Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Solid Sands

Click HERE for a thought-provoking article by Blood-Horse editor Dan Liebman on the influence of HH Sheikh Mohammed on the Thoroughbred industry during the global recession. The financial difficulties of Dubai have recently been brought to light, and it would be foolish for Thoroughbred industry participants to take this lightly, considering the strong influence Sheikh Mohammed's bloodstock empire has on Thoroughbred racing globally. Having said that, it would also be foolish to believe that Sheikh Mohammed would leave high and dry the industry that he so strongly supports. There is no saying what may happen with his global racing empire, but should any changes be made, there is no doubt in this journalist's mind that they will be made reasonably, and with the greater good in mind. As far as his racing and breeding operations are concerned, Sheikh Mohammed is first and foremost a horse person, more than can be said for some of the more prominent owners and breeders in North America today. While I am onboard with the many who believe that young stallions such as Bernardini, Street Sense and Hard Spun should have stayed on track past their three-year-old years, let's face reality: in the climate of today's breeding business, if Darley hadn't plucked these colts from the track in the prime of their careers, someone else would have. This is no legitimate reason to knock Sheikh Mohammed. The Sheikh injects millions of dollars into our industry, creates thousands of jobs globally, and displays the ultimate love of horses and sportsmanship this sport is desperately lacking. Instead of criticizing this leader, perhaps we should take a page from his book.

Thank you for bringing this issue up for conversation, Mr. Liebman.

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