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ENGLISH., Otago Witness, Issue 1894, 9 March 1888
This is how " Augur," in the SporMng Life, descants on hunting : — " For Heaven's sake let us send up a petition to the Clerk of the Weather to give us frost instead of fog, and to the stewards of the Grand National Hunt to give us a sft bit of timber instead of a 6ft " grave," This wretched jump is no test at all for man or horse. It is simply a trap. A pony could jump it. But going at racing pace in a crowd is a different thing altogether to the hop-o'-my-thumb business iv a dealer's yard or at a horse show. I might even say in a huntingfield, but I am amongst the greatest admirers of those who take fences as they come. Nine men out of 10, however, who go hunting don't do this, and you will Bee them going for gaps, or corners, or open gates. They are wise, for it is a thousand to one that they would never last to the end of the run if they stuck close to hounds. Lots of people go hunting and never see hounds at all after the first brush. They ride for men, and seeing a man like " old Charlie Turner," for instance, used to be, they are content to take his lead and follow as best they can. Riding and hunting are ju&t as different as hunting and steeplechasing. Some people think, because they gallop over fences and jump a hurdle or two that they are Nimrods " born in the purple." The never made a bigger mistake in their Jives. A boy in the streets who hitches on a spare horse to a traincar could do the same. To see hounds hunt is the great pleasure to the true sportsman. To see them pick up the scent in difficult quarters, often at a foot pace, and then as one hound gives tongue to hear it answered by another until all join in glorious chorus, and then for the "burst" and the tighiening|of hats, the sit back in the saddle, and the light playful but firm hand on your horse's mouth. That's hunting ! So light, so gentle ! That's the hand for your horse, who pricks his ears, shakes his head, pulls for his liberty, but feels your controlling touch ! And he answers without any or your pully haaley business. He is in sympathy with you. Grip him, when it is necessary, as though you would pull Pharaoh's head off his shoulders. After he has felt your strength, let him play, and if you are a good horseman your mount will never worry you, but respond to your slightest touch. To ride a horse that you
know with simply the touch of the reins on the neck is so lovely. You don't want a special bit — snaffle, Pelham, Curb, Chifney, or anything else. But of all bits that I love for ordinary allround purposes give me a Pelham. My riding weight is now 14st, and I am open to be matched against any 24st man to tide bare backed with a halter— no bit— over four flights of hurdles against any ground that can be chosen, bar Blackheath, Hampstead Heath, or Newington Butts, Fleet street, preferred. Man and money ready at the Potted Dog in the Strand, or at the Pelican Club in Denman street. 11 Business only meant." (Sporting Life.) At the great Newmarket sales the other day a gentleman was buying up the best grey mares he could find, and it was said that he was going to work out an idea of breeding in which gcey horses formed a very important part in his scheme. What this gentleman is a believer in I have no means of knowing, but I do not think it is the Eastern blood to which we owe the greys of our stud book, as it is not a littlo singular that the best Arabians that can be traced into nearly all our racehorses were mostly chestnuts or browns. The Godolphin Arabian was of the latter colour, bub there were some grey Arabs, and a great many greys are to be found amongst the old xacing stock oi England at a time when a very little Eastern blood had been introduced. A great many more gcey racehorses were running during the early part of the century than at present, and there have been some very notable greys, such as Gitccrack, Grey Comns, Grey Momus, Gustavus, the Derby winner — and I think the only grey that ever did win a Derby — Lamprie (an own brother to Bay Bolton), Partner (the sire of Gimracck), and many more. The Derby of the present year closed with 163 subscribers. The weights are 9dt for colts and Bst 91b for fillies, and the subscription 50iovs each, half forfeit. The distance is one mile and a-half, and embraces up hill and down hill, so that a horse need be able to act well upon any description of course to win a Derby. Ifc certainly sometimes happens that moderate horses have done well in the Derby, but as a rule it may be accepted that the winner .of the great race at Epsom is a good horse, and should he afterwards set the seal upon his fame by winning the St. Leger or by victory in any of the great Cup races, he goes to the stud with a deservedly great reputation, and is patronised accordingly. (Sportsman.) In this column comparison has latterly been made between the English turf as it was in our forefathers' time, and as ib is at present. Turning now *' From Post to Padc'osk," an equally startling change, the evident outcome of the increased value of racing prizes will be found in the stud, the value of our thoroughbred within the last half-century having been more than trebled. This I assert, taking a moderate computation, without beia* led away by such sensa tional results as that of Lord Falmouth's sale of stock, representing nearly all ages, in '84 ; of Mr Chaplin's yearlings exhibited the following summer; or by the extraordinarily high estimate which the public quite recently placed on the late Lord Wolverton's mares. Naturally, then, far greater store is set on the services of stallions high as to repute, or even promise, based on shape, performance, and ancestry, that the old maxim, "like begets like" may be verified' Turning to a list of thoroughbred covering stallions for the season 1839, the contrast between the then customary tees of even those which may be described as founders of long lines of equine kings, and what modern breeders gladly pay, is worth citing. At that period Emilius stood out alone at 50sovs, half the amount being charged for the services of his almost equally-renowned son Plenipotentiary. Another Derby winner then young in years, none other than Bay Middleton, received at 30gs, whilst 20gs was the fee of his old rival Elis. Touchstone in his first or second season, when he stood at Rickmansworth, commanded 30gs, his sire, Camel, meanwhile being chief lord of Mr Theobald's famous stud at Stockwell. The head of a still greater race, Sip Hercules, held court even nearer to London, his. home being ab East Acton and the fee but 20gs. A "tenner" represented that of Mundig, a Derby winner, and of Partisan's two sons, Venison and Gladiator, who had been second and third threra years previously to Lord Jersey's matchless flyer at Epsom ; whilst, looking northwards, the charge for introduction to Velocipede, at Morton-on-Swale, was2sgs. What a change has been wrought in the expenses attending breeding and rearing the blood horse since that era, for instead of a solitary stallion serving at 50gs, I could name a score on those terms. Then we have about nine at lOOgs each — viz., Petrarch and Galopin, who have both been reduced from 150gs, also Hampton, St. Simon, Robert the Devil, Springfield, Bendigo, Bend Or, Ormonde, &c, though these two Eaton celebrities can hardly be designated public sires. At the top of the tree is Hermit, 250gs, well backed up by Sterling and the latter's son, Isonomy, for each of whom I believe the charge is 150gs. Turf historians, whilst generally in the dark as to the aotual beginning of horse-racing in England, would seem with common consent to recognise James I as the founder proper of this sport. Since James' time-— so writes an evidently well-posted chronicler — no English monarch has discouraged the sport. Charles I saw the importance of racing as a means of im ' proving the breed of horses for his cavalry, and was a frequent visitor to Newmarket Heath. During the Puritanism of the Commonwealth racing shared the fate of other sinful amusements, only to burst forth with redoubled strength at the Restoration. The Round Course at Newmarket was laid out in 1666, and thither the Merry Monarch and his courtiers often found their way. But, looking on to years nearer the present time with a view of investigating the system of racing and class of equine competitors in the eighteenth century, Flying Childers, who did not go to the post until he was six years old, may be described as the first to acquire an imperishable reputation. He was by the Darley Arabian, and own brother to Bartlett Childers, whose sod, Squirt, was grandsire of Eclipse. But though there be no doubt as regards decided superiority over his compeers, the strong probability exists that Flying Childers' excellence was greatly exaggerated, seeing that he stood only just over 15 hands, whilst the absurd statement that he ran a mile in one minute throws suspicion on the time test generally as applied to all his doings. Assuredly for my part I am with the writer who says, " Childers, indeed, is wrapt in the clouds of myth ; his picture is more like that of a stout hack than a racehorse." Another authority who forms a far higher estimate of Flying Childers, writes, "he had not, like Eclipse, a Stubbs to paint him." History tells how the latter horse, who came into the world close on 50 years later than Flyingj or Devonshire, Childers' birth, was not brought out untfl he was five years old ; how he made his debut in a Maiden Plate of £50 at Epsom, and after cantering in for the first heat, in the second ran array with his rider, distancing his opponents ; how he not only never knew'defeat but never was measured. These facts have been the backbone of many a racing article. His superiority to his compeers was so great, and has been so clearly authenticated, that Eclipse, the writer
oannot help thinking, must have been among the racehorses of all time. To this day his blood is the most highly prized on the turf and at the stud, that champion of champions, Ormonde, being the doughtiest latter-day representative of this noble line. The following list of horses trained by Gurry (Bedford Lodge, Newmarket) will give an idea of the responsibility of a first-class English trainer. The list only comprises horses in regular training that have been entered for races; but besides these such a trainer will have from 30 to 40— probably more — yearlings in his charge : — Lovely, blk m, by Alvarez— Electric Light, aged Althorp, bh, by Tibthorpe— Bide-a-wee, Oyrs . Jezreel, b h, by Beauclerc, clam by ThundererMerry Hampton, be, by Hampton— Doll Tearsheet, Mainbeara, eh c, by See Saw— Mainhatch, 3yrs Weatbury, eh c, by Weßtbonrne— First Rose, 3yrs Mayo, blk c, by Isonomy— Mayfly, 3yrs Chilperie, b g, by Childeric— Amber, 3yrs Fingest, b g, by Trappist— Foliage, 3yrs Hungarian, b g, by Kisber— Zara, 6yrs Crim Tartar, eh h. by Camballo— Momoria, aged Tommy Upton, b h, by Blue Ruin— Ryegrass, syrs Gallinule, eh c, by Isonomy— Moorhen, 4yra Quilp, blk c, by Arbitrator— Sally Brass, 4yrs Queen Bee, br f , by Muncaster— Acheron, 4yrs Sweetheart, b c, by Peter— True Love, 4yrs Jack o' Latern, b c, by See Saw— Mystery, 4yra Princess May, eh f, by Beaudesert— Maud Victoria, Masque de Fer, eh c, by Mask— Evasion, 3yrs Duke of Marlborough, b c, by George FrederickMa Belle, 3yrs Juggler, eh c, by Touchet— Enchantress, 3yrs Goldacre, eh c, by Springfield— Crucible, 3yrs Hanover, b c, by Geore Frederick— True Love, 3yrs Isthmian, b c, by Syrian-Salamis, 3vrs \ What Not, b f , by Chippendale— Hemlock, 3yrs Sigbert. eh c. by Charibert— Symbol, 2yrs Maynooth, eh c, by Master Kildare— Mayfly, 2jrs Sly *ellow, eh c, by Kisber— Sly Glance, 2yrs Helvelljn, be, by Barcaldine— Lady of the Lea, B?rs Freemason, b c, by Barcaldine-Geheimniss, 2yrs Proserpine, bf , by Barcaldine— Mystery, 2yrs The Skipper, eh c. by Barcaldine— Risk, 2yrs Pioneer, br c, by Galopin— Moorhen, 2yrs Mountaineer, b c, by Muncaster— Westeria, 2yrs Rokeby, eh c, by Muncaster— Novitiate, 2yrs Prince George, b c, by George Frederick— Rufford Maid, 2yrs Lady Cecil, eh f, by Ossian— True Blue, 2yrs Danebury, eh c, by Touchet— Caroline, 2yrs Rothßchild eh c, by Sir Bevys— Lady Margarette, First Minstrel, b c, by Border Minstrel— Roscid, 2yra Tone, b f, by Plebeian— Athelney, 2yrs Keswick, br c, by Muncaster— Apple Blossom, 2yrs Be by Skylark— Elf Nott, 2yrs Br c by Skylark— Jenny's Bawbee, 2yrs The Swallow, b f, by Skylark— Restless, 2yrs Poem, b f, by Petrarch— Silver Ring. 2yrs Spire, b c, by Petrarch-Spirea, 2yrs Wasp, be, by Touchet— Busybody, 2yrs Fair Vision, eh f, by Touchet— Enchantress, 2yrs The Merry One, bf, by Hampton— Doll Tearsheet, 2yrß Waterproof, br c, by Sir Bevys— Mrs Gamp, 2yrs The Squire, eh c, by Albert Victor— Hermitu, 2yrs SHiiplock, eh c, by Fetterlock-Snapsbot, 2yrs Industria, b f, by Plebeian— Success, 2yrs Skip, b f, by Skylark— Ballet Girl, 2yrs Dulcio, bl f , by Dutch Skater— Paraflin, 2yrs Thornton, bl c, by Lord Lyon— Beo Hive, 2yrs B c by Lowlander— Poetry, 2yrs Br c by Munciiater -Gipsy Queen, 2yrs B f by Petrarch- Spina way, 2yrs B f by Skylark— Hackaesß, 2yrs B f by Skylark— Maud, 2yrs Legal Advice, b f , by Isonomy— Petition "Jyn Bonnie Brae, b f, by Isonomy— Daln.imame II f by Master Kildare-Queen of the Hills, 2yrs
ENGLISH., Otago Witness, Issue 1894, 9 March 1888
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