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In his excellent blog on the international pedigree and racing scene, Sid Fernando recently had a post on the work of Roger Lyons, who specifically deals with pedigrees and the makeup of matings. The series of links in this post caused me serious concern, and we must all thank Mr Fernando for pointing us in the direction of these incendiary commentaries.

In perhaps the most shocking display of the breeding season, Lyons, in both his blog titles and within the substance of his writings, has had the effrontery to use humor. I had to take issue with this behavior for the good of pedigree consultants everywhere.

So I wrote:

Dear Sid,

Please inform Mr. Lyons that he is not in compliance with Article 3, subsection ix of the Uniform Code of Practice for Pedigree Consultants (specifically, the use of humor in discussing important theories and implications related to pedigrees and the matings of Thoroughbreds for genetic success in the field of racing).

In the Uniform Code of Practice Handbook, we strongly urge member PCs to word their replies in the most obscure and turgid language possible, taking special care in all instances and situations to use phrases that sound good and mean something less than the vapor encircling the head of Zeus.

And NEVER use humor. This is just not done. The PROPER PC is dour and stern, advising clients while smiling not, keeping a grave tone, and investing his pronouncements with a sense of tremendous importance. To do otherwise might invite an inappropriate familiarity between the PC and client, such as a question about how the PC managed to get his head inside his own shorts.

Also, please refrain from using the word “tights,” lest someone get a twist in his knickers.

Frank Mitchell

Clearly, this is the sort of thing one has to nip in the bud. Who knows what it might lead to … might jokes be next?