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May 29, 2012

The Scope Of The Chronicle

Thoroughbreds, like the famous race horse Native Dancer shown here from the Oct. 3, 1952 issue, have always graced the pages of The Chronicle. Photo by Belmont Park Photos.

Oct. 10, 1952

In 1952, the staff of the Chronicle was discussing which sports and disciplines the Chronicle should cover, and that debate continues today.

One of the most difficult problems with which the staff of The Chronicle has to deal from day to day is just what should go into the paper and what should stay out. Continually we get suggestions from readers, advertisers and contributors—critical and friendly.

On the one hand are people who think we should cover more territory—American saddle horses, harness horses, trotting horses, Palominos and the rest. There are those who think we should cover not only more breeds, but more sporting activities—rodeos, cutting horse competitions, quarter horse racing and sheriff’s posse riders.

In the second corner of the ring we have those who think we should stick more closely to our knitting. On various ocassions we have, it is quite true, branched off into several of the fields listed above. Looking over the early issues of the paper we find such items as recipes for hunt breakfasts (not a bad idea, that) and accounts of pig sticking in India.

In the third corner of the ring are the battles who claim that our chosen fields are all right—it is the emphasis that is misplaced. One group thinks we should give more space to flat racing, a second to steeplechasing, a third to foxhunting, a fourth to horse shows—and so on, down the list.

In the fourth corner, acting as referee, sits your editorial staff. Over the 15 years in which The Chronicle has struggled and grown, there has evolved the policy spelled out in our last editorial—of including all sports in which the Thoroughbred is predominant. Of course Thoroughbred breeding and flat racing are in, by definition. So are the Thoroughbreds and near Thoroughbreds used for steeplechases, hunt racing, point-to-points, foxhunting and polo. There is an argument to be made for including Quarter Horse racing, since the quarter race horse of today carries large quantities of Thoroughbred blood. Perhaps we should include them, as well.

Naturally foxhounds, harriers and beagles go with the horses—The Chronicle is the official publication of the Masters of Foxhounds Association and publishes the annual roster for the National Beagle Club, governing body of the Masters of Beagle Packs.

Of course we cannot be too literal in following this line. If we didn’t skirt a bit—particularly during the winter months, when a lot of horses are well blanketed an in their stalls—we would miss many of the articles which give variety to the paper, and, even if we wanted to, we couldn’t. When we report the Vermont 100 Mile Trial Rides, in which hunters have scored notable wins in recent years, we necessarily talk about the Morgans and other breeds which have also competed with success.

This, then, is the scope of The Chronicle—the sport that goes with the Thoroughbred. Sometimes our policy keeps out horses and articles about then which either we or others would like to see included. But, take it all in all, it seems to be most practical line for the paper and its readers.

This article was first published on Oct. 10, 1952, in The Chronicle. It's part of a series celebrating 75 years of Chronicle history.

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