The equestrian question?

Here’s one spotted by top local history ferret [Howmuch?] in the archives of the Walsall Observer. He doesn’t give an exact date, but says this is from 1926, and I’m wondering what readers know or can find out about our equine history?

I know there’s a long history of trotting here, and of course, back then, most towns and cities had a race course of some kind – even Brownhills.

I’ve not heard of J.T. Harding previously, so it’ll be interesting to see what we can find – thank to [Howmuch?] for the clip. Comment here, or BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.

Brownhills Jockey in India

Since the close of the flat-racing season in England, the promising young local jockey J.T. Harding, who is a son of Councillor J.J. Harding of High Street, Brownhills, has been trying his luck on the racecourses of India, and has won a number of successes. At the Madras meeting he rode the winners of three of the principle races – the Trades Cup, the Mysore Cup and the Ceylon Cup. On the day on which he was successful on ‘Princess Jabby’ (starting at 5-1) in the last mentioned he also won the Arabian Plate on Lutchman (6-1) and he also rode the Raja of Venkatagiri’s ‘Red Cockade’ (6-1), which finished second in the Madras Griffin Plate, and ‘Sawi’ (8-1) which was third in the Persian Plate.

Brownhills jockey

Clip from the Walsall Observer in 1926. Thanks to [Howmuch?] for the spot.

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5 Responses to The equestrian question?

  1. Andy Dennis says:

    I’d not heard of this either. I do recall, in the early sixties, Harding’s gents outfitters, an old-fashioned shop towards the top of the High Street, roughly opposite the station Hotel.

    The 1911 Census has Joshua Harding, 41, Shopkeeper, tailor & hatter, born Newbury, Berkshire. He had two sons, Reginald Charles, 9 (proprietor I remember?), and John Thomas, 6, both born Brownhills.

    Doesn’t seem to be anything online about relevant racing or jockey records – is there a racing equivalent of Wisden?.

  2. Pedro says:

    Amazing piece of history, as I think it would be hard to find any further info on JT Harding.

    Strange he doesn’t seem to be mentioned in connection with English racing, even though it intimates that he left for India after the close of the English season.

    However, the Madras (Chennai) Racing Club still exists, and Lester Piggott rode Delage to victory in the Invitation Cup at Guindy in 1991.

    Loads of Raja of Venkatagiri, so difficult to date. Red Cockade is a horse name that seem to have endured, as in the 1970’s…

    Red Cockade, people’s eternal favourite…

  3. Pedro says:

    Checking the Turf Returns for 1926 there were a few mentions of a Jockey Harding (without initial) riding at Lanark and Manchester for owner Mr Hartley.

    But in June a J Harding rode Honeyflower for a Mr Amsworth at Newcastle at 100 to 8, (still running)

  4. Pedro says:

    Looks like J Hartley was a jockey that rode up North at tracks like Beverley, Redcar and others. The furthest south that I can see is at Birmingham in June 1926 when rode Lemstar for Mr Hartley.

    Jockeys around at the time included Harry Wragg, and Gordon Richards who contracted tuberculosis early in 1926

  5. Andy Dennis says:

    In UK, Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960, Arrival 25 Jun 1953, Ship Caledonia, Line Anchor, Bombay – Karachi – Port Said – Liverpool, boarded Karachi, HARDING John Thomas, 1st class, High St, Brownhills, Staffs, Jockey, 47, country of last permanent residence Pakistan and Andree Georgette, same address, housewife, 47, ditto.

    Married Andrie G Fixari 1931 Apr-Jun Lichfield 6b 1073.

    Arrival 3 Jun 1931, Britannia, Anchor Line, Bombay – Liverpool, Audrie Fixari, 1st class, c/o Harding, High St, Brownhills, occupation one, age 26, citizen of France, country of last permanent residence India, country of intended future permanent residence England.

    Unusually exotic for the northern wastes …

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