn more about training off the farm. I have been encouraging owner trainers into the business for years...some get disappointed with the challenges of workers comp (here in FL) and the logistics of shipping in with the various restrictions at many tracks. There are solutions to these problems..maybe racing will give us an opportunity to bring in the "little guys" who love their horses and the joy of competition.

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A DIP IN THE LAKE AFTER A GALLOP ON THE FARM



LEGAL MEDICATIONS…WHO NEEDS TO CHEAT??

This is a list of allowable medications…is this "Drug Free Racing"?

Who needs illegal meds with these permissible ones???


PAINKILLERS

14 days out

Firocoxib


48 hours out

Butorphenol

Diclofenac


24 hours out

Flunixin (Banamaine)

Ketophren

Phenylbutazone (Bute)


ANTI-INFLAMMATORIES

7 Days out

Betamethasone

Methylprednisolone

Triamcinolone acetonide


72 hours out

Dexamethasone


48 hours out

DMSO (Topically)


PREDNISOLONE to be determined


CLENBUTEROL

14 days out


MUSCLE RELAXANT

48 hours out

Dantrolene

Methocarbamol


ANESTHETIC

72 hours out

Mepivacaine


THIS LIST WAS TAKEN FROM MID ATLANTIC THOROUGHBRED MAGAZINE..APRIL 2013

janet.delcastillo@gmail.com

Janet delcastillo 2013