Arabian Racing has become a cheat
Resolute Farms Racing
RFR The Iceman showing the true form of this amazing breed!
In my opinion, it’s as simple and as tragic as that short
statement. The majority of “Arabians” running at tracks today
have very little in common with true Arabian pedigrees,
conformation, or breed type. They are, at best “Anglo-Arabians”
(half-Thoroughbred, half-Arabian crosses), and are at worst,
up to 7/8ths TB. And the saddest thing is that this debasement
of our wonderful breed has been done with the active connivance
of officials within the AHA and AJC.
I began my involvement with Arabians in the 1970’s and with racing Arabians in the late 1980’s, over two decades ago. Back then, although there were mutterings about a flawed pedigree or two, especially in Florida, every racing enthusiast knew there were so many untried pedigrees it was possible, even probable, a domestically bred Arabian could become the next great stakes winner. As we gained experience, we strove to breed the best to the best and saw wonderful improvements in race performance while maintaining all of the versatility and beauty for which our breed was justly famous. It was American bred horses which were eagerly sought for and sold overseas to contribute strength to other national race breeding programs.
When the AHA decided to accept suspect registries (like the French registry which was known to contain Anglos) one argument was that even if the French horses dominated racing for awhile, the progeny, a hypothetical cross of French and American Arabians, would contain the best of both pedigrees. That logic was, and is, utterly specious. The French imports were obviously bred mainly to other French horses, i.e. Anglo to Anglo to maintain the highest percentage of Thoroughbred.
But, apparently, even that wasn’t enough for some rapacious breeders. They began to breed individual French horses to both an Arabian and a Thoroughbred mare simultaneously, with the DNA from the Arabian foal, along with the markings of the ¾ Thoroughbred foal, submitted for AHA registration as a purebred.
When a voice or two in the wilderness began to see 3 year old, 1200 pound, 16+ hand “Arabians” coming to the track (clocking times Arabian stakes winners from 5 years ago couldn’t even come close to matching), there was a request to have a second DNA test done when the individual horse was tattooed for racing. The response from the big (French import) breeders and the Arabian registry and racing officials was vociferous and scathing. They demeaned the requesters as poor sports and trouble makers--- among other things. The idea was soundly defeated. Sour Grapes? I don’t think so… Just look at the AHA logo, there is absolutely no resemblance between that ideal Arabian and these race horses.
Unfortunately, a second DNA test wouldn’t be of any practical use now anyway; the playing field will never be level again… The big moneyed breeders will continue to breed the existing (and permanently registered) ¾ animals to other ¾ Thoroughbred crosses. The idea of any true Arabian owner/breeder falling for the AJC’s blandishments about opportunities for new race owners is simply ludicrous, unless that person actually wants to own Anglos and run what amounts to second class Thoroughbreds. And those of us who played by the rules and were loyal to the breed? We simply won’t be that greedy and dishonest. Winning is not winning that destroys the breed we all said we loved…
I very much wanted to outcross my domestic performance bred mares to some of the wonderful stallions becoming available, Gorec springs to mind. However, it is tragically possible not even a stallion of his caliber could compete against today’s hybrids, a mere five short years after his triumphs in Poland. That’s how destructive the impact of these changelings has been. Even bred to the best of my race winning domestic stock, the progeny would be at a crushing disadvantage. And the AHA and AJC? They continue to spout that drivel about “specialization” being good for the breed… Right, just like it’s been good for those long-necked, greased-up Saddle-breds passing for Arabian halter horses in confirmation classes. Band-aides didn’t work for the hemorrhaging show entries/attendance and it won’t work with racing. AHA and AJC should have enforced the standards and kept breed purity, not politics and money, as the focus of their stewardship.
So, next time you watch an “Arabian” Race and the winner is 16+ hands, has a roman nose, long mule-like ears, and not one single horse in the entire field carried its tail like the proud flag of a true Arabian, remember…if it looks like a Thoroughbred and runs like a Thoroughbred---it is not an Arabian, regardless of the papers on file with AJC and the Racing Secretary’s Office.
Attorney Pamela Fullerton
Owner/Trainer: Resolute Farms Racing