Her barn name was 'Sophie' and she was the greatest American filly to date. She broke her sesamoid bones in the ill fated 'Match Race' against 'Foolish Pleasure.' In 1975 horses were not being drugged so what we saw was the natural horse. 'Ruffian' broke down due to her breeding. Her track record was perfect; the only race she lost was the one that killed her.
The Reines-de-Course ("Queens of the Turf") series was created by Ellen Parker in 1991 as a guide to influential female Thoroughbred mares and their families that could be utilized to improve the breed. Parker's extensive pedigree research has confirmed her theory that the mare has more influence on the success of a horse at the track, and overall in life. Despite the fact that Ruffian's dam (Shenanigans) was a 'Reine' descended from a long line of 'Reines,' Parker believes that Ruffian is a striking example of choosing bloodlines that, despite her moments of greatness, did nothing more than produce an accident waiting to happen.
Parker writes in her 'Pedlines' series about Ruffian:
"Was there ever anyone who saw the streak of black lightning known as Ruffian who did not love her? We think not. Nature seemed to know that there should never be another; her dam was barren to Reviewer when bred back to him.
Along with Ruffian’s greatness came great tragedy, of course. Some of it was man-made. She really did not need to run in a match race to prove her mettle. The race destroyed what should have been a promising stud career for Foolish Pleasure, as well, for there was an (idiotic) prejudice against him for ’winning’ the race after Ruffian broke down.
Twenty-twenty hindsight is a great thing, but there was most definitely some hint of what was to come when one considers that her sire Reviewer broke down three different times, and that her grandsire Native Dancer ran only 22 times at a time when horses routinely raced 40 and 50 times. We know now that it is Native Dancer whose bloodline is largely responsible for the fix we find ourselves in with the fragile modern Thoroughbred.
Reviewer’s entire female family, the Flitabout clan, has consistently thrown soft horses. Nothing was ever as bad as Reviewer, but Seeking the Gold, however gifted he may be as a progenitor, is just plain brittle. The family is trouble and it gets much of that trouble from Challenger II who appeared to throw a recessive soundness problem inherited from his paternal grandsire John O’Gaunt, and the mare Traverse. Traverse may be a purveyor of the so-called large heart gene, but if the legs cannot hold up the heart, it ends badly. Traverse could last only four starts and won not a one of them. Challenger II won his only two starts in Europe but failed to find the winner’s circle in eight U. S. efforts."
Ms. Parker's study of the breed pedigrees does give those whom want to breed responsibly a great resource. Of course the horses of our time have legs like toothpicks and bodies that seem oversized for their skinny legs to carry them. Then, there are the drugs of course that do no good for these or any breed of horse. Improper breeding and the the use of drugs adds up to the majority of race horses going to slaughter. They are at a tremendous disadvantage from the day they are foaled.
This week on Howling Ridge Radio, we will be discussing this topic. Our guest will be Ellen Parker of 'Pedlines.' The link to the show page is here
. We hope you can log on and listen. If you want to call in you can do so by dialing (718) 664-6596 and press '1' so we know you want to speak!
Here is a clarification about the 'herd adoptions.' This costs absolutely nothing to do. This is a metaphorical adoption so there is no financial obligation (we are paying for these horses and burros already). Thanks to Barbara Warner for sending me a list of additional horse herds and the burro herds. She got that information from Terry.
Here is the list:
* Big Sandy
* Black Mountain
* Lake Pleasant
* Little Harquahala
* Painted Rock
* Tassi-Gold Butte
Here are the CA herd areas (some of which are burro HAs) 'There are 33 Herd Areas and 22 Herd Management Areas within California:
* Bitner CA-267
* Buckhorn CA-262
* Carter Reservoir CA-269
* Centennial CA-654
* Chemehuevi CA-698
* Chicago Valley CA-681
* Chocolate Mule Mountains CA-671
* Coppersmith CA-261
* Devils Garden CA-252
* Fort Sage CA-241
* Fox Hog CA-263
* High Rock CA-264
* Lee Flat CA-652
* Massacre Lakes CA-268
* New Ravendale CA-243
* Nut Mountain CA-266
* Palm Canyon CA-662
* Piper Mountain CA-656
* Red Rock Lakes CA-251
* Twin Peaks CA-242
* Wall Canyon CA-265
* Waucoba-Hunter Mountain CA-651
Select a herd you want to metaphorically adopt and let the Chamber of Commerce or the Mayor of your town or city know that you have done this. Please alert the media that you have done this. The letters written by the children should be addressed to Malia and Sasha Obama. Letters written by adults should be addressed to President Obama. I will set up a page on the web site to keep track of these herd adoptions. If you have any questions about this campaign, do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time,
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