Ladies’ Cup

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Wednesday October 17, 1810

“A Cup, value 50 guineas, given by the Ladies of the Colony, for horses of all ages belonging to Subscribers to the Sydney Race Course. The best of three 2-mile heats.” Mr Lord’s Tipsy, Mr Oven’s Bessy, Mr William’s Strawberry, Captain Ritchie’s Chase, Colonel O’Connell’s Carlo, Captain Piper’s Miss Kitty were entered into the event.

The first horse races were held on the site of Hyde Park
The first horse races were held on the site of Hyde Park

“The Ladies’ Cup, won by Chase, was presented to Captain Ritchie by Mrs Elizabeth Macquarie, who, accompanied by His Excellency, honoured each day’s Races with her presence, and who, with her usual affability, was pleased to preface the donation with the following short address:

‘In the name of the Ladies of New South Wales, I have the pleasure to present you with this Cup. Give me leave to congratulate you on being the successful Candidate for it; and to hope that it is a prelude to future success, and lasting prosperity’.

Besides the above, several other matches were run during the week. At the close of the second day four Hacks ran for a saddle and bridle given by the Subscribers, the best of two three mile heats, and won by Boshy.

The fall received by Mr Wentworth’s Gig in the first heat on the last day was occasioned by a dog crossing the Course. The rider (Fisher) was too much hurt to recover himself in time to re-mount, but the horse was not much injured by his fall.”

Reference: The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser Number 355

Trevor Patrick is a local historian of the north-west of Sydney, Australia. His latest book, In Search of the Pennant Hills, recounts some of these stories (and others) in more detail.