horse racing

Horse Racing: the Buccleuch method

On this day, 1596, Buccleuch arranged a horse race, which took place at Ewes Water.

We should remember, that this 101 years before The Byerley Turk was set to stud, 118 years before Flying Childers (who remained undefeated in his racing career) was sired by the Darley Arabian, and 135 years before The Godolphin Arabian first proved his bloodline with his first offspring Lath. The horses which were raced at Ewes Water, then, had none of the Thoroughbred genes – Thoroughbreds as a breed had yet to be created.

Instead, these horses may have been some of the hobbyes, mentioned by Carey in his Memoirs, and if we even pause to dismiss the event as being, perhaps, of little merit therefore, we should recall that in Cavelarice, or The English Horseman: Contayning all the Art of Horse-manship, as much as is Necessary for any Man to Understand the author, Gervase Markham, noted:

… when the best Barbaries that ever were in my remembrance were in their prime, I saw them overrunne by a black hobbie at Salesburie of Master Carlton’s …

However, the prime concern may not have been the speed of the horses.

Buccleuch was in conversation with other attendees, notably the Grahams. He was making last minute arrangements for a matter he had to attend to, with others, later that day, assuring that he had clear passage through the English Grahams’ lands “without shout or hindrance” as Scrope would describe it in the coming days.

 

But surely, a horse race meeting is merely a horse race …?