"Motive power has not killed the horse and mule industry. Every member of the species has a valuable and important place to fill, motive power to the contrary not withstanding. The latter and the horses will go along together, each filling an important and useful sphere."
From the Mt. Vernon Signal of Mount Vernon, Rockcastle County, Kentucky on July 22, 1921:
Congress Appropriates A Quarter Million Dollars For Horse Breeding.
Money To Be Spent Under Supervision of Army Officers To Raise More Thoroughbred Horses for Cavalry Purposes.
Other Governments Spend Much More.
Realizing the necessity of government interest, supervision and participation in breeding of thoroughbred horses, if the United States is to take her rightful position with the other countries of the world, the United States Congress has made an appropriation of a quarter of a million dollars to be expended in horse breeding.
click to enlargeWhile this is a very small amount when compared with the millions of expenditure made by the governments of England, France, Italy and Spain in this work, it is being effectively used to enlarge the number of thoroughbred horses suitable for cavalry mounts.
In explaining the plans of the United States government for the breeding of more or better horses. Col. C. E. Hawkins, Quartermaster's Corps, United States Remount Service, says:"The world war brought out the fact that the National Defense demands, not only thousands upon thousands of horses and mules, but horses and mules of good breeding. Quality and breeding in the horse and mule is what gives them the staying power in danger and emergency, as well as for the less spectacular, but not less important, service in connection with our agricultural and commercial pursuits. What is true in the man is true in the beast. Courage in the soldier we call morale. In either case the quality is that of the will to stay when threatened by the common instinct to falter which means failure and defeat.
"The United States is the great horse and mule market of the world. Our allies depended on us for the major supply of their war horses and mules. Thousands upon thousands were sold to the British, French, Italian, Belgian, Greek and other governments. The supply that could be sold was limited only by the ships available for their transportation abroad, and by the fact that rations were naturally of the first import.
"The first cry from abroad was for men, then for foodstuffs to feed their millions of soldiers and our own men; next came the demand for ammunitions--the stuff that made the hellish fire that raked the enemy; his theatre of operations and his lines of communication. On the heels of the call for theses [sic] necessities we had the one for the war horse and the war mule, in quantities never before approached.
"Automobile vehicles were used in great numbers. yes, that is true, and it will be true in the future. But war and the horse and the mule continue to be inseparable. The great military migrations of the past--those, indeed of civilization, itself--are so linked with the horse that his production and improvement may be said to have been co-incident with them. Motive power has not killed the horse and mule industry. Every member of the species has a valuable and important place to fill, motive power to the contrary not withstanding. The latter and the horses will go along together, each filling an important and useful sphere.
"The breeding of horses and mules, far from being abated, should be practiced in the spirit of the utmost optimism and confidence. True, the horse and mule market is upset. The demand, however, for every class will come again before the colts now bred mature. All our best informed horsemen, breeders and farmers recognize this fact and advise doubling our attention to the work of breeding.
"Meanwhile better horses and mules should be the aim of every breeder. We need better blood, more quality; hence, a more valuable animal. A well bred, sound animal, of good conformation and quality of any class, will always bring a high price and a handsome profit to the breeder. It is the scrub or ordinary animal that loses the breeder and farmer money. The scrub eats as much forage and takes as much care as the high class animal; and one has nothing at maturity. The progeny of high class, pure bred stallions, that have proved their courage, endurance and speed in competition, and selected farm mares, will bring the breeder an increasing profit as time goes on.
"The Government is backing the production of these better horses and mules. This work is being accomplished by the War Department through the Remount Service, under the Quartermaster General of the U. S. Army.
"The last Congress appropriated a quarter of a million dollars to further these plans. The project also is being backed by an auxiliary society of the Remount Service, known as the American Remount Association, composed of army officers, civilians, breeders, farmers, ranchmen, horsemen, owners of race horses, drivers and riders, wagon, buggy, and harness and saddle manufacturers--in short, of almost all the representative organizations interested in the future of the horse and mule. The objects to be accomplished may be summarized as follows:
"To promote and improve the production of horses and mules.
"To stimulate the breeding of high class animals of the equine species, with a view to improving their blood lines and conformation, and thereby to enhance their usefulness and market value.
"To protect owners, users and breeders and dealers against unjust and unreasonable legislation.
"To gather, co-ordinate and disseminate data on breeding, feeding, stable management and care of animals.
"To promote and encourage horse shows, race and hunt meets, polo, horse fairs and riding and driving by means of competing for prizes and ribbons.
"To encourage the use of the horse commercially and for sport in healthy, outdoor exercises."To save the riding and driving horses from degeneration and extinction.
"To imbue our people with a patriotic understanding that the horse and mule is necessary for our National Defense.
"Our immediate concern is to save the riding and driving horse and high class race horse from extinction. We want to produce a truly American type of cavalry horse--a horse with breeding and quality, as well as bone and substance--a weight carrier and the best general purpose horse known--a horse that will weigh from 1,000 to 1,250 pounds, standing from fifteen hands, one inch to sixteen hands, tight made, with good gaits and action--a walk, trot, gallop horse that can carry weight and follow the hounds across country--that the family can drive to church and also one that can hold his own in hard work on the farm--a horse that can be used to advantage and economically any and everywhere, except in very heavy draft. This type of horse has splendid looks, quality, action and vigor--a wonderful all-purpose horse for the farmer, and one that can be kept at a minimum cost. Almost every commercial and military use will be met by the progeny of this breeding scheme, dependent primarily upon the size, quality and blood lines of the mares used in breeding.
"Among the stallions to be placed throughout the United States this spring will be over one hundred head of HIGH CLASS REGISTERED THOROBREDS [sic], big horses with plenty of body, bone and substance. These stallions placed in the stud through Government agencies, will be available to farmers and breeders at a minimum fee. The Government does not expect to make money, but to make it possible and feasible for the farmer and breeder to get the service of a high class approved stallion for their good mares. The object is to produce animals of real value and use that will not only pay for their rearing, but bring a handsome profit when mature. We expect the progeny at maturity to make general purpose horses, cavalry horses, riding and driving horses, show horses, hunters, race horses, polo ponies, depending largely upon the mares selected for breeding and the care in rearing the colts; a high class horse, both for peace and war, a link in the chain of our National Defense. The colt will belong to the breeder. The Government will have no strings on them. The owner will be privileged to sell them to whomsoever he pleases at any time. However, the Government expects to depend upon this source for its supply of animals in times both of peace and war.
"'The New York Jockey Club,' I may add, has established a half-bred registry at Avon, New York, with Mrs. Herbert Wadsworth in charge. This makes it possible for the farmers and owners of these colts, which will be half-breds, to register the same at a nominal fee of $2.00, which registration is strongly recommended, because, when the farmer or breeder desires to dispose of these colts, a better price will be paid by civilians for the registered colts than for those that are not registered. In addition to this, registration is necessary if any type or breed of horse is to be established and recognized. All necessary information in regard to this registration can be had by writing to Half-bred Registration Bureau, New York Jockey Club, Avon, New York.
"Plans for an organization similar to that in charge of Mrs. Wadsworth are now under way in the interests of Kentucky breeders and farmers."