Authors: Chet Hagan
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Charles lay in the hay, contemplating his first move as an American. His name, he thought, was
French; he'd have to change it. There was no reason to keep the name Dupree; he wasn't even certain it was his name.
Pushing himself to his feet, Charles announced: “Good afternoon, sir. My name is Charles Dewey.”
He laughed heartily.
The new American swung open the door of the barn, to be instantly warmed by the bright sun of the October morning. He was glad for that. His thin uniform gave him little protection from the cold.
Now, once more, he walked westward.â¦
all the numerous varieties of domestic animals which a benevolent Providence has created for the use of man, the blood horse stands preeminent, without a compeer in the animal kingdom.
In beauty he is without a rivalâa coat as fine as the finest satin; his eye, in repose, as mild and gentle as a lamb; under excitement as bright as the eagle and as bold as the lion, denoting the energy of his nature; his skin as thin and elastic as the fawn; his form as perfect and well placed as beautifully defined muscles can make it.
This is his exterior, or that which is visible to the human eye. But there is an interior, or invisible, structure which contributes more perhaps to his powers than even his perfect exterior formation. His large heart and capacious lungs give him the wind of a high-bred hound; his large blood vessels and soft, thin skin enable him to throw off the excess heat that must be generated by great and rapid exertion; his muscles firm and beautifully defined with bone of ivory textureâall combine to give him strength, endurance, action, and beauty far exceeding all of the equine race.
The uninstructed in horseology may ask, “What do you mean by a blood horse, or thoroughbred?” I mean the horse which traces back, with certainty, through a long line of distinguished ancestry to the beautiful and game little creatures which were imported into England from the deserts of Arabia about the middle of the sixteenth century. How they came there, or by what means they had been brought to the degree of perfection they possessed at that early period, I am not able to answer. From that time to the present, the best talent of intelligent breeders has been zealously and energetically employed throughout the world, aided, too, by all the leading governments, except our own, to develop and improve this noble animal. They have not failed.
By attention to his comfort, with a liberal supply of proper food from infancy to maturity, his size has been enlarged, consequently his strength and speed increased; though beautiful when brought from his native desert, he is now magnificent. He has been made so nearly perfect that breeders of the present period are puzzled to know what further improvement can be anticipated.
To form an idea of the wonderful power of the blood horse, we will suppose his weight to be nine hundred pounds, this being about the weight of the racehorse. By the strength of his muscle he carries this weight together with his rider, one hundred pounds more, making one thousand pounds, not on a downgrade, but on a horizontal line, a mile in one minute and forty-three seconds, almost equaling the power of what we know of steam. Of all animated nature the feathered tribe alone can equal his speed. If we imagine a feathered monster of equal weight, I doubt whether he could surpass him in his flight.
The uninformed may see him only as a beautiful creature, imagining that he is bred for a race alone and being fit for nothing else, believing he has no other value than occasionally to contribute to the amusement of the public on the racecourse.
This is an egregious error!
The racecourse is only the school to educate and prepare him to exhibit his wonderful powers in competition with the best of the royal familyâa field the plebeian dare not enter, no scrub ever having won a prize with thoroughbred competitors. Ten drops of plebeian blood in one thousand would endanger his success.