Monday, May 21, 2007

Integrity in the Horse Industry - Arabian Horses

Now that I've opened door to discussing Integrity in the Horse Industry with my post about Calvin Borel, the jockey who rode Street Sense to his Kentucky Derby win and second in the Preakness Stakes, I might as well continue on down this road with some discussion about integrity specifically in the Arabian horse industry.

Integrity is a pretty broad topic as it relates to the horse industry. As many ways as a human being can find to cheat, there are that many ways to discuss integrity. Over time I intend to discuss as many of those ways that I have knowledge of, but I'll begin with the subject raised in one of the comments on the Borel post.

Molly asked in her comment if I branded my beautiful and expensive (her works, not mine ) babies like they do the thoroughbreds. This was in reference to Calvin Borel's comment on the Preakness preshow about riding gray horses that were painted black back in the days. Branding and tattooing have not stopped the cheaters from cheating that's how they could get away with painting that gray horse black.

Since I have been involved in the Arabian horse industry, there has been an end to the practice of freeze branding. With the augment of blood typing for parentage verification in registering purebred Arabian horses, the use of freeze branding fell out of favor.

Blood typing was soon replaced by genetic testing. Now the odds of being able to falsify papers on a purebred Arabian are supposed to be slim to none. However, I know the practice of selling geldings or mares (with claims they are unbreedable) with another horses papers does happen.

Unscrupulous breeders dump their unwanted culls (without papers) on phantom breeders who manufacture phony papers from deceased or out of circulation horses. Then the phantom sells the falsely papered horse to an unsuspecting (usually newbie) to the breed as a registered purebred Arabian horse.

Many of these horses end up as backyard pets or some even hit the show ring in the 4-H or open show circuit, and could even make it to the Arabian shows. Because most of these horses are geldings, their parentage is never questioned and the secret goes undetected.

In the event such a mare is bred, it's not detected unless that mare produces a foal that the breeders attempt to register. Once the process is begun, the problem of parentage on the mare is discovered with the genetic testing. Usually this occurs far enough down the road from her original purchase that discovering the cause of the discrepancy in parentage is difficult. The unsuspecting breeders have no idea how this could have happened and they find themselves with an unregisterable foal.

This practice has widespread ramifications on the industry. These horses are provided to the phantom for free, no questions asked. The phantom has no investment except the short term care of the horse. Any price the horse is sold for is profit. The low prices such horses are marketed for deflates the value of registered Arabian horses, particularly in the area where such transactions are taking place.

The unregisterable foal also has an effect on the market. Most people breed with an idea in mind what they plan to do with that horse. Obviously, if they planned to register that foal, that fact that is impossible leaves them with an unwanted horse that can not fulfill their needs. There been enough mention in the media lately about the plight of unwanted horses. I don't need to go down that road, but this unregisterable foal most likely will end up in those ranks.

1 comment:

  1. This is a subject that makes me so sad too. It is also the reason I have so many horses, I cant send them to a sale, it would break my heart to not know where they are going.

    You are right though about the genetic testing slowing it down some. At the moment the QH and Paint Horses only have to have the stallions DNA'd.

    I hope you are feeling better, I hate the aching bones, I am i the same boat, it is harder and harder to climb up into the hay mall or slip under the electric fence etc. LOL.

    On the Taxes and Kitty issue, it was only a split second later that he hissed at him and streaked away LOL.

    Well I think I have caught up with stuff you asked about. As always I enjoy your posts they make me smile a lot because you sound so much like me.