The area in front of the station where I usually get on and off the train becomes bustling and packed with people, making it difficult to walk, a few times a year － namely, the time of year when Jumbo lottery tickets go on sale. There are three ticket booths lined up in front of the station, and apparently one of them sold a winning ticket in the past, so only the booth in the middle has an endless line of people in front of it every time. While tickets can be purchased at the booths on either side at any time, many people line up for hours under the blazing sun at the one in the middle. I can't help thinking to myself that the possibility of winning is the same no matter where you buy. As an aside, the people who line up to buy lottery tickets somehow seem different than those who converge at the horse racing tracks. With those who buy lottery tickets, it's not that they necessarily like gambling so much as that they are people who want to change their lives, perhaps. In order to change one's life, one needs the patience to wait under the blazing sun － though that probably doesn't fall under the category of patience. So on that note, yours truly bought 10 randomly picked tickets at the booth that never has a line. Like I've said many times, no matter where you buy it, the chance is the same. Even having bought only 10 tickets, my dreams swelled, and a sense of anticipation about changing my life grew. The results? I didn't even win 6th prize, the lowest one possible, making it a total wipeout. Maybe I should have lined up under the blazing sun.
This issue starts out with "The History of Research in Japan on Electrocardiograms in the Racehorse," contributed by Atsushi HIRAGA and Shigeru SUGANO. Thoroughbreds are animals on which cross-breeding and selection have been carried out repeatedly, based on their running ability in horse races. And to support that running ability, exceptional progress has been made in their cardiopulmonary function as well. Electrocardiogram research on such animals has provided numerous hints for research in medical fields for humans too. This article is a review by the rightful successor to that field.
Our second "Equine Resources" article is the second and final installment of "Studies on Horses' Names in Ancient Rome Based on Mosaics and Horse Racing Inscriptions" by Masumi NAKANISHI. The article is based on ancient Roman-era iconographic material and inscriptions, and it features a list of horse names from those times along with explanatory comments. It is thought-provoking material, as it certainly makes you imagine what kind of feelings the people of ancient Rome had with regard to horses. "Equine Comings & Goings" also features a powerful piece, namely "Current Status of the Breeding of Sport Horses in Europe" by Fumiro KASHIWAMURA. The breeding of military horses once flourished all over Europe. Yet after WWII, the demand for military horses essentially disappeared. European horse breeders continued producing horses, simply shifting their goal for horse improvement to sport horses, and they have achieved great success. This article explains in an easily understood way the details and evaluation standards for European sport horses' bloodlines and competency tests. It also offers a valuable recommendation regarding the direction of sport horse breeding in Japan. We've published two feature articles in this issue. From Yuri YAGI, we have the third and final installment in "Horse Sales Procedure and Legal Problems." Over the course of three articles, Yagi has explained for us in extremely simple terms the legal problems associated with horse sales. In this final piece, she presents a model draft for a horse sale contract. Readers who are involved in horse sales stand to benefit from using this as a reference in order to avoid unnecessary trouble. Also, Toru HIGUCHI has reported for us on the seminars given in various places by Professor White, who the society invited last year. He also writes for us about the activities of the 7th Equine Veterinarians Working Group. This can be considered a valuable opportunity for equine clinicians in Japan to increase their knowledge and improve their techniques. This year as well, we plan to invite a specialist from a different field, and we are hoping that a large number of you will attend.
(Editor-in-chief Ryo Kusunose)