Friday, July 6, 2018

Only Gentleman could Race Horses in Virginia #vagenealogy #vaancestry #vawils #vaestates #vamarriages #virginiapioneersnet

Only Gentleman could Race Horses 

horsesFrom the earliest colonists, horseracing was a popular sport for gentlemen. The event was usually held on Saturday afternoons and run on a straight course of about a quarter of a mile. At first the stock were just sprinters. A notice which appeared in York County on September 10, 1674: "James Bullocke, a Taylor, haveing made a race for his mare to runn with a horse belonging to Mr. Mathew Slader for twoe thousand pounds of tobacco and caske, it being contrary to Law for a Labourer to make a race, being a sport only for Gentlemen, is fined for the same one hundred pounds of tobacco and caske. Whereas Mr. Mathew Slader and James Bullocke, by condition under the hand and seale of said Slader, that his horse should runn out by the way that Bullock's mare might win, which is an apparent cheate, he ordere to be putt in the stocks and there sitt the space of one houre." Arabian horses were not introduced into Virginia until about 1732 when "Bulle Rock" was imported into Hanover County by Samuel Gist. This stallion bred many of the mares for throughbred racing. John Baylor of Newmarket purchased a number of thoroughbreds in England for the purpose of racing. In 1764 his English agent acquired "Fearnought" of Arabian blood. 
Comments are welcome.. Caroline Co. VA Genealogy Records

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