The Grand Steeple Chace at Hog’s Norton

A book seller I recently talked with had a curious item for sale: a selection of plates depicting riders in a steeplechase race. The steeds were pigs, and so were the riders!

The piece jogged my memory. We looked through the collection and found a piece from John Daniels’ ephemera collection: Grand Steeple Chace Run at Hog’s Norton Exemplified in Six Plates by J. B.

plate1
“The Start”

Our copy depicts the riders on pig-back, racing across the countryside.

plate2
“Going It”
‘Tis the pace that kills,’ said the late —— and no man put it oftener to the test.
plate3
“Steeple Chace”
Here breeding began to tell, Mr. Cleansty’s White-horse and the Cocktail being rather blown, The Captain’s horse threw his rider so his chance was up.
plate4
“Facing a Brook”
Go at ye Cripples never say die. Here Mr. Clansty’s was in imminent danger of drowning. The Captain, having regained his seat, was seen coming up with a wet sail.

plate5

“Steeple Chace”
The thoroughbred in though queerish to start, winning easy

plate6

“Steeple Chace”
Push on my Cripples! Never say die” The Cocktail here completely floored could not get home. 1831.

I was interested to find online that the term “Hog’s Norton” has a long history. It implies a fictional town with boorish inhabitants. “You were brought up at Hog’s Norton” is *not* a compliment!


Wedding Photography by Spiering Photography

John Connolly has served as the George L. Ohrstrom, Jr. Head Librarian at the National Sporting Library & Museum (NSLM) since early 2014. He is responsible for the care of the Library collections, including books, magazines, photographs, diaries, letters, and much more. The NSLM collections span over 350 years of the history of equestrian sport, as well as fly fishing, wing shooting, and other field sports. Have a question? Contact John by e-mail 

2 Comments

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  1. This is fun! How neat to track the images AND the verbal reference!

    Holly Pulsifer
    11 Waldingfield Rd
    Ipswich, MA 01938
    978-356-3655

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  2. Fantastic! At times, I have found myself at some far flung point-to-point where the sport left something to be desired. It’s nice to know that our forefathers enjoyed the same level of sport. Then (as now,) we enjoy it all, large and small.

    I’m positive there is other art in the collection that offers tongue in cheek humor from another era. Maybe some fore edge painting? Some bawdy Cecil Alden tint to share?

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