Whaddon Chase Steeplechases, 1865

Bucks Herald, 25 March


Stewards - W. Selby Lowndes, Esq., jun.; Sir Erskine Perry; William Levi, Esq.; Edmund Greaves, Esq.; and G. U. Robbins, Esq.   Starter - Captain T. Lowndes.  Clerk of the Course- Mr. F. W. Bignell.

  This meeting, which was held last year at Bradwell, came off on Friday, the 17th inst., at Winslow, and the weather being very fine, though piercingly cold, there was a large concourse of people present, including a fair sprinkling of the gentry resident in the neighbourhood.  These chaces owe their origin to W. Selby Lowndes, Esq., and the members of his hunt, under whose patronage they are conducted, and although the entries for the several events were not numerous, the sport was very exciting. 

The course, which was a short distance from Winslow, adjoining the Aylesbury Turnpike Road, was, we believe, selected by Captain T. Lowndes, and was over about three-and-a-half miles of as stiff country as could well be found, many of the fences being formidable, and what is known in the sporting world as “ugly,” particularly one of those near the starting point, where several horses came to grief.  There was also a “rasper” which took jumping before coming to the Shipton brook which has to be crossed twice - the last time too near home to be agreeable. 

The ground - on which was erected a commodious and well-constructed stand, but which, no doubt in consequence of the “tumble down” of the Brackley stand, was not largely patronised - was admirably adapted for witnessing the sport, the arrangements of the stewards gave general satisfaction and we are pleased to record though there were several “spills,” there were no serious accidents to “man or beast.”  The “Authorised Programme” of the chases, as it was ostentatiously called, by no means entitled it to be designated “the c’rect card,” for it was replete with blunders.  There were four events on the “programme,” which will be found described below.

The Oxfordshire Telegraph (22 March) gave more details about the course and arrangements:

The starting field was close to the village of Shipton, over W.L. Lowndes, Esq.’s land, occupied by Mr. Rand [Rands Farm], Mr. Woodward [Red Hall Farm], and Mr. G. Belgrove [Grange Hill Farm, Swanbourne], only four small enclosures, with some stiff fences, past the stand, over a small ploughed field, to the brook.  Thence bearing to the left, round a turning flag, pointing for Swanbourne, retracing back, leaving the first water jump to the right, over some large grass fields, nearly to the Aylesbury Road, over the second brook of 16 feet of water, and two more fences to the winning field.  The distance was three miles, and contained 20 fences, including the two brooks, and obstacles large enough to satisfy the best of horses, and the pluckiest riders.  There was a substantial stand erected, but it was not at all patronised, whether on account of the lamentable affair at Brackley, or because the public could see nearly every fence from the eminence on which it was erected, we know not, but such was the case.  We would suggest to the managers the necessity of having, on future occasions, a proper place for weighing.  This year it was almost an impossibility for jockeys or owners to get near the scales, or for the clerk of the scales and starter to know what was going to run, for the crowding and noise of the spectators.  We heard of no accident worth mentioning to horse or rider.  A bath and an easy tumble were the nearest approaches to disaster we heard of or saw.  The Bell Hotel, Winslow, was head-quarters, and nearly all the inns in Winslow were full after the races.

The map below shows the approximate layout of the course:

Map showing route of the races

THE WINSLOW STAKES, 1 sov. entrance. 25 sovs. for the first horse; 5 sovs. for the second; for horses bona fide the property of farmers on and from the 1st December, 1864, residing within twelve miles of Winslow, and having been hunted with any established pack of hounds, and not having been in any public training stable, or ever liable to race-horse duty, 4 years old, 11st. 7lb.; 5 years, 12st. 3lb.; 6 years and aged, 12st. 10lb.; the winner of any steeple-chase, 10lbs. extra.  To be ridden by farmers or farmers’ sons residing within the distance. Over between three and four miles of fair hunting country.
[The owner's name is given first, then the rider's if different.]
Mr. R. Marks’s br. m. Emblem, 12st. 10lb......owner 1
Mr. Clodes’s b. h. Saxon, 13st 6lb...............owner 2
Mr. R. Marks’s b. m. Minnie, 12st. 3lb.......  Mr W. Baylis 3
  The three horses entered started for this race.  Saxon made running, but refusing at the third fence Minnie and Emblem passed the stand nearly together, Minnie leading and going strong and well.  This order of things was continued till coming to the brook the second time, when Minnie refused, and Emblem came away and won in a trot, Saxon, who throughout showed temper, being a very bad second.

THE HUNT STAKES, of 3 sovs. each, with £25 added, for horses that have not been in a public training stable for six months prior to the race, that have been the property of residents in or members of Mr. Selby Lowndes’ Hunt from the 1st January, 1865.  Gentlemen riders 12st. 7lb. each; the winner of any flat race, hurdle race, or steeple chase, 14lbs. extra; any rider of the winner of any steeple-chase,5lbs. extra.  Over between three and four miles of fair hunting country.
Capt. Barton’s br. g. Mulatto, 6 years............Mr W. Baylis 1
Mr. M’Kentie’s br. g. Wigley..............................Mr. G. Drake 2
Capt. Wombwell’s b. g. Cock Robin..................Owner 3
Mr. Mandeley’s b. g. Small Hopes..................Owner 0
Mr. M. G. Knapp’s b. h. Shamrock..................Owner 0
  Five horses started for this race, Wigley being the favourite.  They all got well off, and no serious mishap occurred till coming to the brook, where Mulatto, jumping short, came down a burster and rolled over Mr. Baylis, treading on his back when getting up.  He stuck to the reins, and being soon on the pigskin again went away in hot pursuit, Wigley being at the head of affairs.  After getting over the brook the second time, Mulatto, who was ridden throughout with consummate skill, having quietly crept up to his horses, came away full of running and won by several lengths, Wigley being second, and Cock Robin third.

THE FARMERS RACE of 1 sov. each, with 50 sovs. added, viz: first horse 40 sovs., second horse 10 sovs.; for horses the property of farmers residing in Mr. Selby Lowndes’ Hunt, or regularly hunting with his hounds, and which were bona fide their property on the 1st of January, 1865. Four-yr-old, 12st.; five, 13st. 2lb.; six and aged 13st. 10lb.; to be ridden by members of the hunt, or by farmers or their sons resident in the above-named country, or regularly hunting with the above-named hounds; the winner of any steeple-chase 14lbs. extra; any rider of the winner of any steeplechase 5lbs. extra.  Over between three and four miles of fair hunting country; four horses to start or the money will not be added.
Mr. J. Fountain’s b. m. Polly Perkins, aged............Owner 1
Mr. Baylis’s blk. m. Anonyma..............................Owner 2
Mr. A. Fountain’s b. g. Jack of all Trades aged ...Mr Clode 0
Mr. W. Price’s Blue Belle....................................Mr. M. G. Knapp 0
Mr. Bennett’s g. m. Salden Grey........................Owner 0
  Five horses out of the six entered started for this event, which was remarkable for the “welter weights.”  Casualties commenced early; Salden Grey - up to weight but nothing else - blundered, and ultimately scrambled through the second fence, but she was persevered with, though far “astarn.”  The rest went on to tolerably close order by the stand, when after passing which Salden Grey came to grief again at the next fence; but her jock pluckily remounted and went in for the water cure at the brook, out of which the gallant Grey blundered, and having set sail again “grassed” her rider, who apparently had had enough of it for one day, and was never more seen in the race.  Jack of all Trades took the lead up the hill, closely followed by Polly Perkins, but in jumping the fence near the road fell and broke away from his rider, thus losing his chance.  Polly Perkins, who was steadily ridden throughout, then took the lead, which she maintained to the finish, followed by Anonyma, who ran second, the immense weight telling on her within the last three fields from home.

THE HUNT SWEEPSTAKES of one sov. each, with ten sovs. added.  12lbs. each.  Over about 2 miles of country.
  Seven horses started for this race - five refused at the first brook and were thrown out of the running.  Mr. Knapp on Pathfinder took a prominent lead, which he maintained throughout and won easily. 

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Copyright 29 May, 2020