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Original Issue

19TH HOLE: The readers take over

Three vigorous cheers for Alice Higgins for her excellent article The Torture Must End (SI, Jan. 11). Let's hope this time the right people read and act!

No other popular sport is more sadly lacking in publicity than the horse show world. A few more such articles, and maybe we can shake lose a few "stones" and get something rolling. If enough people knew what they were really seeing in the horse show ring, there might be some action.

Let's face it—the Tennessee Walking Horse does his share of suffering, but he is by no means alone. Let's not forget the tail cutting and set, the cruel bits and the heavy-weighted shoes seen on other breeds and types.
North Olmsted, Ohio

It seems that horse shows need more horse lovers and fewer lovers of garnering ribbons at the expense of torturing horses. SPORTS ILLUSTRATED is doing a great service to the sport.
Southport, Conn.

I am a small breeder of Tennessee Walking Horses and also try to show them when I get time.

After working my first good colt for one year with chains, I can honestly say that he did not have a sore. I was very much pleased with the way my colt was working and took him to the Dixie Jubilee in Baton Rouge. When I got down there I felt I had brought a plowhorse after watching the big boys work their horses in the barn. Naturally I began to inquire and look around. Man, did I get an education! One trainer offered me a pair of boots which were filled with inverted nails. Not knowing any better, I tried them. Well, in 20 minutes my horse was lame. This, I found later, was what he was supposed to have been. Then I was supposed to have worked him that much harder. As you stated, this causes the horse to get high in front. Then later, I found out about blistering and what it will do to a horse.

Never will it be possible for the judges to correct the situation because most of our judges are trainers. Their horses are in the same condition as the ones which they are judging.

The American Horse Shows Association should pass a rule that boots shall be pulled in every walking horse class and inspected, and any sore horse shall be disqualified. And any trainer directly responsible for training the animal caught spiking or putting nails in the animal's frog shall be barred from all AHSA shows for a period of one year. I think that 75% of the professional trainers will agree with this, but they must meet competition as it is today.

Since the Tennessee Walking Horse was not bred to do a high-stepping rack, let's get to a good, comfortable, classy, fast cross-country horse. And let the horse walk out of the stall, not limp out as though he would rather get down on his knees.
Oakdale, La.

I would certainly like to send this article around to some of our local show managers and see that it got into the hands of other influential people in horse associations, etc. Maybe if the AHSA won't do anything, an enlightened and aroused citizenry will!

I would further like to congratulate Alice Higgins on reporting what she really feels about the horse show sport and what she actually sees in it. Can't say that I have always completely agreed with her, but what the sport needs is someone to criticize when he feels something needs criticizing—that will improve things. We have too much namby-pamby reporting on horse shows by people who say only what they think the riders or owners want to hear and are scared to death to step on somebody's wealthy toes. Such reporting serves no useful purpose whatever except to get someone's name in the paper and fill up space.
Soquel, Calif.

I had thought that the sweet old Walking Horse had escaped the diabolical treatment inflicted on the other breeds of show horses. The American horse shows are a display of cruelty from beginning to end. Had I known of the things to which our horses were often subjected I would never have entered the show ring. I am told that my father's stable was considered one of the most humane in the big league, and even he did not know the tricks of the trade that were being used behind the scene.
Jefferson City, Mo.

How to Watch a Rodeo (SI, Dec. 21) was magnificent, and your illustrator Sam Savitt must be commended. The artist's keen insight and knowledge of the animal is manifest since every muscle and sinew ripples in Mr. Savitt's sketches. Incidentally, Sam Savitt (my cousin) is an expert horseman in his own right and that, coupled with his natural drawing ability manifested at the age of 8, accounts for the excellence of his work.

Could you not give us a photograph of the artist as a horseman himself?
Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

In bridge, at least, New York is neither second-rate nor second-best (The Decline and Fall of New York, SI, Jan. 11). Despite increasing competition from all over the nation, teams that were predominantly New Yorkers (four members out of six) won the two major team titles in 1959.

The Vanderbilt Championship, played in Seattle last March, was captured by New Yorkers Jay Becker, George Rapee, John R. Crawford and Tobias Stone, assisted by Sidney Silodor of Philadelphia and Norman Kay of Merchantville, N.J.

The Masters Knockout Team Championship, played in Chicago last August, was captured by New Yorkers Sam Stayman, Morton Rubinow, William Grieve and Vic Mitchell, teamed with Oswald Jacoby of Dallas and ex-New Yorker (now of Los Angeles) Ira Rubin.

Further, Stayman and Rubinow captured the national pair championship in Coronado last month.

In addition to the two teams mentioned above, New Yorkers are included on both the other teams which will represent the U.S. in the World Bridge Olympiad to be played in Turin in April. These include Leonard B. Harmon on one team, and Mrs. Helen Sobel, Howard Schenken and Harold Ogust—not to mention SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's own Charles Goren, who is too peripatetic to pin down but maintains one of his home bases in his New York City apartment.
American Contract Bridge League
New York City

When Charles Goren wrote that his new quiz was a "real test even for experts," he could not have been more correct (Goren's New Quiz, SI, Dec. 21). I cannot imagine what even such a player as he would have bid with a hand that contained a black deuce of hearts, as do those in problems 10 and 11 of his quiz. The discovery of a black deuce of hearts mixed in among the spades so unnerved me that I missed those questions completely. If that is not a good excuse, you are welcome to offer a better one.
Wilmette, Ill.

•"It's only those green suits that give the expert pause," says Charles Goren.—ED.

As one who has scored highly on his most interesting bridge quiz, I would like to question Mr. Goren's answer to problem 17. He gives two hearts as correct, saying that after the opening of one heart "the only bid available is a cue bid in the opponents' suit."

Yet in his own book Contract Bridge Complete, in the section on the immediate cue bid, he states that such a bid promises the ability to win the first trick in the suit adversely bid, either with the ace or by ruffing. In problem 17, as South holds a singleton 4 of hearts in his hand, surely his bid of two hearts, while strong, is contradictory to Mr. Goren's own principle.

What does the author have to say about this?
Montreal, Que.

•Occasionally it is necessary to tell a small lie in the greater interests of truth. When Author Goren said "the only bid available," he implied that the call was not perfect. But it has the virtue of declaring overwhelming strength as no other bid can do, and for that reason must be forgiven the fib regarding first-round control of the heart suit itself.—ED.

Problem 17 leaves us shook, at least.

Needing only aces for either slam, we question the dilly-dally tactic of "two hearts."

Realizing the extent of damage to Mr. Goren's ego in Italy recently, however, we are disposed to forgive him.
Arlington, Va.

•Since Readers Smith and Webber are so forgiving, Bridge Editor Goren is disposed to promote the four no-trump bid and will allow the reader to credit himself with two points for that call. It still has the slight disadvantage, however, that a misunderstanding partner might decide to leave him there.—ED.

As usual, I turned eagerly to the bridge quiz. I hope I am not alone among your readers in my disagreement with Charles Goren's suggested bid on problem 11. He advises a double on this one, and I must admit that a double ought to be considered. But the following holding, which I do not think unusual, would be disastrous for South.

As the situation stands, East will make an overtrick. Give East only six clubs or take the spade king from West and East will still make the contract. It seems that East's hand must be at least as good as this one to make such a dangerous vulnerable overcall. South should have thought twice about this one.

Furthermore, it doesn't seem too remote, looking at the South hand, that North-South could make a game themselves. Being a cautious player, South might tell a white lie about his hand by bidding two diamonds. Now if partner bids two hearts, South can bid his spades or pass, depending on how cautious he may be.
New Haven, Conn.

•No single hand can prove a bid correct or incorrect, says Goren. The North hand cited by Mr. O'Keefe does not in any way alter the propriety of South's bid. In this case, North simply yanks the double because he does not have the kind of hand to cooperate in the defense. But with dozens of other hands, unless South doubled, North and South would miss their best chance for a profit.—ED.




[Queen of Spades]
[10 of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[King of Hearts]
[Queen of Hearts]
[Jack of Hearts]
[10 of Hearts]
[9 of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[King of Diamonds]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]
[Queen of Clubs]


[King of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[3 of Spades]
[8 of Hearts]
[6 of Hearts]
[5 of Hearts]
[2 of Hearts]
[9 of Diamonds]
[8 of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]
[9 of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]


[Ace of Spades]
[Jack of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[4 of Hearts]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[10 of Diamonds]
[6 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]
[10 of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]


[8 of Spades]
[7 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[7 of Hearts]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]
[Ace of Clubs]
[King of Clubs]
[Jack of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]