Wednesday, December 5, 2012


The horse race was a popular sport in colonial Virginia. For instance, in 1699 there was a heat run between the horses of William Eppes and William Sutton for a stake of half a pound sterling. It was agreed that each horse was to be kept to his own side of the course, unless, at the very start, Stephen Cocke, was was serving as Sutton's jockey, could, by two or three leaps of his horse, get possession of that part of the tract belonging to the other rider. The starter in this race was William Randolph. Cocke failed to leap ahead after two or three jumps, and the horses in running seemed to have come violently against one another. Source: Henrico County Records, Orders, April 1, 1698.

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