Rivers of Gold – excerpts: part 21

( Did you know that Rivers of gold is interactive?  Hence not only easily read on electronic devices like iphones and ipads, but stories come to life: horses and races from days long past.  The idea began with Cigar.  While words are the authors tools, there is nothing like re-witnessing the beauty and the power of these magnificent animals.  And in the case of Cigar, his absolute physical supremacy and his ease of movement.

Rivers of Gold

So, when discussing this with our book designer, she suggested we include these great moments in horse racing.  And so we did.   It proved a tall order, which is likely why no one else has attempted it.  Still, from my perch, the horses are not only the stars of the show, but far more interesting than our human shenanigans.

Indeed, in tracking these Rivers of Gold, hence history of the Thoroughbred in North America, I marvel that the story turned out as well as it did.  Beyond the horses being conscripted to carry soldiers to war, there was the Jersey Act and Anti-racing legislation in the US.)

“… The British not only created the Thoroughbred, they set out to create a sense of order and rules of conduct.  To that end, James Weatherby, Secretary to the British Jockey Club published the inaugural General Stud Book in 1793.  The 400 mares and stallions listed therein are considered the foundation stock for Thoroughbreds world wide.  Under contract to the British Racing Authority, Weatherby’s descendants have recorded bloodlines and produced these books every 4 years since.

general stud book

In 1913 Senior Steward, Lord Villers, proposed admission to the General Stud book be limited to progeny of horses already on record: “traced without flaw on both sire’s and dam’s side of its pedigree to horses and mares themselves already accepted in the earlier volumes of the book.”  As His Lordship was in line to be dubbed Earl of Jersey, his proposal was named the “Jersey Act.”

…. the Act caused considerable grief to North American breeders

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