International Bloodstock Agent, James Delahooke has thrown his support behind the efforts of the Water Hay Oats Alliance to ban the use of performance enhancing drugs in U.S. horse racing.
In his career Delahooke has purchased as yearlings no less than 11 champions and 30 individual Group 1 winners of 45 Group 1 races. Amongst these were the 1985 and 1986 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winners Rainbow Quest and Dancing Brave, and three winners of the King George V1 and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes in Ela-Mana-Mou, Kalaglow and Dancing Brave.
Mr. Delahooke was brought up in a family surrounded by the tradition of owning, breeding, training and riding horses. He knows the horse business from every angle. He ran the Adstock Manor Stud in England for 25 years during which time the farm raised the winners of 29 international Group races. These include the Epsom Oaks and King George V1 and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes winner Time Charter and triple Group 1 winner Master Willie. Influential broodmare sire High Line stood at Adstock throughout his career.
One of the biggest challenges Delahooke took up in the early eighties was the setting up of Juddmonte Farms in England, Ireland and the USA for HRH Prince Khalid Abdullah. The success of Juddmonte Farms owes much to James's expertise in assembling the broodmare band, which is yielding a bountiful harvest including two Epsom Derby winners, and at least one winner of all five English classic races.
Mr. Delahooke conducts his bloodstock business in the international marketplace and is well versed on how racing and breeding are conducted worldwide. He shared his perspective in the following statement:
I have resisted previous temptations to ally myself with WHOA (the Water, Hay, Oats Alliance) on the basis that, as a Brit, I have no business pontificating about U.S. drug policies.
Two recent events have decided me to strap on my guns and head into town to join the battle.
Firstly, I read with incredulity an advertisement in which one of your leading trainers enthusiastically endorsed a product specifically designed to speed recovery from pre-race medication.
Then today, I read that a trainer filmed boasting about "juice" will be welcomed back at the same track next year.
As the cockney wide boys in London would say, they must be 'aving a larf!
I have just returned from my 39th consecutive visit to Keeneland's September Yearling Sale, where I regularly purchased 15-20 yearlings to race in England. Last year, I bought one, this year, none. In spite of Wesley Ward's single-handed efforts to promote the American Thoroughbred, the sad truth is that nobody here wants your horses anymore.
They don't trust your black-type, your under-raced stallions or your medication policies. There are plenty of good, young men and women in the breeding industry in the U.S. They need to strap on their guns and have a shootout with the complacent, laissez-faire politicians and racecourse managers. And your trainers who bleat that they cannot train without drugs, tell that to the Australians, the Japanese, and the Europeans who are all managing very well on hay, oats and water.
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