Saturday, June 9, 2012

News Updates & Sat. Morning Cartoons

Ah, it's finally the weekend! Well, sort of. I work every Saturday, and I'm sure most of you are looking forward to a long day of weed-whacking, barn cleaning and other such chores. But for right now, let's take a break; here are some news updates and a couple of horsey cartoons:

The Black Stallion

Diego is doing great! His gelding surgery went perfectly, and there was minimal swelling afterwards. He's now on limited turnout, eating and drinking an incredible amount. He's getting his mane braided, his itches scratched and his wounds treated daily. Even his halter sores have really improved! Two of you readers donated to Saint Francis Horse Rescue and Retirement, and a very very generous Illinois woman named Gloria even sent me a check to cover the cost of purchasing Diego. It makes me teary-eyed to think of how many good and wonderful people are out there. Thank you.

Racing News

Remember how I talked about the incredible amount of Throughbred inbreeding in my Kentucky Derby post? Here's a scientific paper that backs up what I'm talking about. Unfortunately, you have to have paid access to read the whole thing, but Susanna Forrest does an excellent summary of the article over here. Two of the most important bits:

"...all Thoroughbred horses that are alive today, estimated to number in the millions, are descended from three stallions and about 70 mares that were bred in England in the early 18th century."

"Inbreeding in Thoroughbreds has increased over the past 40 years, with the majority of the increase in inbreeding found in cohorts born in 1996 and after, which, the authors note, coincides with the introduction of stallions covering larger numbers of mares."

 Scary stuff.

Perhaps not coincidentally, I'll Have Another was just scratched from the Belmont Stakes after a tendon problem was deemed serious enough to stop him from racing. He was the first horse in a long time to have a decent chance at winning the Triple Crown. Gee, maybe we should re-think the way we breed and train these wrecks-waiting-to-happen, eh?

Mary Loeffelholz Scumbith Update

The good news is, she did get a profile on the Pet Abuse database. The bad news is, that's probably going to be the extent of her punishment. Despite torturing over a dozen horses, she's still not been charged with anything, though Doug Vogeli, who oversees the Dane County Animal Services office, admits that the hundreds of phone calls and emails were "effective" in pressuring the county to do something. *sigh* Once again, the burden of protecting animals falls on the public's shoulders.

Saturday Morning Cartoons

I don't have television but I do have the internet, so when I paint or wash dishes or stuff my face with food, I often watch videos on Youtube. Youtube recently suggested I watch some old-school cartoons, presumably because they involve horses. I usually hate cartoons; the slapstick is dumb, the plot is stupid, etc. With these, however, you can tell that the creator(s) really knew horses and horseracing, and included a lot of inside jokes and technical jargon. With jokes about the "near" side, the difficulty of sitting the trot and the complexity of conformation analysis, these cartoons are made for adults as much as kids. Watch 'em, have fun and have a great weekend!

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