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THE ART OF RIDING RACES.

" Enclyclopccdia of Sport" has a good chapter on jockeys. During one year, when Archer rode an enormous number of races — from 600 to 700 — his successes averaged two in five. He possessed one of the chief secrets of his profession—the ability to understand the peculiarities of the various horses he rode. His principal fault was extreme severity; what might happen to a horse afterwards appeared to be no concern of his ; his mind was set on winning the race he was at the moment contesting, and not a few two-year-olds on whom he had won were good for very little afterwards, his whip and spur having taken all the heart out of them. At the same time,, if he could persuade a, horse instead of coercing him he would "do so. His method of sitting back and, as it were, driving his horse before him was in striking contrast to that of his great rival, George Fordham, who had anything but a graceful seat upon a horse, and was a man of little education and general knowledge, but whose appreciation of the delicacies of his profession was simply phenomenal. It may be doubted whether anyone who ever lived understood horses and the art of raceriding more thoroughly. In contrast a»ain to Fordham was his friend, Tom Cannon, who to the other requisites of perfect jockeyship added extraordinary grace. For George Fordham Cannon ' had the warmest admiration, declaring that all he knew he learnt from his colleague—an expression, however, which may be taken as not a little exaggerated, for he continually profited by his own experiences and singularly astute observation. Tom Cannon's hands on a two-year-old will long be famous in the history of horsemanship. He^waa usually the personification of gentleness on a horse, and declared that he would as soon hit a child as

an anxious young two-year-old that o was doing its best; and in this respect, it may be remarked, Georue Fordham entirely agreed with him. There can he no doubt that Tom Cannon often got more out of a horse by his persuasive methods than any other jockey could have done by the administration of punishment. Both father and eon, T. and M. Cannon, were much given to waiting, a practice which some critics consider that Mornington Cannon carries to excess. Both riders, however, when they have just lost races, have sometimes expressed the conviction that if they had only dared to wait for two or three strides longer they would just have won ; and it is by no means certain in this matter that lookers-on see most of the game, or, at any rate, are best able to estimate the situation.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AS18980615.2.4.6

Bibliographic details

THE ART OF RIDING RACES., Auckland Star, Volume XXIX, Issue 140, 15 June 1898

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450

THE ART OF RIDING RACES. Auckland Star, Volume XXIX, Issue 140, 15 June 1898

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