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63 > Page 63 of Horse breeding recollections

IN-BREEDING-OUT-CROSSING. description or another, of The Drone, Sleight of Hand, Van Amburgh, Legerdemain, Flateatcher, and Phryne, but no doubt can be entertained as to the incomparably higher value of the two last, produced within moderate relationship, than of the other four, the offsprings of close in-breeding. All these investigations and comparisons seem to jnoint, I should say, to the fact that in-breeding in mares, even if once or twice repeated, need not render us absolutely distrustful as to their value at the stud; that, however, on the whole, the mating of the best individuals within the chosen families, mod- erately related, is preferable for the production of brood mares as well as stallions, because such mating within the same strains of blood may, as occasion requires, be repeated without danger, as no apprehension of thereby weakening the constitution need be entertained. It is evident, however, that the observance of this principle, if continued ad infinitum, also is not without danger to the lasting prosperity of the breed, for the more frequently the mating of animals, standing to one another in even a mod- erate decree of kin only, is resorted to, the more will gradually become the in-breeding in the whole species of thoroughbreds, necessitating, at perhaps a not far distant period, the infusion of new blood by occasionally importing into England sires of pre-eminence from other countries. Experience points to America as the source from which to draw in future the regenerating fluid; for although the Amer- ican thoroughbred takes its origin from England, and is still, more or less, related to its English prototype, the exterior am pearance and the more recently shown superiority of American horses lead to the conclusion that the evidently favorable cli- mate and the, to a great extent, virgin soil of America-in every respect different from ours-gradually restore the whole nature of the horse to its pristine vigor, and make the American race appear eminently qualified to exercise an invigorating in- fluence on the constitution of the thoroughbred in the mother country, enfeebled, perhaps, by oft repeated in-breeding. 63