[From Chrononhotonthologos, Phantasmagoria. Cotillions and Supper Entertainment in the Isle of Man 1793-1820 ]

Horse Racing 1793

The Douglas Subscription Races were held on the 25th June the same year again reported by the Mercury,

"Douglas Annual Subscription Races. To be run for on the 25th day of June next, on Douglas Sand, by any horse, mare or Gelding, Manks (Manx) bred - A Silver Cup, value Ten guineas - 4 years old, carrying 6 stone 71b. 5 years old, 7 stone, 6 years old, 7 stone 71b. and ages 8 years, 8 stone - 4 mile heats.

The horses to be entered at Clague's Hotel on the 15th June and to pay 5s each entrance.

No person to be permitted to erect any tent, or sell and retail, ale, wine or spirituous liquors on the race Ground, without the permission of the Clerk of the Course, and paying 2s.6d.

N. B. Ordinaries and an assembly as usual. - Dinner on the table at Clague's Hotel at 4 o'clock."

The Celebrated mare Titania challenged Mr. Gawne's mare Miss Ann in June 1793 but the Titania had died and the race was reduced to a demonstration of Miss Anne's abilities,

"Horse races, Tuesday last being the day on which the celebrated mare Titania was to have run against Mr. Gawne's crop, Miss Ann, for a purse of six guineas, at about I 1 o'clock Miss Ann made her appearance on the ground; but as death deprived her of the pleasure of seeing her rival there, she was under necessity of taking a few solitary rounds alone; she ran two heats, - and, strange to tell! She won them both. As soon as this ceremony was gone through, a race for sweepstakes finished the business, and afforded some excellent sport."

Miss Ann was brought out again in July to race against an unnamed Irish Horse owned by Mr. Moore,

"On Tuesday evening last, agreeable to the Articles, Mr. Gawne's mare. Miss Ann, and Mr. Moore's Irish horse, made their appearance on the course. The Irish horse was said to be an old frequenter of the Curragh; and his appearance and character recommended him to the good opinion of almost all the gentlemen on the ground. - Indeed, everything appeared to be in his favour. - He was to be rode by an old professional jockey; - and Miss Ann, by a raw Manks (Manx) boy. The bets were all in his favour. -Five to four the Irish horse'. - echoed from every quarter; and fierce a solitary shilling was offered to keep Miss Ann in spirits. Nay, to such a wretched end did the credit of the forsaken daughter of Mona fall, when put in competition with the imaginary abilities of this rattling son of Shannon, that just as they were starting "Six to four! Five to three! Half a crown to a shilling, the Irish horse, was clamoured by the croud (crowd); - and nobody had the spirit to say "Done" - Poor Miss Ann - all the former services were clean forgot; and the very persons who a short time since, sounded their praise from Langlas (Langness) to the Point of Ayre, were mute as shrimps. - But how often are the knowing ones deceived! - Notwithstanding public prejudice, Miss Ann set forward with her usual spirits; and the heat seemed equally well, support for some time; but in the fourth round, Miss Ann had evidently the advantage; and, in a few minutes, contrary to every expectation, she came in amidst the acclamation of the people. - The odds now took a different turn; yet there were some who with seeming gravity averted, that, 'it was all a joke, - a mere piece of jockeyship; - that the horse was never pushed, - and that it was only a manoeuvre to entice the great horns to dip the deeper'. - However after several bye bets had taken place, the horses started for the second heat; and in a very short time, it was proved to be a joke; - but it happened to be one of those dry jokes, which are more felt than laughed at. It was clear that knowing ones were taken in, for Miss Ann displayed such powers and ability as gained her the admiration of all present: - She won the heat with the greatest ease; - and as a small testimony of her effort, on her coming in, she was complimented with three hearty cheers. -

The ground was attended by an unusual number of carriages; and the race was allowed to be a very good one. Miss Ann ran the ground in less time, by some minutes, than ever the was known to run it before; and though her competitor was unsuccessful, her certainly came off with a degree of credit, and, had his condition been equal to that of Miss Ann, the fate of the day might possibly have taken a different turn."

Horse Racing on the Douglas Sands took place in July 1793. Advertisements in the Manx Mercury started to appear as early as May when the Articles for Douglas Races were printed,

Manx Mercury 14.05.1793. "Articles for Douglas Races To be run for, on the strand, the beginning of July next, provides sufficient subscriptions can be obtained:-

On the 1st day, a Silver Cup, value ten pounds, for Manx bred horses, and a weight for age and inches, 14 hands setting, at 9 stone, allowing 71b. for every inch, and 71b for every year., - 4 mile heats

On the 2nd day, a Silver Cup, value ten pounds, weight for age, 4 years old, carrying 7 stone, 5 years old, 8 stone 31b, six years old, nine stone 2 lb, and aged, 9 stone 121b. - 2 mile heats.

On the 3d day, a Silver Cup, value ten pounds, for any horse, &c, carrying 8 stone 71b. - 4 mile heats.

On the 4th day, Sweetstake, for the beaten horses of the week, carrying a feather. - 3 mile heats

No horse to win more than one plate. - To pay I 0s.6d. each, entrance for the Cup. To run according to the King's Plate Articles, under the direction of the Judges to be appointed by the Stewards

It is requested that such ladies and gentlemen as wish to encourage the sport, may be early in their subscription, that the cups may be provided. A book for subscriptions is left at the bar at Clague's Hotel

A meeting of the subscribers is desired at Clague's on Monday the 3d of June at 12 o'clock, to appoint the Stewards."

The week following the Mercury reported that, "we hear that subscriptions for the Douglas races are filling up very rapidly."

The July Meeting was somewhat marred by a hackney carriage accident, Manx Mercury 02.07.1793. "Horse Races: On Tuesday evening as one of the hackney carriages was driving to the race ground, having in it three ladies and a child, by the carelessness of the driver it was overturned at the slip leading to the sand, near Mr. Callow's, by which accident one of the ladies had her face badly cut, and was otherwise unhurt; another was wounded in the head. The other lady and child received no other injury than that which arose from the fright. Unfortunately, however, a boy, son of Mr. Craine, taylor, (tailor) who happened to get up behind the carriage, had the misfortune of having his leg broken. We hope this accident, which might have cost some of the passengers their lives, will operate as a warning to our drivers to use more precaution in future."

The 25th of November saw another challenge horse race between the Miss Ann, and the Horse Gripeall ownd by Mr. Moore,

"Horse races. We hear that a match for four guineas, is to be run on Douglas Sand, the 25th inst. between Mr. Gawne's Mare, Miss Ann, and Mr. Moore's Horse Gripeall, carrying 8 stone each, - 4 mile heats.

The horses to start at half past four o'clock in the afternoon, and dinner on the table at Clague's hotel at two o'clock, where a large party of gentlemen is to dine, and settle articles for subscription races." I found no reference to which horse won the race.


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