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The Caledonian Sports are always anxiously looked for by both the athletes and the public ; indeed the gathering is the only one of the kind we get throughout the year, and so no wonder we prize it so highly. The morning broke hot and sunny, andthereseeraed nodoubt about our being in for another “ roasting hot day.” The attendance was somewhat small for the first hour or two, but pulled up during the morning. But it was during the afternoon that the people began to assemble. There were no cards of the sports and this was found a great inconvenience. Surely the Society would have lost nothing, even if they gained nothing, by having a few cards for sale on the ground. The sports were held on the Society’s new ground near the hospital, about four acres in extent. The ground was in anything but a fit condition for athletics, and both runners and jumpers were thus heavily handicapped. Round the paddock a substantial post and rail fence marked of the ground, within which the sports were held. Close to the main entrance to the grounds the grand stand was erected, under which Mr Brown, of the Central Hotel, dispensed liquors of the best to crowds of thirsty patrons all day long. The other publican’s booth (also run by Mr Brown), was situated near the gates. Mr T. Taylor, of East street, had two booths for the sale of fruit and confectionery, and appeared to do well also. The weather was oppressively hot, indeed the blazing sun made athletic contests anything but a joke. Near the principal entrance gate was the dancing stand. Between 10 and 11 o’clock, the band arrived, and infused a little life into the proceedings by playing some popular selections. These were repeated at intervals throughout the day, and were much appreciated by the public. Some of the arrangements were very bad. The secretary’s tent was rushed all day long by people, and reporters were quite unable to obtain the slightest information. The handicaps, which should have been posted up outside the tent, were conspicuous by their absence, and to seek information inside the tent was almost always nseU-sM. Then, again, there was a large blackboard, which was merely used to write the names of the events just before they took place, but handicaps and all other particulars, including the results, were not shown. Had it not been for the courtesy of one or two members of the Committee, etc., it would have been impossible to learn anything at all.

The following were the results up to the time of going to press : Open Handicap Hurdle Rack. Men; 440 yards. J. Groves (10 yards) 1 R. Macfarlane (scratch) ... 2 F. Betts (20 yards) 3 Only these three faced the starter. The men kept their original order until the greater portion of the ground was covered. Groves was in fine form, and McFarlane was also fit and well. Towards the finish McFarlane held a strong lead which Groves decreased by strenuous exertion. The race was a moral for McFarlane, however, had he not unfortunately fallen when within two yards of the tape, and Groves passing him, won. McFarlane was second, and Betts a fair third.

Quoits. W. Compton 1 G. Stephenson 2 G. Kidd 3 McFarlane also played,

Open Handicap Hurdle Race. Boys ; < 440 yards. ; ' ] Joseph Docherty ... ... 1 i James Johns ...■ ... 2 _ i • There were only two entries for this i event. Both boys started from scratch, i but as runners they were most unequally matched. Docherty was considerably his opponent’s senior, and won as he liked. Pipe Music—Pibbochs and Marches. John McKay... ... ••• 1 A. Tolmey 2 A. McKay 3 These were the only competitors for this event. 100 Yards Flat Race. Hi Hyland - ••• 1 A. Kean ... 2 4nderson, Cassil, Loekhead, and Leohner also ran. The men started from scratch. Hyland soon took the race in hand, and won without much trouble ; ‘Kean a fair second. Running High Jump (Men). S. Smith (4ft. llin.) 1 Loekhead (4ft. lOin.) ... 2 Four others also jumped. The men had to jump against the wind, and the ground was in a terribly rough state, and caused several complaints from the competitors. Running High Jump (boys.) J. Jones (4ft 7in) ... ... 1 J. Docherty (4ft 6in) ... 2 Two others competed. _ Highland Reel (in Highland costume). D. Buchanan 1 J. Murray ... ... ••• 2 The two local men did not compete, but gave place to the strangers. The dancing was very nice but must have been frightfully hot work in such weather. Grand Handicap Flat Race ; 200, 300, and 400 yards. FIRST HEAT. H. Hyland 1 I. Anderson ... ... ... 2 R. Lechner ... ... ... 3 Tossing The Caber. Stephen Smith ... ... 1 Talbot ... ... ... 2 There were several others took part. Standing High Jump. I. Anderson (4ft 4in) £ S. Smith (4ft 4in) ... ... J These two being equal divided first and second money. Several others Competed. Grand Handicap Flat Race, second heat —300 yards. H. Hyland ... ... ••• 1 R. Lechner ... ... ... 2 I. Anderson ... ... _ ... 3 The others were a considerable way behind. Lechner a good second. Sword Dance or Ghillie Callum. J. Murray ... 1 D. Buchanan ... ... ... 2 Half-Mile Handicap Flat Race. D. Church (scr.) 1 0. Spray (20ydsl 2 J. Grooves (scr.) ... ... 3 These were the only three who ran. Spray found his twenty yards useful for the best part of the distance, but towards the finish he was collared by Church, who secured first place, Spray a fair second. Pole Vaulting. J. Hunt (Bft. 4in.' 1 J. Jones (Bft.) ... _ ... 2 There were two other entries.

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Bibliographic details

CALEDONIAN SPORTS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 518, 26 December 1881

Word Count

CALEDONIAN SPORTS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 518, 26 December 1881

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