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It’s fascinating how time changes many things around us, but somehow when it comes to many of life’s challenges things eerily remain the same. The only thing that is ‘absolute’ right now, is that nothing is ‘absolute’.

Today’s high-tech living only accentuates the contrast between now and then, it’s intriguing to turn our gaze back to the past to enjoy basking in the quaintness and simplicity of the olden days. We’re intrigued by the differences and amazed by the similarities, often because they relate to our own lives.

While old photographs emphasize our modernity, especially in fashion, though fashion does have an uncanny ability to return decades later! However, vintage cars are jealously collected or restored but some qualities of life are forgotten possibly in the rush to achieve a goal straight away. Sadly this rushed goal could be something that took decades to painstakingly create. Is it possible that these people simply intimate an empathy and ignore the tried and true to hasten their  success?

When I came across a Guest Editorial by Frank and Helen McCoy in Arabian Horse World – August 1980, it certainly gave me lots to think about. For those who don’t know, in 1946 Frank McCoy and his brother purchased two purebred Arabian mares, Bint Sahara and Sedi Sedjur. Bint Sahara produced Fersara who produced the great Ferzon. Huge prices were being realised for Arabian horses during the 1980’s in the USA but interestingly some of the sentiments expressed by Frank McCoy in this editorial are spookily relevant even all these decades later.
I hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane –

Ferzon 1952-1982 (photographer unknown)

“…One of the things that has changed in our Arabian horse industry is the attitude of many people new to the breed, who think it is possible to make a lot of money in a short time breeding Arabian horses. We’re not sure what’s causing that, although we tend to think the Scottsdale sales may be partially responsible.
The old-time Arabian horse buyer was usually a business man or professional at a place in his life where he had extra time and extra money, and he wanted to invest in something he could do as a business and that he could have fun with too. That kind of person had an eye and an idea of what he wanted to do, and a special feeling for the horses. So, he spent time and money to do what he wanted. Now buyers may or may not be people with a lot of money and because there are so many Arabians available, people without money can buy them. There is certainly nothing wrong with that but they often go ahead and breed always looking for the cheaper alternative. They then want to know what’s wrong with the Arabian market?
Then there is a guy with a whole lot of money who goes into the Arabian business with one of the marketing people. He tells the marketing people how much he wants to pay out in cash, how much of a write off he needs, and whether he needs any cash coming in. I am not saying there is anything wrong with that, but it has sure changed the Arabian world. Those people don’t usually have any more feeling for their horses than they do for a string of cars. It is an investment.
Along with everything else, of course, promoting our horses has changed, and that is true for both the large and small breeder. Now it seems without proper promotion it is not possible to get top prices for your young stock. We still promote in the show ring and through trade magazine advertising and show programs, but the extent to which you have to use those means to get your prices is much greater today than it was years ago. We have never had over 30 horses and for a long time we did everything ourselves. We did the advertising, the training, the hauling, and the showing. Now it seems that you have to have a trainer to show your horses and take them out on a show circuit.
The shows themselves are different today for both the large and small breeder. We used to go to shows for the fun of the showing and competing with other breeders, and while we went to win, we didn’t really get mad when we didn’t. Mostly we were in a business we loved with other people who felt the same way. Now the prevailing attitude seems to be that if you can’t win you shouldn’t show. And that sure changes the way people feel at the shows.
We don’t know if the changes are good or bad for the breed, but they are significant. A person needs to look around and keep abreast of the market conditions to be successful. But, for all the changes in the past years, we still like to be a part of the Arabian horse world. The many friends we have made over the years have made our lives enriched.
Enjoy your horses, buy the best you can afford and take good care of them. As we have said so often – if the horses don’t make you money, the land that you brought to put them on will.”

It doesn’t hurt to remember – the only thing that is ‘absolute’ right now and then, is that nothing is ‘absolute’.

Carmel Rowley’s books –

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