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ENGLISH HORSES IN ANCIENT TIMES. It is chronicled that in the reign of Edward the Great, A. 1. 631, "the English first began to saddle horses." The earliest mention of "running horses" refers to thi se sent to England in the ninth century by Hugh, the founder of the Royal House of Owl in France, as a present to King Athelstan. whose sister, Ethelswitha. he was desirous of marry ing. In the reign of William the Conqueror. Roger de Rellesnie. Earl of Shrewsbury, Imported several stallions from Spain and. Fitz-Stephen. a monk of Canterbury and secretary to the celebrated Archbishop a Recket. in the reign of Henry II., refers to some rough-and ready races a I Smoothlicld ISmithtii -Id, in which "the jockeys, inspired with thoughts of applause, and In the hope of victory, clap spurs into willing horses, brandish their whips and cheer them with their cries."