Appaloosa Journal

JAN 2019

Appaloosa Journal is the official publication of the Appaloosa Horse Club, the international registry for the Appaloosa horse.

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Page 85 of 166

RACING HISTORY: PART XV(b) 81 LEADING SIRES OF APPALOOSA RACEHORSES POST 1978-1990 Post 1978: Historical Developments The late 1970s and early 1980s were a time of transition for Appaloosa racing. As racing's first era (see Part XV[a], Appaloosa Journal, December 2018) came to a close with the opening of the 1980s, four significant historical events began transforming the fundamental philosophy and rules governing participation in Ap- paloosa racing. Their impacts was profound, creating a new vastly different environment that would benefit racing breeders and owners in many ways. For nearly every critical aspect of the rac- ing industry, these events laid to rest controversies that had been brewing for some time. For others however, several of the changes remained as on-going conflicts well into the future. Regardless of differing opinions, these developments were truly historic, involv- ing both changes to racing policy and those ApHC personnel re- sponsible for creating and administering them. 1. Gone by the end of the 70s decade were Executive Secre- tary George Hatley, Bob Blair, the ApHC's first Director of Racing since 1963, and a majority of Board of Director members whose race-management philosophy had guided the industry since 1962. It was a new ballgame with new people and new rules that had been the subject of growing controversy for years. 2. Starting with the 1978 racing season, one major conflict between the Board of Directors and the racing industry was resolved. The ApHC resumed approval of non-parimutuel races, a policy which had been in effect from 1963 through 1969 but was discontinued January 1, 1970. The effect of the change was profound. Although racing had continued in non- parimutuel states, especially Oklahoma and Utah, the sire and produce records were never included in official sire and produce records until 1978 and years thereafter. The change would impact sire earnings and their rankings as Leading Sires of Money Earners, Most Wins, and Most Winners. 3. An even greater problem for racing ended with the passage of the CPO program in 1982 and its effective start-up in 1983. Racehorses with no Appaloosa characteristics would now be allowed to participate once the requirements of the new program were fulfilled. The impact on Leading Sires was tremendous, for starting in 1983 and continuing well into the future, a not insignificant number of leading Start - ers were non-characteristic, adding their earnings to their Sire's records. From racing's standpoint, the old question, Is the Appaloosa a breed or a color, was ended, even though the CPO issue would remain a controversy for many years. 4. After many failed attempts, Oklahoma passed parimutuel racing legislation in 1984, essentially ending the conflict over approving non-pari-mutuel races, despite the fact that such legislation was not passed in Kansas until 1988 and Texas in 1991. Post 1990: Setting A New Stage The ending time frame for the era we'll examine in Section b was not determined arbitrarily. Rather, it was defined by new develop - ments in the racing industry that essentially created another new era that we'll examine in Part XV(c). Three historic factors account - ed for producing new challenges for breeders and owners as racing moved into the 1990s. 1. The "numbers", which represented opportunities for Sires to produce earnings, wins, and winners. 1990 was a water- shed year for racing. Appaloosas entered 810 races at 49 different tracks in 13 states. 874 starters produced 6,051 starts. Their significance? Virtually all the numbers were all-time highs but were followed by a slow and progressive decline from 1991 through 2017. Fewer racing opportuni- ties and starters meant fewer opportunities for building a stallion's production record. No wonder then that the top tier of the All-Time Leading Sires list through 2017 was basically set between 1962 and 1990, with one critical exception, the rise of Geneo JJ. 2. Geneo JJ foaled in 1983. His first starters began their racing careers in 1991. Five of his babies went to the track, earning $73,983 and ranking him fifth Leading Dollar-Earning Sire for the 1991 season. Those starters produced only one win - ner, Brother Gene with 4 wins and earnings of $66,795. As the 90s continued to unfold with more JJ babies hitting the tracks earning more $$ and wins for their up-coming daddy, Geneo babies would begin to compile earnings and wins that would eventually rank their sire as the All-Time Lead - ing Sire of Appaloosa Racehorses. Simply stated, Geneo JJ was a game-changer. More on this fine stallion and other All-Time Leaders in Part XV(c). 3. In the long history of Appaloosa racing, no owner/breeder has topped the record created by Dr. Edward Allred and his ownership of Geneo JJ. Although among the Lead- ing Owners as he began his Appaloosa involvement in the late 1980s, Allred's breeding program was so impres- sive that he earned his first ERC Leading Owner title in 1990, and even more impressive, the same title for every year thereafter through 2001 and again in 2003. Owner titles are significant awards, but matched even more so by those for Leading Breeder. Allred's first Breeder title came in 1993 and was won again for each year through 2005. Unmatched by anyone before or since, the California Doctor's sire and racehorses changed the face of Appaloosa racing, and along with the other two factors just described, ushered in the 3rd era of Appaloosa racing, the subject for our next edition of Part XV. In the meantime, we return to identifying the Leading Sires of Appaloosa Racehorses from 1979 through 1990. PART XV(b)

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