It’s the same story at every dinner party, writes Frances J. Karon. A stranger will invariably ask, “What do you do?”, as if the response will somehow explain the very essence of one’s being. Similarly, the first question we have for the owner or trainer who tells us he has a nice yearling on the farm is, “What’s it by?”
The question is multifunctional. First, it enables us to gauge how seriously we can take this person. We will immediately discount the proud owner's opinion if the horse is by a bad stallion. Second, we make a generalisation based on the reply. If, for instance, the yearling's sire is Theatrical, we tell ourselves that it will obviously be a slow maturing turf horse who will want a route of ground.
Frances J Karon (European Trainer - issue 29 - Spring 2010)