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Full text of "Horse-breeding in England and India : and army horses abroad"

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'ND iNDIA AN! 



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LIBRARY 

OF 

LEONARD PEARSON 

VETERINARIAN 



SECOND EDITION 



Horse-Breeding 

I N 

England and India 

AND 

Army Horses Abroad 



BY 

SIR WALTER GILBEY, BART. 

Author of 

Horses for the Army , The Great or War Horse ; Small Horses 
IN Warfare; Horses Past and Present; The Harness Horse; 
Young Race-Horses ; Early Carriages and Roads ; Animal Painters 
OF England, &c., &c. 



ILLUSTRATED 



LONDON : 
Vinton & Co., 9 New Bridge Street, E.C. 

1906 



G313 



\JNtV£R6IVY 1 



iSYLVe.,: 






-+- 



, 



CONTENTS 



^: 



Horse-Brkeding IX i8('>4 

The Present State of Affairs 

Horses Bred in England 

Horses Bred for Sport Only 

Purchase of English Mares by Foreigners . . 

Horses AVanteu for the Army 

Sizeable Harness Horses 

Private Enterprise in England 

Breeding Without Prejudice 

Landlords would do well to give Choice of Stallions 

Cause of Failure in English Horse-Breeding 

Height of Race-Horses from 1700 to 1900 

Character of Race-Horses from 1700 to 1900 

The Introduction of Short Races . . 

The Roadster of a Century Ago 

What Foreign Nations are Doing 

Horse-Breeding in France 

Horse-Breeding'in Germany (Pruss(a) 

Horse-Breeding in Hungary 

Hokse-Breeding in Austria 

Horse-Breeding in Italy 

Horse-Breeding in Russia 

Horse-Breeding in Turkey 

Horse-Breeding in India : 

Opinions of the Late Veterinary-Colonel Hallen — 

First endeavours to improve Native Breeds. Army Remounts 
and Horse-Breeding. Native Mares. Difficulties in the way of 
improvement. Purchase of stallions. English Thoroughbreds. 
Objections to Thoroughbred Stallions. Thoroughbreds from 
Australia. Hackney Stallions. Results of using Thoroughbred, 
Hackney and Arab Stallions. Thoroughbred and Arab Sires in 
Bombay Presidency. Relative merits of young stock by various 
stallions. Commission of Inquiry igoo. Errors in working the Horse- 
Breeding Scheme. Demand for horses for sport in India. Stallions 
overworked. Small size of the Arab. Climate and size of the horse 
Opinions of Major-General Sir John Watson — 

Work of old Bengal Studs. Shortcomings of e.xisting system. 
Indiscriminate breeding. Character of mares ignored. Hopelessness 
of evolving an Anglo-Indian horse 

The Horse-Breeding (India) Commission of 1900-1 



4 
6 

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9 
II 
12 
13 
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16 
iS 

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20 
22 
30 
35 
39 
42 
44 
49 



s2-60 



60-62 
63-('5 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



A Cover Hack, the property of the Ninth Duke of Hamilton Frontispiece 
Hl'ntkr Sirk — Cognac .. 



Height of Race-Horses from 1700 to 1900 

Shark 

Orville 

King George IV's Hackney — Monitor.. 

Anglo-Norman Stallion — Radziwill . . 

Oldenburgh Mares 



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18 
20 
27 
34 



PREFACE 



Certain chauQ-es kaviucr come over the condition 
of onr Jiorse-breeding industry in England during 
the last few years, a7id more recent information 
concerning the zuork of horse-bi'eeding in India 
and the studs of France, Germany, Italy and 
Russia havino- been obtained, this Second Edition 
has been made necessary. 

Chapters on " Sizeable Harness Horses'' and on 
''The HeighF and ''Character'' of Race- Horses 
from lyoo to igoo have been added to the 
original text. 

The particulars of foreign stud establishments 
given in the following pages shozu hocu fully 
Continental nations realise the importance of 
encouraging horse-breeding, and the value they 
continue to set on English breeding-stock. 

Elsenham Hall 

joth April, I go 6 



Digitized by the Internet Arciiive 

in 2009 with funding from 

Lyrasis IVIembers and Sloan Foundation 



http://www.archive.org/details/horsebreedingiOOgilb 



HORSE-BREEDING 
IN ENGLAND AND INDIA 



AND 



ARMY HORSES ABROAD 



Horse-Breeding in 1884 

More than twenty years since I drew attention" to the 
neglect displayed in England in the breeding of Horses. 
Stress was then laid upon our increasing dependence on 
foreign countries for supplies of horses of the generally useful 
stamp ; and upon the mistaken policy of selling to Continental 
buyers the mares we might with profit to ourselves retain 
for breeding purposes at home, if such mares are properly 
mated. 

The Present State of Affairs 

Much has happened to alter the general condition of 
affairs since those words were spoken ; since the first edition 
of this book appeared in the year 1901, the change in some 
departments of road transport in Britain has been increasingly 
rapid. We have seen the horse-drawn tramcar replaced in 
many cities by the electrically driven car ; and the motor- 
driven omnibus threatens now to displace the horse-drawn 
vehicle. 

* A Paper read in 1884 at the Farmers' Club. With Discussion thereon 
by the Duke of Westminster, Earl Carrington, Sir Nigel Kingscute, 
Mr. Edmund Tattcrsall, and others. 



These changes have brought about as a natural con- 
sequence a decrease in the demand for the stamp of horse 
which was formerly required ; and this decreased demand is 
shown by the falling off in our importations of horses during 
the last few years. 

It will be observed that our imports of horses have now 
fallen below those of the years previous to 1899, 1900 and 
1 901, the period when the South African War drained England 
of horses for artillery and transport, and obliged us to buy 
foreign horses in greater number than we had ever done 
before :— 

Imports of Horses for the Twenty Years, 1886 — 1905 

1886 11,027 1896 40,677 

1887 11,649 1897 49,519 

1888 11,504 1898 42.921 

1889 13,859 1899 43,900 

1890 19,404 1900 51,787 

1891 21,715 1901 40,856 

1892 21,026 1902 32,686 

1893 13,719 1903 27,266 

1894 22,866 1904 18,491 

1895 34,092 1905 13,711 



Horses Bred in England 

I have given the figures for the last twenty years to enable 
the reader to compare those of recent years with importations 
at earlier dates ; but it is the steady decrease during the last 
four years upon which I wish to insist ; and in conjunction 
with these figures for 1902, 1903, 1904 and 1905, I would 
ask the reader's attention to the Government Returns of 
Agricultural Horses in England during the last few years : — 

1897 1,526,424 1902 1,504,789 

1898 1.517,160 1903 1.537,154 

1899 1,516,630 1904 1,560,236 

1900 1,500,143 1905 1,572,433 

1901 1,511,431 



The influence of the South African War was felt by the 
horse-breeding industry in common with others, but the 
recovery was rapid ; and, as the figures show, we bred more 
horses for work in England in 1903, 1904 and in 1905 than 
we had done for several years previously. 

The horses returned as " Agricultural " are not all animals 
of the stamp fitted for the plough and heavy draught work of 
the farm. They include a very considerable proportion of 
higher and more valuable class ; and there can be no doubt 
that breeders are at last waking up to the truth of the doctrine 
I have been striving to teach for more than twenty years — i.e., 
that there is a constant and steady demand for carriage 
horses, and that it pays to breed them. The horses returned 
as " Agricultural " also include, it cannot be doubted, a 
proportion of animals bred by farmers with the view of sale as 
hunters and ponies for polo and other work, the demand for 
which — particularly for polo-ponies — steadily increases. The 
" fancy prices " paid for polo-ponies of proved merit has done 
much to encourage the production of animals of this class. 

As regards high-class carriage horses, it is noteworthy 
that, notwithstanding the increased use of motor-cars, the 
demand for carriage horses continues to be as keen as it was 
before these machines were invented. The sales of high-class 
harness horses at Tattersall's and other great London 
repositories during 1905 produced keener competition among 
buyers and higher prices than they have ever done before. 

It would seem, therefore, that at last the work done by 
the Horse-Breeding Societies is beginning to bear fruit. The 
twelve Breed Societies have done a great deal to encourage 
the impro\ement of horses, by the promotion of shows and 
donation of prizes. At a rough estimate the amount of money 
distributed in prizes at shows held throughout England may 
be put at between ^"25,000 and ^35,000 per annum. 

In addition to these endeavours to awaken the country 
and breeders to our needs, the sum of ^5,000 since the year 
1887 has annually been granted by Government to encourage 



horse-breeding. The greater part of this money for more than 
a century had been given by the reigning sovereign in the 
shape of Royal Plates. 

In 1887 the Royal Commission on Horse-Breeding was 
appointed, and one of the first recommendations of this body 
was that the sum of ^^3,500 which had been given by Queen 
Victoria in prizes for races should be diverted to the use to 
which it is now applied — namely, in giving premiums to 
thoroughbred stallions. 

Horses Bred for Sport Only 

Since the end of the coaching era — say since 1850 — we 
have been breeding, as at the present day, almost exclusively 
for pleasure, and not for business, and this is just where our 
weakness lies. 

The only animals for business purposes which receive 
the meed of attention their importance deserves are the heavy 
draught-horses — the Shire, Suffolk and Clydesdale. 

We are far ahead of any other nation as breeders of 
race-horses, hunters and polo-ponies — horses used in sport — 
we spare neither money nor pains to breed the best, but in 
aiming at production of these we either hit the mark or miss 
it altogether. 

We prefer a Thoroughbred sire, not because he has bone, 
substance and soundness, but because he is a Thoroughbred. 
The owner of a mare does not inquire concerning the make 
and shape of the stallion ; he asks, " How is he bred ? " and 
a fashionable pedigree is the strongest — nay, the only^ 
recommendation he will accept. 

This was not always the case; between the years 1800 
and 1850, broadly speaking. Hunter sires were used to beget 
Hunter stock. It is true that breeders of Hunters did not 
confine themselves exclusively to the use of such sires, for the 
increased speed of hounds obliged them to produce faster 

4 



horses ; but such animals as Cognac, whose portrait is here 
given, were very hirgely used, to the great benefit of the 
Hunter. Cognac belonged, in the words of a writer in 
the Sporting Magazine of the year 1836, " to a race of Hunters 
nearly extinct, and justly celebrated for their high courage, 
honesty and "stoutness." 

The famous writer, Mr. Cornelius Tongue, best known as 
"Cecil," writing in the Sporting Magazine of May, 1851, says 
that " it was a prevailing opinion with hunting men until 
within the last twenty years that Thoroughbreds were 
not calculated for hunting." It would appear, therefore, that 
during the twenty years i83i-i(S3i mentioned, hunting men 
changed their opinions with regard to Thoroughbreds, and 
came to consider them suitable for riding across country. 

Having discovered that the Hunter mare threw a good foal 
to the stout Thoroughbred sire, some hunting men, at least, 
evidently adopted the practice of riding the Thoroughbred 
horse as a Hunter instead of using him only as a sire to beget 
Hunters. In this connection we nuist always bear in mind 
that the Thoroughbred of the period referred to was still a 
stout horse, able to gallop a distance and carry a heavy 
weight. 

Because the Thoroughbred sire of a former generation 
was successfully used to beget Hunters, we have taken for 
granted that his greatly altered modern descendant is equally 
suitable for the purpose ; and herein to a great extent lies the 
reason of our failure. 

There must always be a large proportion of disappointments 
in stud work ; the number of failures or misfits will always 
exceed the good ones, and the misfit got by a Thoroughbred 
from, say, a Hunter mare already full of Thoroughbred blood is 
only too often a misfit in the fullest sense of the word — 
disappointment to the breeder, too liglit for Army work, and 
scarcely fit for useful purposes — in homely language it is a 
" weed." 



Purchase of English Mares by Foreigners 

In France, Germany, Hungary, and other foreign countries 
breeders work on very different lines. They breed for business, 
not for pleasure ; their aim is to produce the highest stamp 
of useful horse. With this definite object they have for sixty 
years and more been buying English mares, free from bias in 
favour of one strain or another. Geldings, the foreign breeders 
scarcely ever purchase from us. The larger number of mares 
bought by them are those which have been accidentally 
blemished ; but in all cases the shape and not the pedigree 
of the mare guides the purchaser. They also buy sound 
young mares for work, and with the view of breeding from 
them afterwards. 

The eagerness with which foreign agents seek to buy 
mares from us has given rise to the idea that England and 
Ireland have been and are being steadily drained of the best 
mares ; and statements to the effect that " all our best mares 
are sold to go abroad " have been frequently published. 
Nothing could be more misleading. The owners of good 
brood mares will not part with them, and we have in this 
country the foundation-stock from which to produce in the 
future, as we have done in the past, horses of all breeds far 
superior to any that are bred in France and Germany. We 
in England and Ireland want, not the material, but the 
judgment to use it properly. We have the material, and that 
of the best, in abundance ; but we do not make the best use of 
it. Foreign breeders buy what they can, and, by the exercise 
of unbiassed judgment in mating the mares with suitable 
stallions, turn the material obtained from us to far better 
account than we should do. 

I insisted on this point in the address I read before the 
Farmers' Club in March, 1884." I said " it was an admitted 

* Riding anil Driving Horses: Their Breeding and Management. This 
paper gave rise to a most interesting discussion, in which the late Duke of 
Westminster, the late Earl of Carrington, the late Mr. Edmund Tattersall, 
Sir Nigel Kingscote and other prominent authorities took part. 



fact that we were possessed of the true bred sires and dams 
which cannot be equalled in any other country." The 
statement is as true now as it was twenty-two years ago. 

In addition to their annual purchases of English mares, 
foreign breeders have, since about 1830, been our best 
•customers for Hackney stallions. Foreign stud masters in 
the great horse-rearing districts can now show us distinct 
and well-marked breeds of useful horses which they have 
gradually produced by judiciously mating the mares they 
have bought from us. Had those mares been retained in 
England it is not likely that they would have benefited the 
nation ; they would, in all probability, have been put to 
Thoroughbred stallions, with the results described by Lord 
■Cathcart." 

The point on which particular stress must be laid is 
that, owing to the method of breeding on the Continent, the 
foreigners' misfits are unlike ours. The foreigner may — he 
necessarily often does — fail to produce a youngster that will 
sell in the most remunerative market, i.e., as a carriage- 
horse ; but the misfit is not a weed, it is useful for general 
purposes. 

Horses Wanted for the Army 

Since the South African War, the War Office authorities 
have been bombarded with schemes and suggestions — good, 
bad, and impossible — for increasing the home-bred supply of 
Remounts. 

It is certain that there will be an enormous demand in the 
future for horses both large and small for military purposes. 

In the year igoo a large increase was inade in one arm 
which involves a large increase in the number of horses which 
will be needed. Fifty-four new batteries of Artillery have been 
raised ; on a peace footing each of these requires 58 horses, 

* Half-Bred Horses jov Field and Road : Their Breeding and Management, 
by Earl Cathcart, in the Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society of 
England, 1883. 



or a total of 3,132. The war establishment of a battery of 
Royal Field Artillery is 131 horses; 7,074 additional horses 
would therefore be required to equip the new batteries for 
active service. 

Colonel De Burgh, Director of Transport and Remounts, 
in a letter dated gth March, 1906, informs me that the 
authorised " Peace Establishment " of horses for all arms, 
exclusive of India, is 29,713. A large proportion of these are 
draught horses of good stamp, powerful but active animals, 
suitable for work in the gun team or transport waggon. 

It may be suggested that Britain's position as a colonising 
nation, while it casts upon her larger responsibilities of 
preparedness for war, lends her larger opportunities of meeting 
those responsibilities. It would be impossible in these islands 
to find ground for breeding-studs on the scale that would 
enable us to meet a demand for all the horses we might require 
for warfare on any extensive scale. 

This question of military horse supplies is now become 
graver than before. The substitution of mechanical traction 
for horse power by the great carrying companies is cutting 
off a source of supply whose value was sufficiently proved 
during the South African War. Under the registration scheme, 
large numbers of seasoned horses of the stamp most suitable 
for Artillery and transport work were obtained from the 
omnibus and kindred companies ; if electricity and motor 
engines are to replace horses for such city work, the Army 
must look elsewhere for its requirements in time of need. 

If 1 may venture an opinion, our policy should be to 
encourage in our Colonies — Canada, Australia, and South 
Africa, more especially, as possessing soil and climate suitable 
for the industry — the breeding of horses of the useful type 
required for military service. There is space to conduct these 
operations on a large scale in the Colonies, while the mission 
of the mother country might well be to continue, as at present, 
breeding the best of every strain as a source of supply to 
Colonial breeders who may seek to improve their local stock. 

8 



The Government might profitably send to inspect and 
report on the great studs of France, Germany, Hungary, 
Russia and other countries. 

Such inspections may have been made officially, but the 
Reports have not been made accessible to the breeders of this 
country. It goes witliout saying that the choice of agents to 
make such inspections and reports must be a matter of great 
difficulty. The agent must be a man possessed of practical 
experience in horse-breeding, and not in breeding only one 
class of horse. The man who has devoted himself exclusively 
to the production of one class of horse, whether the race-horse 
or the hunter, cannot rid himself of the prejudices he has 
necessarily formed in the course of his experience as a breeder 
of race-horses or hunters — he cannot put aside his bias in favour 
of a horse suitable for sport. Few breeders devote themselves 
to the production of several classes of horse ; and the successful 
men among these few are naturally disinclined to leave their 
business for a prolonged tour through the horse-breeding 
districts of Europe. 

Sizeable Harness Horses 

It is impossible to deny that there is in the United 
Kingdom a great want of sizeable harness horses ; and this is 
a want which, in the interests of national defence, we should 
be able to satisfy from our own breeding grounds. We 
cannot do it. 

I stated, in my address twenty-two years ago, that English 
horses suitable for match pairs — square made, sizeable and 
having courage and action — could then be scarcely obtained ; 
and the statement is hardly less true to-day. I also stated that 
it was only necessary to visit the yards of our metropolitan 
and country dealers to discover how difficult and costly a 
matter it was then to find a London brougham-horse or a 
match pair from 15.3 to 16.2 hands in height. A similar 
mission might be undertaken to-day with the certainty of 
encountering much the same difficulty. 



Hundreds of pairs of carriage and coach horses have 
been sold every year in London at from ^200 to ^500 a 
pair, the purchasers being quite unaware of their foreign 
origin. At recent sales brown and bay upstanding coach- 
horses from coaches running during the summer out of London 
have sold at from 100 to 200 guineas ; a pair purchased by a 
friend cost 350 guineas. There can be no doubt whatever 
where these animals were bred ; if anyone took the trouble to 
trace their pedigree it would be found that they came either 
from the Oldenbourg province of Germany or from the horse- 
breeding districts of Normandy in France; there can be no 
mistaking the breeds. 

When the Royal Commission on Irish Horse-Breeding 
was appointed in the year 1897, niuch evidence in support of 
the above statement was given by two of the largest job- 
masters in London. Mr. Wimbush stated that he began to buy 
horses in Normandy about the year 1887, and he continued 
to obtain them from that country because they were just the 
stamp of animal required for carriage work. 

In his own words, these Norman horses are " not very 
large — 15.3 or 15.2, and occasionally up to 16 hands — but they 
are horses of beautiful appearance, very handsome and splendid 
goers ; they not only step well, but go most excellently on 
their hind legs." 

Formerly, the London dealers used to buy carriage horses 
in America. Mr. Henry Withers informed the Commissioners 
that for four or hve years his firm maintained one buyer in 
Lexington and another in New York. The scarcity of good 
carriage horses in England and Ireland obliged him to do this, 
though American horses were very dear. In course of time 
the Lexington and New York agencies were abandoned, not 
because carriage horses of the required stamp could be found 
in Great Britain, but because they could be procured more 
cheaply in France, Germany and Belgium than in the United 
States. 



]\Ir. Withers informed the Commissioners that only a 
fortnight before he appeared to give evidence he had been on 
the Continent to purchase horses, and had bought in Paris, 
Hanover, Brussels and Ghent. 

This is an anomaly, but one for which it would be 
unjust to blame the dealers, for English-bred harness-horses of 
the class required have not been bred in any quantity in this 
country for more than fifty years. 

The enterprising English dealers take measures to meet 
their customers' requirements by maintaining on the Continent 
agents whose business has been to purchase the most 
"English-looking" animals they can find; and it may be 
asserted without fear of contradiction that the horses so 
purchased are bred from English stock. 

The steady progress made by the Hackney Horse Society, 
as evidenced by the annual increase in the number of animals 
exhibited at the Show held each year at Islington, gives 
ground for the hope that at last this matter of harness horse- 
breeding is receiving more of the attention it deserves. Those 
interested in the subject appear now to be realising that we 
can breed in England harness horses of a class quite as good 
as, if not superior to, those for which the jobmasters pay high 
prices in the French and German markets. 

It would be strange if we could not do so, having regard 
to the fact that the foreign breeders have built up their 
excellent harness horses very largely — almost entirely— on 
stock purchased from England. 

Private Enterprise in England 

It is not, I think, desirable that the British Government 
should embark upon costly horse-breeding operations in 
emulation of foreign powers. Private enterprise in England 
has succeeded in producing domestic animals of all kinds so far 
superior to those bred in other countries that English stock, 
whether Horses, Cattle, Sheep or Swine, are purchased at 



"fancy prices" to improve their kind in every civilised part of 
the world, and breeding industries would not benefit were the 
independence of the individual undermined by Government 
help which relieved him from the necessity to exercise his 
own energies and judgment. 

It must be said, howe\er, that pri\ate enterprise is not 
always wisely directed. The practice among large landed 
proprietors and others of keeping stallions to serve the mares 
of their tenants and others at small fees is increasing. 

It is an ungrateful task to take exception to a practice 
which proves anxiety both to promote the welfare of the 
tenants and to encourage the breeding of good horses ; but it 
must be pointed out that to keep a Thoroughbred stallion 
to serve any or all the mares that may be brought to him, 
tends directly to defeat the good objects in view. 

Breeding withol't Prejudice 

It will be seen that none of the Continental Governments 
wliich devote attention to horse-breeding pin their faith to 
one single breed and depend upon that to improve all breeds. 
The 'ground plan of the system in each country is to 
raise the standard of merit of each breed (i) by providing 
the best procurable stallions of that breed for public 
service at low fees, and (2) by affording the owners of 
mares a certain range of choice in stallions, that defects 
may be eliminated or improvement obtained by judicious 
crossing. 

Where the system of affording owners of mares 
opportunity for choosing among \'arious stallions all the 
best of their kind has been long in vogue we see the 
results in the shape of distinct strains which breed true to 
type ; for example, in Hungary they have established a breed 
of saddle-horses ; in France a distinct strain of carriage- 
horses — the Anglc-Norman — has been established on so true 



12 



and constant a basis that it not only breeds true to type, 
but can be depended on to assert itself when crossed with 
otlier breeds and stamp its character upon the progeny. 

Landlords wol'ld do well to give Choice of Stallions 

Those who desire to assist their tenants can only 
accomplish their end by keeping stallions of several breeds. 
Let the owner of a mare choose for himself whether he shall 
put her to a Thoroughbred, Hunter-sire, Hackney, Arab, or 
to a stallion of one of our Draught breeds. 

We should then have in operation a system which 
combines the invaluable advantage of choice so wisely provided 
by foreign stud-masters with that freedom to exercise discretion 
and judgment from which none would wish to see our farmers 
relieved. 

If one landowner be unable or unwilling to maintain such 
a stud representative of several breeds, there would be surely 
no great difficulty in two or three landlords combining to 
maintain a joint stud at one farm ; for the essence of the plan 
is to make all the stallions equally accessible. 

In this connection I would add that I am no advocate for 
horse-breeding by public companies. The business is not one 
that lends itself to industrial enterprise in that form. 

Cause of Failure in English Horse-Breeding 

If evidence be required to explain how we have failed to 
supply the nation's wants, it is only necessary to refer to 
the Reports of the various Commissions which have been 
appointed to inquire into the subject of horse-breeding, and 
more particularly to the Report of Lord Cathcart already 
referred to. 

Lord Cathcart makes the cogent remark that " in 
addition and supplementary to blood we must have substance 
from somewhere." The truth is that we have been working 



13 



as though blood necessarily gives substance. This was the case 
a hundred years ago and less, but is true no longer, and we must 
divest ourselves of the idea so resolutely held that the Thorough- 
bred is the only strain which can improve our horses. Like 
foreign breeders, we must seek bone and substance where those 
qualities exist and not where they only used to exist. 

Height of Race-Horses from 1700 to igoo 

About the year 1700, when the foundations of our 
Thoroughbred stock were laid, our race-horses averaged 
14 hands or thereabout. The three "foundation sires" — the 
Byerly Turk (imported 16S9), the Darley Arabian (imported 
1706), and the Godolphin Arabian (imported 1724) — were each 
of them horses of about 14 hands; and the race-horses of that 
and subsequent generations were no larger. Some, indeed, 
were smaller ; Mixbury, by Curwen's Bay Barb out of an Old 
Spot Mare, was only 13.2 in height. 

The weights small horses were asked to carry were 
greatly in excess on those in vogue on the race-course now. 
In I7ii,the conditions for a six guinea Plate at Newmarket 
imposed a burden of 10 stone on the horse, mare or gelding of 
14 hands, with weight for inches if below or above that 
height — which, clearly, was the average height of the racehorse 
of the time. The weights, prescribed by law, for the Royal 
Plates ranged from 10 to 12 stone, according to age. 

The usual length of a race — run in heats be it noted — was 
four miles; but six mile races were not unusual in 1700- 1800 
until the later years of that century. These longer races 
then fell into disuse, but four miles continued to be the 
distance for the Royal Plates during the earlier years of the 
19th century. 

As the years passed, the race-horse became higher. The 
scale for "Give and Take" Plates, framed in 1770, gives the 
weights to be carried by horses of from 12 to 15 hands; the 




HEIGHT of EAOE-HORSES from 1700 to 1900 



latter was obviously the extreme height for which it was 
considered necessary to provide, and it was probably an 

uncommon thing for the limit to be reached. 

Admiral Rous [Baily's Magazine, i860) showed that the 
average height of the Thoroughbred had then increased one 
inch in every twenty-five years. Facts bear out the Admiral's 
statement. 

We cannot doubt that the rate of increase in height has 
been more rapid from 1800 to 1900 than it was from 1700 to 
1800, and for this reason — About the year 1800, or a little 
earlier, the practice of racing two -year -old horses was 
introduced, and, as a natural consequence, breeders began to 
"force" their young stock in order to make them the sooner 
ready for racing. 

The results of this policy had become evident in 1836, for 
an authority writing in that year "•' says : — 

" We have seen that the ' Turf ' commenced with ponies, and that 
for a long period horses under 14 hands were found among the best racers. 
. The intelhgent reader must perceive that the great size so much 
admired by the pubHc in brood mares has been acquired. . . . The 
Enghsh racer, we cannot doubt, acquired his enlarged structure by rich 
food." 

The "enlarged structure" to which the author refers, in 
his day, did not exceed 15 hands; we may doubt whether the 
a\'erage height was so much. Individual horses there were, 
as the Turf records inform us, which measured over 15 hands 
about this period, but these were very exceptional, and we 
shall probably be within the mark if we put the average height 
of the race-horses of 1800- 1820 at 14 hands 3 inches. 

With the increase in height attained in our own day our 
race-horses have lost, in great measure, the qualities possessed 
by their smaller ancestors. It would seem that there is a 
point in height, beyond which the race-horse, or indeed any 
horse, cannot with advantage be bred. Mr. Scawen Blunt 

* A Comparative View of the Form and Charaeter of the English Racer 
and Saddle-Horses during the Past and Present Centuries. PubHshed by 
Thomas Hookham, 15 Old Bond Street, London. 1836. 

15 



discovered this in his extensive experience as a breeder of 
Arabs. He found that there was no difficulty in grading them 
up a couple of inches ; but he found that when this had been 
done the bigger horses were in no way stouter, stronger or 
better than Arabs of normal size. 

Mr. William Day, the famous trainer, was a strong 
advocate for the horse of moderate size. He writes" : — 

" As a rule vou mav get fifty good small horses for one goodlarge 
one, and the former will, and do, run well after the latter has been put to 
the stud. ... A good big horse may beat a good little one over a short 
course ; but I think at three or four miles a good little one would beat the 
best big one I ever saw." 

Mr. Day admits the great merits of some big horses — 
Fisherman and Rataplan, for example — but, both for the 
race-course and the stud, his unrivalled experience leads him 
to prefer the small one ; in fact, when he reviews forty years' 
work among horses, he can recall but one single good stallion 
above or about i6 hands — namely, Stockwell.f 

Character of Race-Horses from 1700 to 1900 

We have only to examine the history of the race-horse to 
discover that the breed has undergone most marked changes 
in conformation, constitution and character during the last 
two hundred years ; and to realise that while the race-horse of 
a former age could be depended on to beget animals sound and 
hardy, capable of carrying weight, and that over long distances, 
he has undergone such changes that it is absurd to expect him 
to do the same thing in our own day. 

For generations we have aimed at the development of a 
horse of great speed, able to travel a short distance under a 
light weight ; and having accomplished this with the greatest 
success, we still expect him to beget horses able to travel long 
distances under hea\'y weights at reasonable speeds — to 
beget, in a word, horses of similar stamp to his remote 
ancestors, from wiiom we have made him utterly dissimilar ! 

* The Race-liovse in Tiaiiiinf;. 

t The Horse: Hoiv to Breed and Rciw Him. 

16 



We may sum up this aspect of our subject by saying 
that the modern race-horse, as a sire for the improvement 
of our breeds of useful horses, is living upon the reputation 
made by his ancestors, who, by reason of their form and 
qualities, could do what we have made it impossible for the 
modern Thoroughbred to do — i.e., impart qualities we have 
carefully bred out of him. 

Such horses as Shark, whose portrait is here given, had 
bone and substance. The work they were called upon to 
perform required the highest qualities of the horse — stamina, 
staying-power and ability to carry weight. Shark was foaled 
in 1771, and was got by Marsk from a mare by Snap; 
he was bred by Mr. Robert Pigott, and made his first 
appearance on a racecourse at the Newmarket First October 
Meeting of 1774. He started 29 times and won ig times, 
receiving 6 forfeits and paying 4 ; he Avon more money than 
any horse up to his time. 

Shark, like many of our celebrated Thoroughbreds, was 
sent to America in 1786, and in \'irginia laid the foundation 
of the famous Snap blood. 

Hambletonian, another representati\e horse of the old 
stamp, was foaled m 1792; he was got by King Fergus from 
a mare by Highflyer, and was bred by Mr. J. Hutchinson, 
of Skipton, near York. In 1795 he was sold to Sir Charles 
Turner, and by him in the following year to Sir Henry 
Vane Tempest. Hambletonian was only once beaten, and 
on that occasion (at York August Meeting of 1797) he ran 
out of the course just after starting. His most famous 
achievement was his victory over Mr. Cookson's Diamond on 
25th March, 1799, at Newmarket. 

Such a horse as Orville, whose portrait faces page 18, may 
be offered as an example of the race-horse of a century ago. 
This horse was foaled in i 799, and was by Beningbrough out 
of Evelina. He was bred by Earl Fitzwilliam, and between 
1801, when he ran his first race at Doncaster, and the Second 



17 



October Meeting' at Newmarket in 1807 lie fulfilled 22 engage- 
ments, of which he Avon 18. He was second once, received 
forfeit once, and walked over once. His successes included 
the St. Leger of 1802, and he won races under all weights 
(including a King's Plate in 1805 under 12 stone) and at all 
distances. On 24th September, 1804, at Doncaster, he won 
two races, one in four-mile heats, the other in two-mile heats. 
He became, in 1804, the property of Prince George of Wales, 
and proved a most successful sire when sent to the stud. 
Orville is described as "a good brown." 

The Colonel was a good horse of a generation later ; he 
was bred by Mr. Wyvill, of Burton Constable, in 1825. After 
winning the St. Leger in 1829, he was sold to King George IV. 
for ^'4,000, and won many important races in 1830 and 1831. 
When the Hampton Court stud was dispersed in October, 
1837, he was purchased for 1,600 guineas by Mr. Richard 
Tattersall. 

These were animals which could be depended to run 
three four-mile heats in an afternoon, and could therefore 
be depended on to produce stock with their own valuable 
characteristics. 



The Introduction of Short Races 

The old-fashioned race, run in four-mile heats, began to 
grow less popular during the last quarter of the eighteenth 
century, and the tendency to reduce the length of races and 
also the weights carried became marked in the earlier years 
of the nineteenth century. Elsewhere* an example of the 
remarkable change in our Turf system has been given, and 
may conveniently be repeated here. At the Newmarket 
Craven Meeting of 1820 there was one race of about three 
miles, five races of two miles or over, twenty races of about 

* Hoi-scs, Past and Present. By Sir Walter Gilbev, Bart. Published 
by Vinton & Co., Ltd. igoo. 



one mile, and two of under one mile. At the Newmarket 
Craven Meeting of 1900 there were three races of about one 
mile and a half, six of about one mile, and eleven of five or 
six furlongs. 

In 1832 a new schedule of weights was issued for the 
Royal Plates. From about this time the system of short races 
and light weights began to develop, and as it developed the 
character of the race-horse underwent a change. With every 
desire to produce Thoroughbreds possessing power as well as 
speed, breeders have found themselves unable to reproduce 
the former quality and successfully compete for the great 
prizes of the Turf. To be successful in these days the race- 
horse must possess the utmost speed, but he need not be able 
to travel at speed for a greater distance than a mile and a half 
at most, and if he can carry g stone he is considered a weight 
carrier. 



The Roadster of a Century Ago 

Thoughtful writers foresaw the result of this change in 
the English Turf more than 60 years ago, when Thoroughbreds 
of stamina and substance were far more plentiful than they are 
now. x\n author pre\iously quoted" declared that at that date 
" There are powerful reasons for concluding that the single 
quality of speed possessed by the modern (1836) racer is a 
bad substitute for the fine old union of speed, stoutness and 
structural power possessed by the old racer." 

The racer of the thirties was lighter than his ancestors, 
but he was far stouter and truer made than his modern 
descendant. " The older race-horses," wrote this author, 
" were swift enough to enable the general breeder to produce 
excellent saddle-horses. Our roadsters were formerly admirable 

* A Comparative Viciv of the Form and Character of the English Racer 
and Saddle-Horses during the Past and Present Centuries. Published by 
Thomas Hookham, 15 Old Bond Street, London. 1836 



19 



and plentiful, while at present a compact and powerful roadster 
wdth free action is scarcely to be bought at any price. It is 
obvious that the horses of our cavalry are much deteriorated, 
and that many of them could not go through a single 
campaign." 

A fine example of the old-fashioned saddle-horse is shown 
in the frontispiece, which is reproduced from George Garrard's 
picture of " Archibald, ninth Duke of Hamilton and Brandon, 
on a cover hack." This work was engraved and published 
in 1797. 

Another example of the old-fashioned roadster, whose 
disappearance the writer above quoted deplores, is Monitor, a 
very fast Hackney which belonged to George IV. That 
monarch was passionately fond of horses, and Monitor was 
evidently a special favourite, as his portrait was painted by 
James Ward, R.A., and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 
1825. This horse was a son of the famous Phenomenon, who 
traces his descent in a direct line to the Darley Arabian. The 
Darley Arabian (foaled 1702) begat Flying Childers (foaled in 
1 71 5), who was the speediest race-horse of his time, and was 
considered by many a better horse than Eclipse. The portrait 
of Monitor, which is here given, shows the best stamp of the 
old Norfolk Hackney ; muscular, hardy and sound of constitu- 
tion and limb, this breed furnished the ideal roadster. 

What Foreign Nations are Doing 

Foreign Governments recognise the fact that they can 
learn something from their neighbours ; they give proof of 
this by the encouragement they lend to Horse Shows of 
an International character, such as those which ha\-e been 
held in recent years at Antwerp, Hamburg, Amsterdam, 
Vienna, Brussels, and in 1900 at Paris. These exhibitions 
afford opportunities which do not occur otherwise of 
comparing the results of various systems and methods of 
breeding. 

20 



A golden opportunity of seeing the stamp of horse each 
Government of Europe is striving to produce for mihtary 
purposes occurred in September, igoo, in the International 
Horse Show held at Paris, when the French Government 
spent upwards of ^50,000 in prizes, on erecting suitable 
buildings, &c., for the show, which lasted only one week. 
There were collected horses of numerous and varied strains 
from all parts of France, from Germany, Hungary, Austria, 
Russia and Turkey. So excellent an opportunity for comparing 
a large number of representati\'e examples of different breeds 
is unlikely to recur in our time, and it is a thousand pities 
that the War Office authorities did not send one or two 
competent men to proht by the wonderful objectdesson there 
provided. 

The Army horses 01 various nations exhibited at the 
Paris Show were shown mounted. To demonstrate the 
results of the practice of breeding for the various classes of 
work horses are required to perform, a selection of sizeable 
stallions and mares was first paraded, and these were followed 
into the ring by a troop of heavy cavalry mounted on the 
produce of these stallions and mares. Then we were 
shown stallions and mares of medium size, and with them a 
detachment of cavalry mounted on their progeny. After 
these came stallions and mares more highly bred, followed 
again by a troop of light cavalry mounted on their progeny. 
Nothing more interesting and more instructive could have 
been devised. 

It is worth while glancing briefly at the systems prevail- 
ing in France, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Italy, Turkey 
and Russia. The reader will observe that the object of 
each Government being to foster and encourage the breeding 
of horses of classes most useful to the people of the country, 
there is in every case considerable variety of breed in the 
public studs, and that the owner of a mare may exercise his 
own judgment in selection of a sire. 



Horse-Breeding in France 

At the conclusion of the wars which called forth all her 
strength in the earlier years of the nineteenth century, the 
want of horses in France engaged the serious attention of 
the Government. Commissioners were appointed to travel 
through the country and ascertain what horses of certain old 
and esteemed breeds could be procured to re-stock the Royal 
Studs ; and measures were adopted to encourage private 
breeders. 

The Sporting Magazine of 1820 contains translation 
of a minute presented by the Minister of the Interior to 
Louis XVIII. recommending a number of gentlemen for gold 
and silver medals in recognition of the work they had done 
and were doing to promote the breeding of horses. Some 
details are given of the studs owned by these gentlemen, and 
from these it would appear that Arabs and Spanish stallions 
found place in several private studs. 

From the same publication we learn that for some 
years prior to 1820 foreign breeders had ceased to buy 
only Thoroughbreds in England to improve their stocks, 
and "great numbers of our half-bred mares have been 
collected and sent abroad." The trade then established has 
continued ever since, as has been shown on pages 6 and 7, 
under the heading " Purchase of English Mares by 
Foreigners." 

"Cecil," in an article on ra.c'mg in the Sporting Magazine 
of 1 85 1, says horses for general use were then very scarce in 
England, whilst the French Government were encouraging 
their production, more especially that of powerful animals for 
mihtary purposes and for general utility. 

22 



Napoleon III. (1852-1870), pursuing the policy of his 
predecessor, Louis Philippe, did his utmost to encourage the 
breeding of good horses. During his reign large numbers of 
Thoroughbred stallions, always selected for their stoutness and 
staying power, were purchased in England ; valuable stakes 
were offered for long races (2 miles 6 furlongs), in which 
the horses had to carry fairly heavy weights, and four-mile 
steeplechases at weights of from 1 2 to 1 3 stone were instituted 
for Thoroughbred stallions. 

With the same end in view, flat races and steeplechases 
were established for half-bred horses, and the fields that 
turned out for these have been compared to those that face 
the starter for Hunter stakes in England. 

The Turf in France has always been made subservient 
to the serious national work of breeding useful horses. 
Public money is not spent in encouraging weeds only 
capable of carrying six or seven stone over a five furlong 
course. 

Under the law of 29th March, 1874, the Horse- 
Breeding establishments of France were reorganised. It 
was then enacted that the State should purchase stallions 
at the rate of 200 per year, until a total of 2,500 had 
been reached. In 1892 another law was passed, sanctioning 
a further increase in the number of State stallions by 
annual additions of 50 per year. Finally, in 1900, a third 
law authorised the purchase of 50 stallions a year until 
the number owned by the State should reach a gross total 
of 3,450. 

France, for stud purposes, is divided into six districts, 
which contain 22 Government studs for stallions. At these 
studs, on ist January, 1905, 3,267 stallions of different breeds 
were available for distribution among 689 local covering 
stations for the public service. 

The Inspector-General of Horse-Breeding operations has 
been kind enough to give me the following information as to 

23 



the strength of the studs at the beginning of 1905. 
staUions, it will be noticed, are divided into three classes 

I Thoroughbreds ... 
Thoroughbreds ... j Arabs 

( Anglo-Arabs* 
1 Southern Half-bredsl 
I Normans and Vendeans 
Not Thoroughbreds... ' Qualified Trotters] 
I English Hackneys 
' English Hackneys — Cross-bred ;; 

Percherons 

Boulonnais 

Ardennes ... 

Bretons 



Draught 



The 

244 
102 
233 

200- 

307 
120 

7+ 
301 

71 
98 
66 



3,267 

Comparing the numbers of stallions of various breeds 
in 1899 with those owned by the Republic in 1905, some 
interesting and suggestive facts appear. There is a decrease 
in the number of Thoroughbred sires, as the following figures 
show : — 

Thoroughbreds ... 

Arabs 

Anglo-Arabs 

Now let us see how other light breeds stand 

Normans and Vendean stallions 
Qualified Trotters 
English Hackneys 
Hackneys — Cross-bred 

* Cross between English Thoroughbred and Arab. 

t Southern (du Midi) horses are bred in the Tarbes district and have 
a strong strain of Arab blood. 

X Certified to have trotted one kilometre (about 5 furlongs) in 
I minute 40 seconds. These horses have been graded up from Hackney 
sires which were imported from Engtand forty or fifty years ago. 

^ Cross between English Hackneys and Hunter mares imported from 
England. 



1899 


1905 


Decrease 


262 


244 


18 


105 


102 


3 


260 


233 


27 


stand : 
1899 


1905 


Increase 


i'354 


1.451 


67 


261 


307 


46 


71 


120 


49 


7&' 


7^ 


4 



24 



The breed of which the French Government has most 
largely increased its number of stallions, having regard to 
proportional strength, is the English Hackney. 

From the table showing how the stallions are distributed 
among these 22 Studs, we may select two important examples ; 
the stud at Tarbes, in the Pyrenean region, where light horses 
are chiefly bred, and Le Pin, in Normandy, where heavier 
saddle horses, carriage and light draught, and a proportion of 
heavy draught horses are produced. 

At Tarbes, in 1905, the horses available for distribution 
among covering stations were : — TJiovoiighhveds : English, 39 ; 
Arabs, 29; Anglo-Arabs, 55 ; total, 123. Half-Breds: Southern 
horses, 51 ; Normans and Vendeans, 8 ; English Hackneys, 2 ; 
total, 61. In all, one hundred and eighty-four stallions. 

At Le Pin, the following were available for distribution : — 
Thovoiighbreds : English, 17. Half-Breds : Normans and 
Vendeans, 10 r ; Qualified Trotters, 62 ; English Hackneys, 
17; total, 180. Dmiight Sires: Percherons, 77; Boulonnais, 3 ; 
total, 80. In all, two hundred and seventy-seven stallions. 

The largest stud in France is that at St. Lo, in Nor- 
mandy, whence 423 stallions were distributed in 1905; but it is 
less representative than the two of which details have been 
given, consisting of 317 Norman and Vendean stallions, with 
74 Qualified Trotters and 32 English Thoroughbreds. 

To further illustrate the system, let us take one small 
covering station, to which there are hundreds similar — that 
at Lesparre, in the Medoc. The stallions which stood for 
three months during the season 1904 at Lesparre were as 
follows : — 













Fee 


I. 


COTHURNE 


English Thoroughbred 


by Farfadet 


— Cothurnia 


8s. 


2. 


OVEZO 


A nglo-A rab 


„ Edhen 


— Electricity 


5^- 


3- 


Jambes d'Argent 


Anglo-Arab 


,, Fil en Quatre 


— Johette 


5^- 


4- 


OUF 


Half-bred Trotter* 


,, Fred Archer 


— Alumette 


i6s. 


5- 


Liernolles 


Half-bred Norman * 


„ Flabell 


—Virago 


5S- 


6. 


Tell 


Half-bred 


„ Frondeni 


— Vamba 


55. 


7- 


Un Sybarite 


Half-bred 


„ Portugal 


— Frein 


5S- 



* All these "Half-bred Trotters" and Half-bred Norman stallions 
have Hackney blood in their veins. 

25 



This table of fees brings out another suggestive fact. In 
1899 the highest fee was 165. Sd. charged for the service of 
Thoroughbred mares by the Thoroughbred stalHon Montbran. 
In 1905, 8s., or less than half, is the fee set upon the service of 
the only English Thoroughbred ; but the Half-bred Trotter 
sire commands a fee of 165. in 1903, whereas in 1899 service 
by Half-breds could be had at 5s. and 8s. ^d. These changes 
show us very clearly what blood is most in demand among the 
shrewd French horse-breeders who seek to produce horses 
that Avill sell. 

Lesparre is in a district in which horse-breeding is by no 
means a prominent industry — it is one of the chief vine- 
growing regions of France ; the celebrated vineyard Chateau 
Lafite is only seven miles distant from Lesparre — yet the 
owner of a mare may choose from seven stallions, representing 
five different strains, paying the small fees specified above. 
The supply of stallions is adjusted to meet the local demand ; 
the foregoing list shows us that experience has taught the 
Stud authorities to make provision for service by Half-breds 
of five times as many mares as are sent to the Thoroughbred 
or Anglo-Arab. 

There is no heavy draught stallion at Lesparre ; the 
reason is to be found in the fact that oxen are very generally 
used for cart and plough in this district, and heavy draught 
horses therefore are not bred. If we turn to the Finistere 
Department of Brittany, where post horses are bred, we 
shall find the same principle in operation ; there stand stallions 
of a stamp calculated to get the sturdy " blocky " horses for 
which the district is noted, and which have been graded up 
from imported Hackney sires. 

In France, during the year 1904, there were 3,213 
stallions belonging to the State in actucil -ivork ; these covered 
175,956 mares. Looking more closely into the returns of 
service, we find that in the Thoroughbred class (English, 
Arab, and Anglo-Arab), 583 stallions performed 25,577 
services, or about 44 each; the Half-bred class, 109,271 

26 



services, or nearly 52 each; and the Draught sires, 41,108, or 
over 79 each. 

The stalHons at each local covering station are changed 
frequently. 

An excellent representative of the stamp of horse produced 
by judicious crossing is shown in the engraving. This is the 
portrait of Radziwill, an Anglo-Norman stallion, descended 
through his sire from the Norfolk Phenomenon. Radziwill, 
when this portrait was taken in 1900, was five years old; he 
is a chestnut standing a shade under 16. i, and is the mode 
of the high-class carriage horse. He was shown with his 
sire Juvigny at the International Show at Paris, and the 
resemblance between father and son was a striking object- 
lesson in the success with which judicious mating can produce 
animals true to type. Radziwill's dam was a small Anglo- 
Norman mare, but coming of a breed normally big, her foal 
proved true to his breeding and furnished into a truly grand 
harness-horse. 

Besides the 3,213 stallions belonging to the State, there 

is a large number in the hands of private owners. Any 

stallion whose services are available to the public must 

be licensed by Government as belonging to one of three 
classes : — 

(i) "Approved" stallions, which are considered good 
enough to improve the breed of horses. These are sub- 
divided into two classes : Sires which earn over 100 francs (^4) 
per service form the first class ; these receive no bounty from 
the State ; the second class consists of sires for whose service 
100 francs or less is charged by the owner ; these receive an 
annual premium of from £-ii to £80 a year. In 1904 there 
were 1,479 " Approved" Stallions, viz. : — 

Thoroughbreds, Arabs and Anglo- Arabs ... 306 
Not Thoroughbreds ... ... ... ... 458 

Draught ... ... ... ... ... 713 

1.479 
27 



(2) "Authorised" stallions, which receive no premium, 
but whose progeny are eligible to compete at shows subsidised 
by the State. They were — 

Thoroughbreds, Arabs and Anglo-Arabs ... 23 
Not Thoroughbreds ... ... ... ... 28 

Draught ... ... ... ... ... 202 



253 



(3) "Accepted" stallions, which have nothing to 
recommend them but a certificate of freedom from roaring 
and intermittent opthalmia. In 1904, 7,629 stallions were 
accepted by the committees charged with the duty of 
examination. 

During the year 1904 the "Approved" stallions 
performed 75,717 ser\'ices, and the "Authorised" stallions 
1 1,945. No record is kept of the coverings by the third class, 
the " Accepted " stallions. 

There is only one Go^'ernment stud farm. This is at 
Pompadour, where sixty mares are kept. 

English Thoroughbred, Arab and Anglo-Arab horses only 
are bred at Pompadour, and the farm is only a small factor in 
the general scheme of breeding. Improvement is sought 
principally through the provision of good stallions. 

Bounties are also given for brood-mares, filly foals, and 
as prizes for horse-breaking at public competitions. These 
measures encourage owners to retain possession of the best 
breeding-stock for the benefit of the nation, and stimulate 
endeavour among the people to achieve skill as horse masters. 

In every breeding district in France shows are held at 
which the young stock are exhibited and are awarded prizes. 
The two-year-olds are led and the three-year-olds are shown 
mounted. 

The judges are officials connected with the neighbouring 
studs and one or two representatives of the head office of 
State Haras in Paris. 

28 



About ^308,000 of public money is spent annually in 
P'rance in horse-breeding. The expenditure includes the 
maintenance of the stallion studs and depots, purchase of 
horses, premiums to private stallion owners, and prizes given 
at races, local shows, &c. About ;^i 00,000 'of this total is 
derived from the tax or percentage levied on the pariinutiiel, 
or betting organisation, which tax is "ear-marked" by the 
Treasury to devote to horse-breeding purposes. 



29 



Horse-Breeding in Germany 

Prussia stands pre-eminent among the German States as 
the horse-breeding region ; in fact, all the Government studs 
and farms are situated in Prussia. 

The stallions for public service belonging to the State 
numbered 3,194 in the year 1904; this shows a marked 
increase on the strength of the studs during the last ten or 
eleven years. In 1884, the State stallions numbered 2,152 ; 
in 1896 the total number was about 2,600. These 3,194 
stallions are distributed among 18 " Rural Studs," which, in 
their turn, supply 1,045 covering stations, an increase of 146 
since 1896-7. 

The stallions in 1904 were classed as follows : — 

Class I. Light Riding-Horses, 830 (including 100 English 
Thoroughbreds, 12 Arabs and Anglo- Arabs). 

Class II. Heavy Riding or Light Draught-Horses, 1,660. 

Class III. Heavy Draught Horses, 704 (including 
Percherons, Belgian and Ardennes horses ; Shires and 
Clydesdales ; French and Norman, and German Farm-horses. 

Comparing these figures with those of 1896-7, given in 
the former edition of this book, it appears that the German 
Stud-masters, like the French, have of recent years learned 
to depend less upon the English Thoroughbred. In 1896-7, 
Class I. consisted of 419 light riding-horses, of which 94, or 
less than one-fourth, were Thoroughbreds ; the figures kindly 
furnished me by the Inspector-General of Studs at Berlin 
show that in 1904 Thoroughbred horses formed less than 
one-eighth of the total. 

The principal object of the Prussian Government Stud 
Department is to provide Remounts for the Army. Of the 
Remounts supplied in 1904, about 6,000 were for cavalry ; 
and of these only 600 were got by Thoroughbred sires. 

30 



The fee charged for the use of a pubHc stalHon is 
generally under £i. 

Privately owned stallions must be approved by local 
committees (which also license bulls and boars) before their 
services may be hired. During the financial year of 1904, 
2,279 licences were applied for and 1,433 were granted. The 
majority of these licences were for light riding or light draught- 
horses ; the remainder for farm and cart stallions. 

Much is done to promote private enterprise. There is a 
special fund provided by the Government from which private 
horse-breeding associations can obtain loans free of interest. 
Such loans must be repaid within six years. At the end of 
1895, 61 associations had taken advantage of this fund, the 
total lent being £5,275. 

Brood-mares may be purchased on very easy conditions 
from the Government Supply Depots; the principal stipulation 
being that the buyer shall have the mare covered by a good 
half-bred stallion belonging to an Imperial stud, and shall 
offer the produce when three years old to the Army buyer 
as a Remount. If, however, the owner wish to employ the 
produce for stud purposes he is not bound to put it on the 
Remount market. Pecuniary inducements are also offered to 
breeders to retain good brood-mares and rear young stock. 

For the convenience of breeders the War Office agents 
arrange markets at suitable times and places, where young 
animals on sale as Remounts for the Army may be inspected 
and bought ; no middlemen are employed. 

Horses are purchased by the military buyers at three 
years old. The average price paid is about £^47, but 
purchasing officers are, or were a few years since, mstructed 
to deal liberally with the breeders. I am informed that it 
Avas the rule not to try and beat down the price asked for 
a horse if it were reasonable ; and giving a small breeder 
more than he demanded was not unknown if the animal 
appeared more valuable than the owner supposed it. The 
young horses thus purchased are kept at the Remount Depots 

31 



for about fifteen months and are then distributed among 
regiments. Before this distribution takes place, breeders may 
select any mares that promise to make particularly good 
brood-mares, paying a little more than the average price for 
the animals so chosen. Few, however, take advantage of 
this privilege. 

Mr. Frederick Wrench, in the Badminton Magazine of 
December, i8gg, describes the stallions in the Rural Stud 
at Celle, near Hanover. There were, at the time of his visit, 
250 horses in this establishment, fourteen of which were 
Thoroughbred and all the rest Half-bred Hanoverian. Of 
these latter Mr. Wrench says: "The regular Hanoverian 
type is a dark brown or chestnut placid-looking harness- 
horse, standing at least 16.1, with great limbs, a good 
look-out, a fairly good back, and long enough to fill any 
harness." These Hanoverian horses trace their ancestry 
back to stock which was imported into Germany fifty or sixty 
years ago by Mr. H. R. Phillips. 

The names of both Irish and Yorkshire Half-bred horses 
still appear on a few of the pedigree cards fixed in each stall 
at Celle, where the number of stallions in 1905 had been 
increased to 275. 

Hackney blood was widely diff'used over the horse- 
breeding districts of Germany, Hanover, Oldenbourg, 
Holstein, Mecklenburg, and East Friesland ; for, once 
Mr. Phillips had introduced the Hackney to his German 
customers, sires and dams with the blood of Performer 
(foaled iSio) and Ramsdale's Phenomenon (foaled 1835) were 
eagerly bought up to cross with the local stock. It is exceed- 
ingly probable that the inter-trade in harness-horses between 
England and Germany dates back to a much earlier period ; 
the best of the German coach-horses and our own ha\e so 
much of the same character in common that they would 
seem to be descended from practically the same stock. 

In addition to the 18 "Rural Studs" referred to on 
page 30, there are six State breeding-studs with about 740 

32 



mares and 30 stallions. Of these Graditz and Trakehnen 
are the more important. The stallions bred at these 
establishments are sent to the Rural Studs if they can fulfil 
the standard of merit required by the committee which is 
assembled to examine them. Those that fail to satisfy the 
committee are sold by public auction. 

The largest of these studs is that at Trakehnen in East 
Prussia. When Mr. Wrench paid his visit to this estate, 
which covers about 10,300 acres, the breeding-stock comprised 
4 Thoroughbred and 12 Half-bred stallions, with over 400 
mares. The Trakehnen horse, as it may be called, for 
it now breeds true to type, is generally a long, low black 
horse, about 16 hands high, with the best of limbs and a 
beautiful head, " a trifle long in the back, according to English 
ideas, but a valuable stamp of horse, especially for harness 
purposes." The extreme quietness and docility of these 
Trakehnen horses, young and old, evoked comment from 
Mr. Wrench. 

By the distribution of illustrated pamphlets the German 
Government endeavours to instruct breeders in the best 
methods of managing stock, and also concerning the stamps 
of horse required for the Army. A typical Artillery and 
heavy-weight saddle-horse is described as follows, for the 
guidance of breeders : — 

" Height at 3 years, 15. i to 15.2^ ; height when full-grown, 15. 2| to 
16. i|. Activity, speed, freedom of action and endurance are required as 
in the artillery horse. The breast need not be so broad as in the artillery 
horse. The fetlock should not be too short; while, on the other hand, if 
too long it bends too low and causes the heavy weight carried to produce 
fatigue on a long march. A good back for the saddle is as necessary in 
the cavalry horse as a good shoulder for the collar in the artillery 
horse." 

The "general requirements" in horses for the German 
Army are thus detailed : — 

" (i) Small, blood-like head, neck well set on. (2) .Strong well-placed 
legs with big joints. (3) Well-arched ribs and good sloping shoulders. 
(4) Well-formed, strong back, not too long, well-coupled and high-lying 
kidneys. (5) Strong hocks, free from disease. (6) Round, sound hoofs 
with .healthy frogs. (7) Sound constitution and good digestion ; and (8) 
Free, energetic action." 

33 



The mares whose portraits are here gi^'en are of the 
Oldenbourg breed. The province of Oldenbourg has long 
been famous for coach-horses. OHver Cromwell, when 
Protector, received as a gift a team of coach-horses from 
the Duke of Oldenbourg. 

The net cost of Germany's horse-breeding establishments 
is about ^190,000 a year. 



34 




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Horse-Breeding in Hungary 

The stud machinery in Hungary is elaborate and exten- 
sive. There are four State breeding-farms where stalhons are 
bred for the pubhc service. The stalhons, which in 1896 
numbered 2,838, are sent out to 18 central depots, and from 
these upwards of 946 local covering stations are annually 
supplied. The service fees range from is. ^d. to 15s. ^d. 
Large breeders may hire stallions from the central depots for 
the season. 

Hungarian methods are admirably described by Pro- 
fessor John Wrightson in his " Report on the Agriculture 
of the x\ustro- Hungarian Empire," published in Vol. H, 
(Second Series) of the Journal of the Royal Agricultural 
Society (1874); and by Mr. J. Collins, Principal Veterinary 
Surgeon to the Forces in 1880, whose Report on the Studs 
and Breeds of Horses in Hungary was, by permission of the 
Secretary of State for War, reproduced in the Journal of the 
Royal Agricultural Society. 

Professor Wrightson in 1873 n^ade a tour of ten weeks in 
Hungary, and visited the great studs belonging to the Crown. 
He observes that the breeding of horses in that country is 
one of the most popular branches of rural economy, and is 
carried on not only by the Government but by most of the 
great landed proprietors with wonderful results. 

Hungarian breeders are at issue with the many English 
breeders who look upon the Thoroughbred as essential to the 
supply of half-bred saddle horses. " We have, in fact, no 
distinct race of saddle-horses ; but in Hungary they think it 
quite practicable to raise such a race, possessed of the 
necessary fixity of character. They still look to England for 
their supplies of Thoroughbreds and Norfolk Trotters"; but, 
as we shall read, they have in recent years succeeded in their 
object of establishing breeds of their own. 

35 



These Crown studs in Hungary are conducted upon a 

very large scale. x\t Mezoheyges there were upwards of 650 

broodmares. Colonel Horvath, the officer in charge of the 

latter stud, addressed to Professor Wrightson a letter of great 

interest, which shows how the Hungarians have succeeded in 

establishing fixed breeds of saddle-horses. 

"The race of horses is throughout half-bred. We have had two 
studs of half-blood Arabian mares since the years 1825 and 1827 ; two 
studs of English mares (Furiosa and Abugress) since the years 1841 and 
1842 ; also the family of Nonius, obtained from France in 1815 ; two studs 
of the ancient blood of Lippieza, which is a mixture of Spanish and Arabian 
blood, since the year 1807; and lately we have begun to form a stud of 
Norfolk blood with stallions of that race and mares of different indigenous 
families." 

Colonel Horvath proceeds to give the numbers of the 
mares of the several strains he has named. At that time 
there were at the stud he directed 136 half-blood Arabs, 148 
English, 113 mares of various strains from Lippieza, 220 
Nonius or Anglo-Norman mares, and 33 of the Norfolk 
mares as the beginning of a stud of this breed. The stallions 
used included English Thoroughbred, pure Arabs or half-breds 
belonging to the families named. 

Colonel Horvath states that the principle kept in view in 
breeding suitable stallions is very simple. It is the gradual 
improvement of a family by the introduction of nobler and 
higher blood, while at the same time the type of the family is 
retained. Where more blood is wanted full-blood horses are 
used according to the previous breeding of the particular family. 
The produce, when strong enough, is served once more by a 
Thoroughbred, and then the breeder resorts again to a sire of 
the original strain of the family. It is, in fact, a system of 
breeding from half-bred stock, with the occasional use of 
Thoroughbreds when there is a tendency to coarseness. 

Colonel Horvath was asked this question, " Do you hope 
to establish fixed or permanent half-bred races which may be 
bred truly inter se ? " and the answer was : " The families of 
Nonius, Majestosa (Lippieza blood), Gidran and Schagya 
(Arab blood) are already constant. Furiosa and Abugress 
(English Thoroughbred) and Norfolk breeds will require 10 or 
12 years more of careful breeding." 

36. 



I should explain that the Nonius strain derives its name 
from a famous sire of that name which was procured from 
France in the year 1815. The original Nonius was got by an 
English horse named Orion out of a mare of the Anglo-Norman 
breed ; which breed was largely built up on Norfolk Trotter 
blood. To what breed Orion belonged I have not been 
able to discover ; the name does not occur in the lists of 
Thoroughbreds sent abroad which are printed in the General 
Stud Book. 

There were few more interesting stables at the Paris 
International Show in September last than that of the Hungarian 
Government. The horses had been selected to illustrate the 
results of the cross-breeding system described ; and these 
furnished living proof of the sound, practical wisdom which 
directs stud operations in Hungary. Among them were horses 
the very model of what the fifteen-stone Hunter should be, and 
perfectly shaped carriage-horses. The best were perhaps 
those of Nonius (Norfolk Trotter) and North Star (Thorough- 
bred) strains. 

On the estate of the Archduke Albrecht, in Lower 
Hungary, there are imported Clydesdales ; but, with this 
exception, no other horses but Thoroughbreds and Norfolk 
Trotters were to be seen from Britain. Reviewing all he 
had seen during his ten weeks tour. Professor Wrightson 
says, " The result of much observation was to show me 
that the best horses in Hungary are descended from English 
stock." 

A number of the stallions foaled every year at the Royal 
studs and about 200 yearlings, which are purchased annually at 
an average price of 235 fiorins (^23 105.), are set apart and 
reared with the view of use as public stallions. At the age of 
three years these are inspected and classified ; about one-half 
the number are rejected as stallions and cut ; the best, to the 
proportion of about 20 per cent., are kept for service in the 
Royal studs, and 25 per cent, are sold as " Communal 
■stallions " ; death accounts for the remaining four or five per 
cent, of the total. 

37 



The Communal stallions are sold to the chiefs of the 
agricultural divisions known as Communes at prices varying 
from ^30 to ^50, payable in four annual instalments. Each 
Commune undertakes to maintain its stallion at its own 
expense and in a suitable manner, the proper discharge of its 
obligations being the care of one or two Government officials. 
The stallion is available for service within the limits of the 
Commune at a maximum fee of two florins (four shillings). In 
one part of Hungary the method of service is similar to that in 
vogue in this country ; in another it is usual to turn out the 
stallion with the mares, which may not number more than 
eighty-eight. 

Should the horse not be kept in a proper manner, he is,, 
after repeated cautions, liable to be withdrawn from the 
Commune at the end of the third year, and the Commune 
forfeits the instalments of the price paid. If the stallion dies 
or fails as a stock-getter during the first three years, the 
authorities replace him by another. At the end of the third 
year he becomes the property of the Commune, which is then 
able to dispose of him as it pleases. Many Communes believe 
it advantageous to change their stallion every three years, 
which they can do in accordance with the regulation that 
makes him then their own property. The wisdom of this step 
of course depends upon circumstances. 

The estimates for the Hungarian Horse-Breeding Depart- 
ment for the year 1897 amounted to £'233,333. 



38 



Horse-Breeding in Austria 

In the year 1876 a Committee of Inquiry on Horse- 
Breeding was appointed by the Austrian Government, and the 
result of its investigations was the division of the whole country 
into five districts, with the view of providing stallions suited 
to the varying requirements of each. From Central Dep(')ts in 
■each of these five districts over 2,000 stallions are distributed 
among 522 stations, each station accommodating from one to 
ten stallions. There are no fewer than thirteen different breeds 
of horse in use, and care is taken that each station shall 
receive a stallion or stallions suited to local requirements. 

In fulfilment of the scheme suggested by this Com- 
mittee, good local breeds are retained pure, approved stallions 
of each being used for public service ; in districts where 
the local breed have degenerated or stand in need of 
improvement, the stallions are carefully chosen to raise the 
general standard. Thus Thoroughbreds of English descent 
but bred in the country are used on strong mares to supply 
Remounts. In other districts Roadster, Clydesdale, and Suffolk 
stallions are sent to be mated with mares of a class to throw 
heavy artillery riding and draught horses. 

In the mountainous regions, where small, active, and hardy 
horses are required for draught and pack work, every endeavour 
is made to keep the local breed pure. The Pinzauer horses are 
highly spoken of for such work in hilly districts ; they are xery 
strong and hardy, and have good action ; the lighter class trot 
quite well enough to perform heavy carriage work over bad 
ground. Their colour is peculiar — white or light, " splashed '' 
with dark spots. 

In 1897 the Austrian State stud included, among other 
stallions, 94 English Thoroughbreds, 766 English Half-breds, 
and 208 Hackneys. 

39 



Special inducements are held out to private breeders 
to keep brood-mares, and prizes for mares and young stock 
are freely offered. The regulations concerning privately- 
owned stallions vary in various provinces of Austria ; but, 
broadly, it may be said that private stallions are only 
encouraged if suitable for stud purposes. Such horses are 
licensed ; the horse in some parts must be inspected once a 
month during the covering season. Anyone who uses an un- 
licensed stallion to cover mares other than his own, whether 
for a fee or gratis ; or knowingly allows a mare to be covered 
by an unlicensed stallion ; or suffers entire colts of one year 
old or more to pasture with mares of any age, is liable to a 
fine equal to ^S 6s. 8d. 

In addition to the fi\e Central Depots there are two State 
breeding-studs. These are maintained for the purpose of 
producing stallions for public service ; one is at Radautz and 
the other at Fiber. At Radautz there are over a thousand 
animals, including about 250 brood-mares. Pains are taken 
to keep all the young stock at Radautz in condition ; they are 
kept as much as possible in the open air, and are exercised 
for at least three hours daily by mounted drovers, who are 
assisted by dogs. 

During the summer, from May to September, the young 
horses are driven to the hills or on to distant wild ground,, 
and left to their own devices. At the age of three years the 
young horses are taken in hand and broken, and those 
stallions which are considered suitable for service are got into 
condition and distributed among the Central Depots in their 
fourth year. 

There are, in addition to these two breeding-studs, 
establishments at Kladrub and Lippieza, where carriage- 
horses are bred. The Kladruber horses are very large and 
showy animals, with great action ; they are descended from 
Spanish and Italian stock, but careful mating for generations 
has greatly increased their size, which is now often as much 
as 17 hands 2 inches. These horses are chiefly used in the 
Royal carriages on State occasions. 

40 



The Lippizienne horses have marked character of their 
own, having been obtained from Spanish, ItaHan, and Arab 
stock, carefully crossed. They are long-bodied, short-legged 
horses, with good quarters, legs and feet, and stand from 15 to 
16 hands. They make remarkably good carriage-horses, being 
very handsome, hardy, and fast. 

The covering fees in Austria range from is. Sd. to 165. 8d. 
for ordinary stallions ; in some very poor districts mares are 
covered by the State horses free of charge. Her horse-breeding 
operations cost Austria /"i 40,000 a year. 



41 



Horse-Breeding in Italy 

For stud purposes the country is divided into seven 
districts, which include 402 covering stations, each accommo- 
dating one or more stallions. Only eight of these stations 
receive four or more sires, the large majority receiving one or 
two. In 1903 there were 586 Government stallions distributed 
among the covering stations ; this total comprised 71 English 
Thoroughbreds, 55 Arabs, 13 Anglo-Arabs, 404 Hackney and 
half-breds, and 43 heavy draught-horses. These figures show 
that the strength of the Italian studs was the same as in 
1895. The number of Arabs had been reduced, while the 
number of draught-horses had been increased. 

With the object of ensuring uniformity, it is con- 
sidered advisable to keep the same stallions at one covering 
station as long as possible. 

With the exception of one or two Thoroughbreds, whose 
services are only requisitioned by wealthy owners of racing- 
stock, the service fees are low, though higher than in most 
Continental countries. In 1903, 24,337 mares were served by 
Government horses at a fee of 95. ']d. each ; 660 at ^i each ; 
50 at £\ 125. ; 75 at £^ 5s. ; 39 at ^3 4s. ; 21 at £4 ; and 
29 at £\^. The War Department buys Remounts at 3 and 4 
years old, paying, on the average, ^^24 for three-year-olds, and 
;;^32 for four-year-olds. The horses so purchased are sent to 
one of the Remount Depots, and are issued to regiments when 
4I years old perfectly unbroken. About 4,000 young horses 
are annually purchased by the Remount Committees. 

Stallions owned by private persons may be licensed for 
public service. The task of examining horses and granting 
licences is entrusted to local committees ; from time to time 
it has been found necessary to remind these committees that 
greater care must be taken in passing stallions; in 1893 ^ 
Royal decree was issued directing that vice or defects of 

42 



conformation should disqualify any stallion from receiving a 
licence to serve. 

The greater stringency exercised as a result of this decree 
brought about a considerable decrease in the number of 
" Approved " stallions; but of late years, owing, no doubt, to 
the improvement in the stock obtained, the total has increased. 
In 1895, 645 private stallions were approved for licence; in 
1903 the number was 740. The largest number of these (246) 
are "native horses without other description" {indigeni 
seiis'alti'a indicazione) ; next in point of number (136) come 
English " quarter- breds" {himeticci) ; and then American horses 
^' without special description" [senza indicazioni speciali), 80 in 
number. English Thoroughbreds and Hackney stallions in 
private hands in 1903 numbered 41 each. 

Colonel Needham, in a report written some years ago, 
states that the great defect of the Italian horse is want of size 
and substance ; but he admits that the cavalry horses show 
great endurance when carrying heavy weight and performing 
long marches. I have dealt with the superior endurance of 
the small horse over the large one elsewhere.* 

Italy spends annually about ^80,000 net on horse- 
breeding. 



* Small Horses in Wuyfurc. By Sir Walter Gilbev, l^art. 
Vinton & Co. 1900. 

43 



Horse-Breeding in Russia 

In no European country is more attention devoted to the 
breeding of horses than in Russia. The oldest Imperial stud 
now in existence is that at Derkulski, established in 1750 ; 
but, without reviewing the history of the Russian horse- 
breeding department, it may be said that it has been an object 
of solicitude to successive sovereigns for the last 400 years. 
Ivan III., who reigned during the last forty years of the 
fifteenth century, established the first Government stud of 
which there is record near Moscow, and compelled all great 
landed proprietors to establish breeding-studs. 

The Government maintains about 1,100 stallions at 15 
studs and depots ; from these depots the horses are distributed 
among covering stations all over the country, wherever horse- 
breeding has place among the local industries. As in other 
countries, the number of stallions at each covering station 
varies in accordance with the needs of the district. They 
vary in number from two to nine, but four is the usual 
complement. 

In addition to these studs and depots there are 29 
other breeding establishments, particulars of which are not 
at present obtainable. 

The fees charged for service range from the equivalent of 
35. 2d. to ^2 75. 6d., in ratio with the merits of the stallion 
selected ; each mare is allowed three leaps, if necessary, but 
not more ; the covering season lasts from the 3rd February to 
1 8th June. The stallions are put to service at five years old, 
and in their first season are restricted to 40 mares ; when six 
years old they are permitted to cover 60 mares, and in very 
exceptional cases as many as 90. Stallions which are old, but 
still capable of service, are given away on condition that the 
recipient uses them for stud work. 

44 



Since the year 1S62, shows for all horses bred in Russia 
have been held annually ; about ^22,500 is given annually 
in prizes, and honorary awards are also distributed. The 26 
Turf Societies in Russia receive among them ;^i4,ooo a year, 
to be given in stakes. Horse fairs are encouraged ; there are 
460 of these in various parts of the country, at which some 
300,000 horses change hands annually. 

A memorandum supplied me in February, 1905, by the 
Military Attache at St. Petersburg contains the most recent 
information accessible concerning the Russian studs. The 
figures refer to the year 1889. The Government "studs" in 
Russia, it must be understood, are really breeding farms. 
They are as follows : — 

(i) The Khrenovoi or Krenovsky stud, in the \'eronig 
Government, of four divisions : — (a) English Thoroughbreds, 
115 head; (/;) Trotters, 338 head; {c) Hunters and Trotters, 
60 head ; and {d) Draught horses, 38 head. This stud was 
purchased in 1845 from the daughter of Count Alexis Orloff, 
the descendant of the noble who founded the famous breed of 
trotting-horses known by his name. It is also celebrated for 
the Rostophschine breed of Trotters which was founded by 
Count Rostophschine, a contemporary of the founder of the 
Orloff breed. Khrenovoi is a stallion depot as well as a 
breeding stud. 

(2) The Bielovodsk stud in the Kharkov Government. 

(3) The Novo Alexandrovsk stud, where half-bred horses 
are produced ; the head of stock here in 18S9 was 445 head. 

(4) The Streletz or Streletzki stud, which consists of 
two divisions : — {a) Riding-horses, 408 head ; and {b) Arabs, 
81 head. The Streletz stud has given its name to a breed 
which differs only in its superior size from the Eastern-bred 
Arab. The Streletz horses, shown at Paris in September, 
1900, were among the exhibits that attracted most attention. 
The object of this establishment is the proLJuction of light 
riding-horses of average height with an Eastern strain, chiefly 

45 



for improving the steppe horses and the breeds of South 
Western Russia. 

(5) The Derkulski stud, referred to on page 41 as the 
oldest in Russia, is devoted to the breeding of Draught 
horses (23 head in 1S89), steppe and heavy cart-horses. It 
was formerly given up to the breeding of carriage-horses. 

(6) The Limarveo or Limarevski stud, for half-bred 
riding-horses ; and 

(7) The Jarrow or Yanovski stud, where English Thorough- 
breds (187 head) and half-bred riding-horses are bred. 

The total number of stallions, mares and foals at these 
seven studs in 1889 was 2,510. 

For more than a century the Russian Gov^ernment and 
private owners have imported Thoroughbreds from England. 
The English Thoroughbred stallion Grey Diomed and four 
mares formed the foundation stock of the Golowkovva stud in 
1794. Traveller and Orelius, son of Eclipse, were imported 
in 1799, Doncaster in 1810, Cerberus in 181 2, Memnon, 
winner of the St. Leger of 1825, a few years later. In 1833 
a special mission was sent to England to buy stock ; the 
stallions Birmingham, Middleton and Admiral were purchased, 
and numerous mares, among them Lalla Rookh, Executrice, 
Tweedlewings (by Touchstone), Metal (by Glaucus), and 
Marchioness. Mr. Kirby of York, says "The Druid," began 
his business with the Russians in 1791, when he was 21, and 
repeated his visits till he reached the age of 60, taking with 
him " the choicest blood of Yorkshire." The highest prices 
Mr. Kirby ever received from the Czar Nicholas (1825-1855) 
were 2,000 guineas for Van Tromp, and 2,250 for General 
Chasse. 

The Imperial studs are directed with great judgment ; the 
utmost care is exercised in the choice of forage ; all horses are 
•exercised regularly every day, and young horses when 2,^ years 
old are tested for strength and staying-power according to 
their class and breeding. No mare is given up to breeding 
until she is five years old and is fully developed. 

46 



Attached to each Government stud farm is a school of 
horsemanship, where breeders receive instruction in the 
principles of the industry, and where riding is taught. At 
Khrenovoi is a special school where trainers, jockeys, hunts- 
men and coachmen are taught the best methods of training 
young horses. 

Private enterprise is encouraged in every way, and very 
many of the Russian nobility maintain large breeding-studs on 
their estates. At Slawuta, Prince Sanguszko has, or had, 
a stud of pure-bred Eastern horses, which, Mons. Salvi 
observes, show to what a pitch of perfection the typical Arab 
may be brought when wisely mated, well nourished, and 
reared under favourable conditions ; " it has the height, bone, 
and spirit of an Irish horse, and yet is the Bedouin horse, 
preserving all its Eastern characteristics, but bigger and 
stronger." Many private owners devote their attention 
entirely to the Anglo-Arab. At least one, however, makes a 
speciality of carriage-horses, which he has succeeded in bringing 
to a high standard, using Mecklenburg stallions upon Eastern 
mares. 

The twelve regiments of Horse Guards and 8th (Reserve) 
Cavalry Brigade, are horsed from the Imperial studs, as the 
steppe-bred animals are not powerful enough to carry the men. 

About 7,200 horses are required annually for the Russian 
cavalry of the line, and for information concerning these we 
cannot do better than turn to Captain H. Hayes' excellent 
book.'' There are seven "brigade stations" to which the 
Remount officers send the young horses which they buy from 
the breeders ; these horses have run wild, or half wild, on the 
steppes until caught for sale, and their entire education is carried 
out by the regimental breakers. They cost on the average 
about £!■}, 55., but by the time they are fit to take their places 
in the ranks have cost about ^37 each. Dragoon Remounts 
must not be less than 14.2!^ in height, and are bought from the 

* Among Horses in Russia. By Captain M. H. Hayes. R. A. Everett 
& Co., London, 1900. 

47 



age of 3 off to rising 5. Capi.ain Hayes says of a batch of 800 

Remounts which had been sent in by the buyers a few days 

before : — 

"As these dragoon Remounts average about 15.15-, they are somewhat 
small, and to English eyes would probably appear at first sight rather 
light ; but closer inspection shows that they have capital bone, are 
compactly built, and have no superfluous lumber to carry. They are, 
with very few exceptions, entirely free from cart blood, and consequently, 
if their fore-legs in some cases seem a bit deficient below the knee, the 
back tendons run more or less parallel to the cannon bone, and we find 
no coarseness about the fetlocks, which is evidence of inability to stand 
work under the saddle. These Russian Remounts ha\e, as a rule, short 
backs, muscular loins, good feet, fairly small heads, and are well ribbed 
up. They are particularly good across the loins, which is a point that 
receives much attention from Russian breeders. Formerly the horses of 
the Don, from which country the best Remounts are obtained, were 
generally "back at the knees " — "calf-kneed " — but this defect has been 
almost entirely eliminated by careful crossing. The members of the 
selection committees, which pass or reject the animals brought up by the 
buyers of Remounts, are specially critical as regards the quality of the 
pasterns. On the whole, they have very good fore-legs. Their shoulders 
are inclined to be short ; but their worst point is undoubtedly their hocks, 
which in many instances are weak, too much bent (sickle-hooked) or 
inclined to curb. These Remounts, especially those which come from the 
country of the Don, have a strong infusion of Arab blood, with a dash of 
the Thoroughbred. They are essentially saddle-horses bred for cavalry 
purposes ; the Russian horses are reared under conditions of pri\-ation 
and hard work to get their living, and are consequently more useful as 
slaves and campaigners than they appear to be." 

With regard to Captain Hayes' reference to Arab and 
Thoroughbred blood, it must be observed that four ''■'■ of the 
fifteen Imperial stallion depots are situated in the horse- 
breedintr regions of the Don. 



* Khrenovoi (distributing 100 stallions) ; Tambov (60) ; Kharkov (60) 
and .Saratov (50). 

48 



Horse-Breeding in Turkey 

The Ottoman Government possesses four important studs, 
all of which are situated in Asia Minor and are organised on 
lines similar to the great Hungarian establishments, INIezoheyges, 
Babolna, lVc, and which are under the control of the Minister 
for War. 

The Tchifteler stud, situated in the province of Brousse, 
on the sea of Marmora, was established in the year 1832 ; the 
lands, covering over 29,600 acres, consist of somewhat varied 
pasture and of vast prairies watered by three streaius. After 
the Crimean War a thousand mares were received at Tchifteler 
from the English and French armies, and these, like the animals 
already at the farm, were allowed to range at liberty until the 
year 1886, when nearly the whole stock perished through 
drought. 

In 1886 three hundred Hungarian mares of inferior and 
unsuitable strains were sent to this stud ; these were kept under 
cover, but the native mares and their produce continued to roam 
at large. As stable accommodation was built, however, the 
latter were housed, as well as fifty brood mares which liad 
been purchased in Russia. 

Since 1892 Arab blood has been introduced, and only since 
this step was taken the Tchifteler stud has been able to furnish 
annually over a hundred good and efficient Remounts. The 
progress made has, however, been continuous, and this year the 
total number available for the Army will be three hundred. 

The Arab stud consists of 55 stallions of pure blood and 
eleven half-bred stallions got by Arabs out of native mares ; 
there are ten pure Arab mares, and 188 half-bred mares. 

In addition to these, there are 91 native stallions and six 
Normans, which were bought in igoo, 13 Hungarian, and 

49 




1 1 Russian stallions. There were last year 660 brood mares 
and fillies, of whicli 35 were Russian, 93 Hungarian and 
the remainder native-bred. 

The officer in charge of the stud is a Colonel, who has 
under him a military staff. 

The second stud is that of Sultan Sou, between 18 and 16 
miles from the town of Malatia, in the province of Harpout, in 
the interior. It controls an area about 600 miles square, 
which includes 32 villages, having some 5,000 inhabitants ; 
part of this area is given up to agriculture and the remainder is 
devoted to horse-breeding. 

The Sultan Sou stud was founded in 1861 and w^as 
reorganised in 1889; attached to it is another farm — that of 
Osman Dide — where there are enormous hill pastures, to which 
the droves of horses are sent in summer. There are at 
Sultan Sou 12 pure Arab stallions, 6 Kurdish and i Hungarian ; 
7 pure Arab mares, 21 Kurdish and 12 Hungarians. The 
object of this establishment is the improvement of the Kurdish 
breed of horses : the number of Kurdish brood mares will this 
year be increased to 200 ; how many mares of this strain are 
running at large in the district is unknown. 

The Tehoukourova stud owes its name to a once famous 
breed of horses which is said to be now nearly extinct. It is 
situated in the province of Adana, which is bounded on the south 
by the Mediterranean, and consists of two vast estates, one 
covering 197,680 acres, or about 20,000 acres more than the 
county of Middlesex, and the other covering about 74,160 
acres. The larger estate consists of prairie land comparable to 
the pampas of South America ; the second, and less extensive, 
lies on the shores of the Mediterranean, and along the mouth 
of the river Djihan which flows into it. 

This stud was established in 1892. There are now eight 
pure Arab stallions, three Kurdish, and five horses described as 
" Anatoliotes," obviously after the province of Anatolia in 
Western Asia Minor. There are 21 pure Arab mares and 62 of 
the Tehoukourova breed. Many native horses also run at large 

50 



on the two estates. The special object of this stud is to 
re-estabhsh the Tehoukourova breed. It is under the direction 
of a Colonel of the Turkish Army, who, besides a civil staff, 
has a troop of cavalry under him. 

The Vezirie stud farm covers about 131,780 acres, and lies 
close to the city of Bagdad, between the rivers Tigris and 
Diala. This stud, which is under the direction of a General of 
Brigade, was founded in the year 1896, and the progress made 
so far does not appear to have been very great. The stock 
last year consisted of 10 stallions and 57 mares, all pure Arabs, 
the object of the Vezirie establishment being the production 
of Arabs of the best strains. Endeavours are made every 
year to buy the best young horses from the wandering tribes- 
men, but good ones are rarely obtainable ; in igoo it was hoped 
that one hundred would be secured, but three foals and one filly 
of the highest stamp were all that the director of the stud was 
able to buy from the tribesmen. 

Local covering stations are established in various districts, 
and these are supplied with stallions from the four large 
Government studs ; and pure bred Arab stallions are often lent 
to village communities far distant from the stud headquarters 
for the sole purpose of improving the breed of horses. 

Whether service fees are charged or service is rendered 
free does not appear from the information which has been 
kindly placed at the writer's disposal by the French Minister 
of Agriculture. 

Each stud has a stud-book, which contains the guarantees 
and proofs given by the sheiks in respect of the horses obtained 
from the tribesmen. These warranties are verified by the 
Inspectors who travel in the interior and pay regular visits to 
the tribes in question. 



51 



Horse-Breeding in India 

OPINIONS OF THE LATE VETERINARY COLONEL H ALLEN 

The first endeavours to improve the native breeds of horses 
were begun by the East India Company in the year 1794, 
and the " Stud Department " then estabHshed continued in 
existence until 1876, when it was aboHshed. This institution 
had accomplished a certain measure of success ; some excellent 
horses were bred there, and were drafted into the stables of 
our cavalry regiments ; but experience showed that the results 
achieved were not commensurate with the cost of maintaining 
the studs, and in the year named (1876) the Department 
was abolished and the Army Remount and Horse-Breeding 
Departments were created. 

Tlie " Department of Army Remounts " had for its duty the 
selection and purchase of Australian and Persian horses in the 
local markets, and also of as many suitable country-breds as 
might be procurable. The Department of Horse-Breeding 
Operations was organised with the object of encouraging 
productions of suitable country-bred horses ; and it is to 
this Department that we direct our attention. 

In a remarkably able and instructive paper ■■'• by the late 
Veterinary Colonel J. H. B. Hallen, the then General Super- 
intendent of Horse-Breeding Operations in India, we find the 
plan of the new scheme clearly laid down. It was, broadly 
speaking, to establish a native breed of horses, which should in 
course of time render the Army in India independent of foreign 
markets. The Goxernment was to maintain a supply of 
stallions of the classes most suitable for improving the native 
breeds ; only selected native mares were to be eligible for 
service (always gratis) by the Government stallions, these 

* Goveynment Horsi'-Byecdiu^ in India : Past, Present, and Future. (Read 
at a meeting of the United Service Institution of India, Otli May, 1887.) 

52 



mares being branded to prove their right to service, and also 
to prevent their purchase by native cavalry or police horse 
buyers. A system of prize-giving at fairs and shows, with 
some slight advantages to the produce of branded mares, was 
instituted ; some assistance was to be given in teaching and 
encouraging the practice of castration among native breeders ; 
and all horses fit for Army service were to be purchased at 
remunerative prices by Government. 

The number of Remounts required for horse and field 
artillery, British and native cavalry, amount, on the average, 
to 4,630, including a reserve of 1,000 horses, each year. 

For all reasons, both political and economical, it has 
always been held most desirable that India should produce the 
horses necessary to mount both British and native cavalry, and 
to horse the artillery. Colonel Hallen gave a list of thirteen 
breeds of Indian horses (excluding the Arab and Persian), all 
of which he described as " possessing good powers of endur- 
ance, and showing thereby blood, but generally wanting in size, 
and many too small for the work of the Indian Army, consti- 
tuted as it now is ; though some of purely local breeds can be 
found fit for native cavalry." In another paper" Colonel 
Hallen described these breeds with more exactness : — 

" The majority of country-bred mares may be said to range in height 
from 13 hands 2 inches to 14 hands 2 inches, and some few are found as 
high as 15 hands, and in weight from 6 to 8 cwts. They are, as a rule, 
remarkably well-bred, rather light in barrel, not evenly put together, often 
of an angular and ragged appearance, with small but steel-like boneofjoints 
and limbs, and measuring from 6\ to 7J inches under the knee at the top 
of the shank bone. They have wonderful powers of endurance under 
either tropical sun heat or intense cold, with a light weight, say from 10 
to 12 stones in saddle or light draught, and after the hardest day's work 
are never off their feed, but always ready for it ; moreover, they will 
continue doing work on the scantiest of food." 

Colonel Hallen observed that these mares offer a grand 
structure on which to engraft more power and size — that, 
indeed, a more suitable basis to work on could not be desired. 

It may be observed that the officers in charge of the Indian 

* Horses vcijuiycd for the Indian Army: (Read at a meeting of the 
■United Service Institution of India, 25th August, 1S88.) 

53 



horse-breeding operations have peculiar difficukies to contend 
against. The native disinchnation to castrate had to be over- 
come to prevent the excessive use of weedy sires ; in a country 
whose fields are unfenced, and where horse-stealing is (in 
some regions) common, the natives could not give their young 
stock the degree of liberty necessary for their full development. 
The practice of closely hobbling, or even chaining and 
padlocking the fore-legs together, was universal, and the 
natural result was deformity of limb, narrowness of chest, 
and ruined action. In recent years, however, castration has 
been more favourably regarded, and the beneficial effects of 
allowing larger liberty to young stock has been increasingly 
recognised. 

To gain greater size and power the Government sanctioned 
in 1876 the purchase of 300 stallions, and, with an eye to the 
lack of substance displayed by native mares, roadster blood 
was largely introduced. These 300 stallions were sanctioned 
merely as a beginning ; the number was increased as the 
new scheme developed. In the year 1886 the Indian stud 
was composed of the following stallions: — go English 
Thoroughbreds, 159 Hackneys and Norfolk Trotters, 146 
Arabs, 10 stud-bred horses, 6 Australian Thoroughbreds, 
2 Turkoman stallions and i Persian. In addition to these, 
pony stallions were provided in suitable districts, under the 
control of District Committees, to cover small and unbranded 
mares. Some 19,588 branded {i.e., officially approved) mares 
were on the registers in 1886. In the year 1900 the number 
of stallions was returned at 384. 

For some few years after the new system was inaugurated 
endeavours were made to buy full-grown horses for immediate 
use as Remounts, but with little success. A change was 
therefore made, and in 1881 the purchase annually of 150 
horses aged 2^ years and upwards was sanctioned. This plan 
gave satisfactory results, and it was extended, young horses 
being purchased in larger numbers and distributed among the 
rearing depots, Hapur, Kurnal and Ahmednuggur, to be kept 

54 



and trained for ultimate issue as Remounts. From 1889 one 
thousand young horses have been purchased every year, but 
when the number was thus increased it was found necessary 
to take the animals at a much earlier age, and the minimum 
was, in the year mentioned, fixed at six months. 

It must be added, in this connection, that the question 
of mounting the native cavalry had in i88g reached an acute 
stage.''' 

Colonel Hallen's description of the stock got by the 
several imported breeds of stallion is exceedingly instructive. 
It will be borne in mind that his observations were made after 
the new system had been twelve years in operation, and there 
had been, therefore, time to see what impression had been 
made on the native stock. 

The animal got by the English Thoroughbred 

"is, as a rule, handsome in top and outlines of back, hind quarters, and 
carriage of head and tail, but is often shallow in girth and back rib, light 
in barrel, and from 70 to So per cent, are leggy and deficient in bone of 
limb. Diseases of legs are more common among Thoroughbred stock — 
e.g., curb, bone spavin, bog spavin and ring-bone are not infrequently 
shown. Few of this stock prove fit for British cavalry, and hardly one 
for horse or field artillery, but some are purchased for native cavalry. 
Many native breeders are distrustful of this class of sire, as they find their 
■stock do not realise a good price in the market." 

Of the stock got by Australian sires, which are English 
Thoroughbreds foaled and reared in the Colony — 

" The young stock often prove better-boned in limb than the stock of 
imported Thoroughbreds from England, but in other points are similar 
to the stock of the English Thoroughbreds." 

Turning to the Report of Colonel Queripel, the Inspector- 
General, ten years after the foregoing remarks were written, 
we find the complaint that English Thoroughbreds of the 
stamp required to get Remounts grow scarcer and harder to 
obtain each recurring year. " Breeders aim at long-legged, 
striding animals," which are exactly what India does not 
require ; and, though treated with the most jealous care, the 
English Thoroughbred is liable to develop unsoundness in 

* Opinions un the Supply of Remounts to British and Native Cavalry, ami on 
Horse-breeding in India ; expressed at an Informal Meeting held at Simla on 
20th August, 1889. 

55 



so hot and dry a climate. Specific objection is made to their 

feet, which "appear to be getting smaller and weaker every 

year." In Beluchistan, which has the driest climate of any 

region in which the Department conducts its work, the dryness 

and rock soil combine to ruin their feet, which, Colonel 

Queripel says, " break away until there is absolutely nothing 

left." On the other hand, a better stamp of Australian 

Thoroughbred had been obtainable in small numbers ; seven 

imported during the official year 1897-8 were between 15.2 

and 15.3^ in height, girthed from 68 to 72^ inches, and only 

one had less than eight inches of bone below the knee. 

Reverting to Colonel Hallen's paper of 1888, that officer 

said of the Hackneys and Trotters : — 

" These hav'e, with country-bred mares, produced stock of good bone 
and power, proxing suitable and sufficiently well-bred for Army work in 
India. I may mention that, as a rule, most of the best-boned stock in the 
late Stud Department had half-bred blocd in them. The Special Stud 
Commissioners bore this fact in mind, and ad\ised the employing of more 
half-bred sires, these to be of pure breeds and showing quality.* Some of 
the half-bred sires that had been imported from England were, in the 
opinion of the Ccmmissioners, of not sufficient quality, but they found 
their produce proving excellent for artillery purposes. I, of course, do not 
wish to imply that every stallion has proved a success ; but I do most 
distinctly affirm that at least 9c per cent, of the half-bred sires have fully 
realised the expectations formed of them." 

i\fter referring to the prejudice with which these horses 
were first regarded by men accustomed only to the Thorough- 
bred and Arab, Colonel Hallen said : — 

" The practical results of horse-breeding that ha\e obtained and are 
obtaining in India, indicate that such horses (horses capable of doing good 
work by having blocd, bone, and power to enable them to carry and 
draw the heavy weights of British cavalry and artillery) cannot be produced 
from the present country-bred mares by mating them with Thoroughbred 
or Arab stock ; that very few per cent, of Remounts so bred prove fit for 
those branches of the service ; but we are having, day by day, more proof 
that the produce of these mares by half-bred English horses (or, as they 
are now called in England, Hackneys) of pure breed, is well adapted for 
general army work in India, thus indicating that the more this class of sire 
— the -urU-bred half-bred — is employed, a greater chance will be afforded of 
securing larger- framed country-bred brood stock, which in turn will yield 
still larger framed and boned produce. The mares of this improved and 
developed stock may in time become large enough in bulk to allow of their 
being mated to Arab sires, should it be deemed desirable to add more 
quality and compactness in bone with powers of endurance, which are the 
well-known characteristics of the true Arab." 

* In writing of pure breeds, Colonel Hallen means those breeds which 
have Stud Books in England. 

56 



Colonel Hallen added that when his employment in stud 
work began in the Bombay Presidency, 26 years previously, 
he believed it right to use Thoroughbred and Arab stallions on 
the country -bred mares. 

" I have now to confess that on visiting, three years ago, one of the 
best breeding districts in the Bombay Presidency, and attending an 
annual horse show held there, I found the stock resulting from the use of 
these sires, though very handsome in top and prettv in carriage of head 
and tail, lamentably deficient in bone and sinew of limb. The Director 
of the Army Remount Department was present, with the hope of finding 
Remounts, but he did not succeed in seeing one fit for the British services; 
I believe that not one country-bred Remount for the British services has 
been secured in the Bombay Presidency. May I, therefore, ask you to 
remember that Thoroughbred and Arab stallions have brought about this 
result. . . We should, I believe, rely on the pure half-bred* of England 
as a sire to give more bone and substance to our stock." 

Colonel Hallen ceased to direct the horse-breeding opera- 
tions of India some fourteen years ago, and the opinions to 
which his long e.xperience had brouglit him not having been 
shared by his successors the Thoroughbred policy has been 
resumed. The Report for 1897-8 says that some 60 horses 
got by English Thoroughbreds (or about one for each stallion !) 
were issued as Remounts to British cavalry. 

A curious commentary on the relative merits of the 
produce got by the different breeds of stallion in use is 
furnished by the officials of the Department themselves. I 
am indebted to Colonel Biddulph for a copy of the " Figures 
of Merit " showing " The Percentage of Prizes Won by Each 
Class According to the Number of Stallions Employed. "^ 
These figures cover the si.x official years, 1886- 1892, and show 
the stock by " Half-Bred English " or Hackney sires easily 
first, the Australian stallions taking second place, and the 
English Throughbreds third. Figures relating to subsequent 
years, I am informed, show the Thoroughbreds imported from 
Australia in the first place. 

It may be observed that the original scheme, in the 
opinion of some good authorities, never had a fair chance. 
Apart from the absence of continuity of method, which alone 
would most seriously retard progress in the desired direction, 

* Known in England as the Hackney breed. 

57 



it was considered that the main purpose of the scheme was 
subverted at the outset. 

The infinitely more important branch, the Horse- 
Breeding Department, with its larger aims, was subordinated 
to the Remount Department, whose purpose was the 
immediate provision of horses for the Army ; and as a natural 
result, the objects of the latter become paramount. The 
Remount agents and committees made it their business to buy 
as cheaply as they could ; it was their duty to do so ; but this 
policy of cheapening a commodity it was particularly desired 
to improve was, on the face of it, a fatal mistake ; it discouraged 
native breeders instead of encouraging them. 

At the meeting held at Simla on August 30, i88g, to 
which reference has been made on page 55, the Director of 
Land Records for the Punjaub said that the method of pur- 
chasing horses pursued by the Indian Government had a bad 
effect ; that native owners of good large mares fit to produce 
Remounts had begun to sell these animals, and were purchasing 
pony mares to produce ponies and mules. We have seen on 
what very different lines the German Government goes to 
work. 

Our national love of sport makes its effect felt in India as 
it does in England, and the effect is not a good one. There is 
in India always a ready market and a high price awaiting the 
animal suitable for racing or for polo ; and thus the breeder's 
ambition is to produce such a horse or pony, and to ignore the 
animal suitable for military use. Opinions are divided con- 
cerning the effect the temptation to produce a racing or polo 
pony has upon horse-breeding as an industry in Northern 
India ; but such authorities as Colonel Hallen and General 
Luck regard it as a factor which must be reckoned with. 

In this connection, one great difficulty that makes for 
failure of the most wisely directed endeavour must be borne in 
mind. The three hundred stallions employed by the Indian 
Government are scattered over thinly populated regions, and 
in charge of natives ; and it seems to be generally admitted 

58 



that the natives in charge of these stallions cannot be depended 
on to refuse service to unbranded mares if a trifling present be 
offered by the owners of such mares. Further, when there are 
two stallions at a local covering station it usually happens that 
the native owners of mares give their preference to one to the 
•exclusion of the other ; whereby the favourite does all the work, 
even being brought out several times in the same day. Hence 
the popular stallions are liable to be overworked, and serve 
many mares which are of a stamp not at all likely to throw 
good foals. 

Owing to these difficulties and errors of policy the 
establishment of a native breed, the work of many years under 
the most favourable conditions, has never been seriously 
attempted, and the production of Remounts for immediate 
use has been made the objective of the Horse-Breeding 
Department. It was impossible that its work under these 
circumstances should have succeeded as it would have done 
had those in control been able to ignore the question of an 
immediate supply of Remounts. Horse-breeding, it may be 
suggested, is essentially an agricultural business, and therefore 
one to be undertaken by a civil department ; the business of 
procuring Remounts for troops, on the other hand, is essentially 
a soldier's task. The error lay in the attempt to combine the 
two. 

Of the Arab sire Colonel Hallen considered his small size 
is the only point in his disfavour. It had been Colonel Hallen's 
hope to gradually grade up with the Hackney and Trotter cross 
large-boned and sizeable mares ; and he looked to these to throw 
to Arab sires animals of the right stamp for the Remount 
Department. 

It must not be forgotten that climate and the prevailing 
normal conditions of life are paramount in determining what 
the size and character of the horse of any given country shall 
be. In temperate climes, with good feed, horses of great size 
can be produced and depended on to maintain their size. In 
very hot, dry countries, which offer comparatively poor feed, 

59 



such as Arabia, Persia, and Northern India, as described by 
Colonel Hallen, we find the native races small, wiry and active ; 
and, again, in cold regions we find the smallest and most 
stunted horses. 

Only within certain limits, to be ascertained by years of 
costly experiment, can we hope by cross-breeding to override 
the natural laws which determine the size of the horse of any 
country without materially impairing its valuable qualities, if 
we can succeed in doing so at all. In India, the old Stud 
Department, for various reasons, failed to establish an improved 
breed of horses in the eighty years of its existence ; it would be 
unreasonable to expect that the reorganised Horse-Breeding 
Department should have accomplished the task during the 
twenty and odd years it has been at work. 



OPIXIONS OF MAJOR-GENERAL SIR JOHN WATSON, K.C.B. 

General Sir John Watson, who has been good enough to 
read the foregoing pages, favours me with his views on the 
subject of Horse-Breeding in India. As the outcome of long 
experience in that country. Sir John's remarks carry great 
weight. 

He points out that the old Bengal studs, which were 
abolished in 1876, supplied both cavalry and artillery with a 
remarkably fine class of stud-bred Remount for many years. 
Deterioration and infertility followed upon the continued use of 
English sires of different classes. 

The " Diffused System " was then introduced. As 
described in the preceding pages, the gist of this scheme was 
the distribution over the horse breeding areas of Northern India 
of a large number of English Thoroughbred, Hackney and Arab 
Stallions, which give gratuitous service to approved mares. 
Sir John Watson is entirely at variance with the authorities 
who adopted this " Diffused System." The operations of the 
Horse-Breeding Department as now constituted are, he points 

60 



out, supervised by the Inspector General of the Civil 
Veterinary Department, assisted by about a dozen veterinary 
surgeons who have various other duties to perform, in taking 
measures for prevention of cattle disease, in directing veterinary 
edvication, including colleges for natives who are being trained 
in bacteriological research, &c., &c. 

The multiplicity of their duties permits the officers of the 
Department to devote only a very limited degree of supervision 
to the work of the stallions ; and, further, the veterinary 
surgeons employed have never studied breeding as a science. 
There is also the fact that after a few years' service in the 
Department they revert to their duties with the Army ; 
whereby no continuous system of supervision is possible. 

The gravest objection, however, in Sir John Watson's 
opinion, to the " Diffused System " is that it treats the thirteen 
different Indian breeds of horse as one, all mares being classed 
as "country-bred mares;" it provides no means nor machinery 
whereby the result of using any given stallion on any given 
mare can he ascertained. There does not now exist in India 
even an experimental stud in which the results of different 
crosses can be observed. The Returns, in a word, take 
account only of the stallions, and pay no attention whatever to 
the mares. 

No attempt has been made to preserve these breeds in 
their purity ; mares of each and all are covered indiscriminately 
by English sires of different classes and by Arabs of greater 
or less purity of blood. Sir John observes that under these 
circumstances it is not wonderful that wide divergence of 
opinion concerning the relative luerits of Thoroughbred, 
Hackney and Arab should exist. " If nothing is known of 
the breeding or quality of a Remount dam, how is it possible 
to ascribe good or evil to the sire alone ? " This being the 
case, he dismisses the " Figures of Merit " (juoted on page 57 
as valueless. 

Sir John ^^'atson says he is not aware that the main 
purpose of the scheme was subverted at the outset, as stated, 

61 



upon the authority of another expert, on page 58 ; or that the 
Horse-Breeding Department was subordinate to the Army 
Remount Department : this, he says, has certainly not been 
the case for many years. Neither does he understand that any 
attempt has been made to combine the two, as stated on 
page 59. "The Army Remount Department purchase what 
they find at the market ; the Civil Veterinary Department 
endeavours to supply that market ; but it has a free hand to 
do it in its own way." 

In Sir John's opinion our endeavour to create an Anglo- 
Indian type of horse capable of reproducing itself can never 
succeed ; the endeavour has been persevered in for a century, 
has failed, and will fail; " for we are fighting against nature, 
and nature will beat us in the long run." This is simply a 
more pointed way of saying what I have asserted as a general 
principle on page 59 — i.e., that "climate and the prevailing 
normal conditions of life are paramount in determining what 
the size and character of the horse of any given country shall 
be." Sir John Watson, if I understand him rightly, is 
opposed to the importation of English stock altogether, as he 
asserts that " English and Asiatic blood will never mingle with 
advantage." 

Holding these views, he is firm in the belief that the 
present system of Indian horse-breeding is radically wrong and 
doomed to failure. 



62 



The Horse-Breedixg Commission of 1900- i 

In October, 1900, a Commission met at Umballa to- 
enquire into the question of Indian Horse-Breeding. The 
members visited at the Remount Depots, the Government 
farm at Hessar, and toured through the principal horse- 
breeding districts ; they inspected over 10,000 horses, mules 
and donkeys, including nearly all the State stallions and many 
branded mares, and they took evidence from numerous civil 
and military officers, native chiefs and European and native 
breeders and dealers. 

In their exceedingly interesting and instructive report, the 
Commissioners pointed out all the shortcomings of the 
" Diffused System " to which reference has been made in the 
foregoing pages, and indicated others not less important. 
They stated that the method of distributing stallions was open 
to objection, inasmuch as horses were kept standing in districts 
where there is little horse-breeding or none, while in districts 
where horses are bred there was grave lack of stallions ; that 
imported stallions were practically forced upon the native 
breeders in regions where strong and, as the Commissioners 
admit, well-founded objections existed to their use ; that the 
Thoroughbred stallions, English and Australian, are used 
without care being used to ascertain whether they nick well 
with the mares of any given district ; and that, in a word, the 
Diffused System was a costly failure. 

The Commissioners, after reviewing the whole matter at 
considerable length, arrive at the conclusion that want of 
supervision and method chiefly accounts for this failure, and 
offer recommendations for the reorganisation of the whole 
system, with a view to establishing " a breed of Indian horses 
duly registered and branded." 

It must be confessed that the recommendations of the 
Commissioners were not what the evidence they collected 

63 



altogether leads the reader to expect. They refer to the 
increasing difficulty of procuring suitable Thoroughbred horses, 
and to the defects and the great expense of the stock got by 
Thoroughbreds ; but they recommend the use of Thoroughbred 
stallions to be continued in the proportion of six in ten, the 
remaining four to be Arabs, 

The most important point that invites attention, however, 
is this : in certain States of India there exists breeds of horses 
which are pure, which the natives strive to maintain pure, 
and are, in the judgment of the Commissioners, well worth 
preserving in their purity. They say : "The Kathiawari, 
Marwari, Baluchi and Unmool breeds are pure, and may be 
used as safely and hopefully as Arabs." 

The Commissioners, in the body of their report, urge that 
the peoples of Kathiawar, Marwar, Baluchistan, and the 
Northern Punjaub should be encouraged to breed horses, and 
that the Indian Government should purchase the best stallions 
of these breeds for stud purposes. And here, as I venture to 
think, they indicate the line of policy which the Indian 
Government should adopt. The mistake — one mistake — has 
been, as Sir John Watson points out, the system of treating 
all the different Indian breeds of horse as one, ignoring the 
fact which the Commissioners now emphasise, that there is 
excellent material to our hand in certain parts of the country, 
if only we use it in the right way. 

These Kathiawari, Marwari, Baluchi and Unmool breeds 
offer sources of supply which, all the best authorities are 
agreed, would furnish the mounted arms in India with horses 
of the kind required, and that as Nature designed them, 
without the admixture of Thoroughbred blood, which has 
proved, during recent years at all events, of very doubtful 
advantage. 

The suggested purchase of young stock from native 
breeders and their maintenance on large tracts of Government 
land until of an age to be issued as Remounts has much to 
recommend it. 

64 



The point I would make, after this brief summary of the 
Commissioners' Report, is that the facts set out as to native 
breeds furnish sound reasons against the recommendation to 
reorganise the Government Studs. Economy and efficiency 
alike point to the wisdom of turning over a new leaf altogether, 
and discarding the use of alien sires other than Arabs of the 
best breed. " The price of every remount purchased is 
Rs. 1,945 [or £i2)5] ^^^ stallion power alone" (paragraph 366), 
and the number of animals proving fit for issue as Remounts 
being so small by comparison with the numbers bred. 

It is difficult to escape the conviction that in this Report 
we find ourselves faced once again by the unreasoning 
prejudice in favour of the Thoroughbred. Otherwise it seems 
impossible to explain the recommendation that the use of 
Thoroughbred stallions should be persevered with, while there 
exist, over large areas in India, breeds of horses in every way 
fitted for military purposes. 



65 



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