Thursday, 5 January 2017

Horse racing connections

University of Tasmania Family History course - Writing Family History

Week 3 e-tivity - The past interrupted
In this exercise we were asked to write about one moment in the lives of our ancestors. I chose to write about the first race meeting held in New South Wales in 1810. A great (x3) grandfather and a great (x4) grandfather, who probably did not know each other, both had horses taking part in the the three day racing carnival. E-tivities are restricted to no more than 250 words.

Horse racing connections

As we know, family history research can produce unexpected connections. What are the odds of having a third great grandfather and a fourth great grandfather both entering horses in the first race meeting in New South Wales? 

The race meeting at the new racecourse at Hyde Park was a great success attracting large, enthusiastic crowds who gathered to watch three days of racing. Governor Macquarie’s belief that horse racing would provide a place for all colonists to meet may therefore have indirectly impacted upon my family.

Among this crowd was Simeon Lord, a subscriber to the racecourse, who not only attended the races but also entered his horse, Tipsey, in the Ladies’ Cup. No doubt Simeon would have enjoyed watching his horse win the first two mile heat and being placed in the other two, though this effort was not sufficient to win the Cup. 

At the races Simeon may have met another race goer, George Guest, a resident of Van Diemen’s Land who frequently made prolonged trips to New South Wales. George had entered a horse to run on day three of the race meeting and I am sure would have attended the races on other days.

Simeon and George had different business interests and I doubt that their paths would have crossed prior to the race meeting but they certainly could have met at the races. We do know, however, that twenty years later the two families were permanently connected when Simeon’s son married George’s grand-daughter in Hobart.

References:
Posts on horse racing in this blog

NB Horse racing has continued to be an interest in many lines of the family story.

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