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Horse Racing 1810  


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The Sydney Gazette

5 May 1810

The Annals of this Country have never been able to record such a series of pleasant and outre Pastimes - such Feats of Humour and Fun, so congenial to the temper and to the spirit of Englishmen, as this day has produced in the Village of Parramatta.

Horse Racing was the leading feature of the day; and this sport commenced with a race between the celebrated horse Parramatta and the well-known bay horse Belfast; which was won by the former. A trotting match succeeded; when the famous mare Miss Kitty was victorious, going over the ground in a style scarcely to be surpassed by some of the first trotters in England. On these matches betts to a considerable amount were depending.

When those animals had retired form the field, the old (but not very humane or merciful) custom of cock-fighting was introduced; and a Main of Cocks was ought - the chances of which were for a long time precarious, until at length Death decided the victory, and the survivor was borne off triumphant.

Then succeeded the motley mirth of foot racing, wheelbarrow races or rather stumblings ( or the heroes who had the charge of these wooden concerns were blindfolded, to give them the fairer chance of effecting that by accident which they had no visible means of doing. Jumping in sacks came next in order; and a venerable host gave the calculated complement of calico for a chemise to be run for by three vestals of the current order: this was a very warm contest, and was obstinately kept up as long as the fair competitors could themselves keep up; but this not being practical, nor altogether answerable to the wishes of the spectators, the sacks were soon disburthened of their fair contents, and the prize was given to the lucky fair one, who received it - 'Nothing loth".






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