Coming Soon

Vol 3: The Midlands: not only were the ‘Shires’ the centre of hunting, they staged many of the prime early steeplechase meetings, including the first of what is now the Cheltenham Festival. The big industrial towns of the Midlands staged large-scale fixtures, attended it would seem by half of the population, with the non-conformist preachers trying desperately to keep the children, in particular, away from these dens of vice, where gambling dens were charged on horses by some of the spectators, while at another the crowd restaged the Battle of the Alma and caused the biggest riot Birmingham had ever seen. Some fixtures were started as a moral crusade, however, to wean the locals off bull baiting!

Vol 4: The North and Scotland: the thoroughbred was effectively created largely in Yorkshire and many of the early meetings there reflected that, but the large industrial towns of Yorkshire and Lancashire put on many major and minor fixtures, at and around Manchester and in the West Riding particularly. There were also many meetings in the contrastingly beautiful wildness of Northumberland, Cumberland and Westmorland. Scotland had its own centre of breeding in the Borders, but meetings were held over all the country except the north-west, many of character and longevity – 75 in all.

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