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Wednesday, October 19, 2005 ISSUE #383
 

Hurricanes and Horses

# 383, October 19, 2005

COLUMBUS: Another hurricane is headed our way. This one is called Wilma, or is it Wilda? If it's a bad one, the Democrats are just gonna call it Hurricane W.

We've never had to use up a whole alphabet before on hurricanes, but the way the season is goin' we may go through Xena, Yolanda, and maybe Zayda. They tell me if we run out of letters before we run out of storms, they'll send over to Greece for more names.

The All American Quarter Horse Congress is still going strong here. Tonight I got to see the 2-year old Snaffle Bit Western Pleasure, Limited Division competition. They must have started with at least 60 or 70 horses, with the riders showing off their various gaits, and wouldn't you know, when they narrowed the field down to the top ten they were from all over the country, and the winner was from Oklahoma. I watched some barrel racing in another arena, but I didn't stay to find out who won.

Speaking of competition, they had a Queen contest, with all the states sending their best and talented and prettiest young lady, and the winner is from Georgia, Ashley Herrman. Michigan had the next best one. These Queens aren't just pretty faces; they know their horses and they are good riders.

Sunday they put on a big western fashion show, and all the queen candidates were the models. These fancy New York fashion shows don't have anything over this one. One outfit was said to total $17,000, and I don't doubt it. Some of the hats were priced at $1000.

I read where the horse industry of this country says they contribute almost $40 Billion to the US economy. And when they count what they call "indirect and induced spending", it brings the total up to $100 Billion. The report doesn't say, but a big share of that induced spending is probably dropped at the race track.

We've got 9 million horses, so that works out to around $10,000 per horse. There's 2 million people that own the horses. And that means each owner, if my arithmetic is right, has 4.5 horses, and directly or indirectly contributes $45,000 to $50,000 to the American economy. When you look around the grounds here, and see all the fancy horse trailers, and the big pickups it takes to pull 'em, it ain't hard to figure out where the $50,000 is going. The real question is: Where is it coming from?

That $10,000 per horse..., can you imagine a 100, or 125, years ago how long it would take a good horse to earn that kind of dough?

It's a great industry, and if we could get some of our other pleasurable pursuits to contribute $100 Billion we would get out of this hole we've dug ourselves into.

The World Series is set to start Saturday. Houston has never even been there, and for the Chicago White Sox it's been so long since they won a Series, they can't remember if you play 5 games or 7. It'll be a fine Series, if you like good pitching.

Historic quotes from Will Rogers: (on Horses)

"If everybody (traded his car for a horse) they would be out of debt in a couple of years. Just think, no gas, no tires, no roads to pay for." DT #2043, Feb. 20, 1933

"There will never be a time when the old horse is not superior to any auto ever made." WA #507, Sept. 11, 1932

"Horses raise what the farmer eats, and eat what the farmer raises... You don't have to pay some finance company 10 or 15 per cent to own a horse." DT #1967, Nov. 23, 1932

"Horsemanship through the history of all nations has been considered one of the highest accomplishments." DT #2391, April 2, 1934


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