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Question about a term I heard on the backside

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  • Question about a term I heard on the backside

    So I am looking for a new horse , had an appointment with. a track trainer to look at 3 that he had for sale.
    I looked at the first 2 , horses both lovely bays geldings
    Then he pulled out a plain chestnut gelding and said "he is very classy."
    Aminute later someone else made the same comment about this horse.
    When he said it I assumed the chestnut was just well bred, but when I checked his pedigree he is pretty unremarkable, he also just ran as a claimer.
    The 2 bays are by well known stallions.
    So please tell me what classy means!
    BTW I am vetting the chestnut because I think he is classy too!

  • #2
    In our barn we use classy to describe a horse who races his or her all every time they step on the track. Might not be a top class horse, but you know they are going to try.
    ~~Some days are a total waste of makeup.~~


    • #3
      Originally posted by jvanrens View Post
      In our barn we use classy to describe a horse who races his or her all every time they step on the track. Might not be a top class horse, but you know they are going to try.
      ^^ This. It's usually used to describe a horse that puts an honest effort into everything you ask it to do.


      • #4
        In terms of racing I have heard "classy" to be used to describe an honest worker, or a horse that is very little trouble compared to the rest of the string. Classy can also be used to describe a horse that has been a consistent campaigner for his connections.

        Outside of racing it is usually meant to describe a horse that is very winsome and/or very well behaved, or a pleasure to be around.
        AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012


        • #5
          I hate that term, since it is used for both people and horses. The connotations are that people of a higher class act in a manner that is superior to those of a lower class, when we all know that is completely untrue. Heck, I'm well-bred but Lord knows I work hard for my bad reputation.
          "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."


          • #6
            Classy is the opposite of common, in that connotation. A "common" horse may be sour, lazy, ill-mannered, not talented, etc. A classy horse is genteel, well behaved, with self confidence and generosity, he gives his best effort and genuinely wants to do the right thing.

            You can train a horse to be better behaved, or better educated, or improve their skills, but "class" is something they're born with.
            A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.
            ? Albert Einstein



            • Original Poster

              Thanks everybody,looks like I chose the right horse, he vetted and is coming home today!


              • #8
                jump pony congrats on your new horse!! care to share pictures and race pedigree, so we can fawn over him??
                AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012


                • #9
                  I have a huge soft spot for chestnut Tbs. Good luck with your classy fellow
                  -- * > hoopoe
                  Procrastinate NOW
                  Introverted Since 1957


                  • #10
                    Congratulations on your new classy horse. I love the term for both horses and people, and agree with the descriptions above, especially EventerAJ. IMO, a "classy" horse makes the right decisions naturally, whether or not he has been correctly prepared to make those decisions. He's intuitive, honest, and intelligent. He makes suggestions about how he can do his job better. He solves problems for you.


                    • #11
                      Congratulations on your new horse. Thank you all for teaching me something new. I didn't know what the term meant in relation to horses either. You can't train in work ethic... so it's a wonderful attribute.


                      • #12
                        May not be relevant, but decades ago, when I first encountered that "classy" word we were looking at a horse to claim and the trainer said "he was a dink, not a classy runner".

                        Now it seems that a dink horse is the opposite of a classy runner.
                        It was explained then to me a classy runner was a horse that was a real runner, that would put it out every time, running was his game and he was good at trying his best at it.

                        Not classy runners were the ones you had to work with as a trainer to get enough run out of them to keep them on the feed bill.
                        If you were good at training and finding the right races for them and the stars aligned enough times they would still run well enough.

                        The classy ones made training easy and made trainers look good.
                        Both kinds may be very fast and win their share, just different personalities.

                        OP, pictures would be lovely.
                        Last edited by Bluey; May. 31, 2019, 12:38 PM.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by EventerAJ View Post
                          You can train a horse to be better behaved, or better educated, or improve their skills, but "class" is something they're born with.
                          That's about perfect.
                          Click here before you buy.


                          • #14
                            DW -Good to see you!!
                            Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                            Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                            • #15
                              Congratulations! Please post pictures when you have them!

                              You're lucky—when I picked up my most recent girl, her trainer said "Good luck, she's quite a princess!"
                              "Dogs give and give and give. Cats are the gift that keeps on grifting." —Bradley Trevor Greive


                              • #16
                                First, as no one corrected you, and no offense but it's actually called backstretch not backside.

                                Second, as for classy, it depends on the person or barn. Most racehorses that run well are said to have "heart" or "guts" not "classy". Such give all horses were and sometimes still are referred to as real working men's horses because they're go, go, go and don't quit.
                                Classy can just as easily mean it's a showy horse (acting up in the paddock, etc.) or a nice mannered/easy handler. It, to me, actually doesn't say much about it's racing ability.

                                Third, as for being from well known stallions that's half the equation. They had to have mothers too. And there are 'well known' stallions whose reputation comes from their impressive ancestry and so they are bred often but their ability either isn't proven or mediocre in relation.

                                Fourth the chestnut ran a claimer. Okay. At what price? People sometimes, particularly those with no prior racing experience, make the misconception that claimer races are meant for broken down / animals going nowhere when that isn't exactly or always the case. Even horses like Maximum Security were in claiming races.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by FrenchLady View Post
                                  First, as no one corrected you, and no offense but it's actually called backstretch not backside.
                                  I've always heard the stable area being referred to as the backside. To me, backstretch is the straight part of the track opposite the home stretch...
                                  Maybe the reason I love animals so much is because the only time they have broken my heart is when they've crossed that rainbow bridge


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by EventerAJ View Post

                                    You can train a horse to be better behaved, or better educated, or improve their skills, but "class" is something they're born with.
                                    Love this. And you can see it at a young age. They just have a look about them and it doesn't really need to tie to pedigree.

                                    Great example: we (so, so, SO) idiotically passed on a yearling colt (standardbred) that just SCREAMED class. Only passed because he was a horse by a sire that was half pacing bred on his sire's side, and from a dam side (all trotters) that had done quite little at that point. He brought less than $20k, and not only was he a superb racehorse himself, he was the first of a string of great horses out of his dam. He was going to be a good horse. You could just see it in his demeanor. Won't make that mistake again, I hope.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Where'sMyWhite View Post

                                      I've always heard the stable area being referred to as the backside. To me, backstretch is the straight part of the track opposite the home stretch...
                                      The stabling area is “the backside”. At least at TB tracks in the US.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Where'sMyWhite View Post

                                        I've always heard the stable area being referred to as the backside. To me, backstretch is the straight part of the track opposite the home stretch...

                                        And in racing circles, a classy horse is not one that's "showy" or acts up in the paddock.