Early English Riders: History of Jockeys Said to Commence with John Singleton.; Pioneer Horsemen Endured Poverty and Hardship Before Gaining Fame--Sketches of Chifney, Goodisson and Clift., Daily Racing Form, 1923-03-08


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EARLY ENGLISH RIDERS History of Jockeys Said to Com mence with John Singleton Pioneer Horsemen Endured Poverty and andHardship Hardship Before Gaining Fame Sketches Sketchesof of Chifncy Goodisson and Clift In Silk and Scarlet The Druid writes entertainingly of jockeys that flourished in the latter part of the eighteenth century It has been well said of Englishmen gener ally that they come honestly by their horse manship with Hengist and liorsa for their Saxon founders but still it is to Yorkshire that we have to look for the germs of real saddle science The history of jockeys in fact may be said to commence with John Singleton whose register is still in the church chest of Mel bourne near Pocklington and bears date May 10 1715 A rumor that race horses were trained on these wolds which he could see in the distance as he tended cattle on Hoss Moor first excited his ambition to catch and race the shaggy colts which picked up their living around him and the correction which he caught in due season from one of the commonowners determined him to fly to that land of promise and engage himself to Mr Read on terms of sleeping in the stable and eating what he could get The connection thus frugally begun and cemented in its commencement by a mutual love of horses and lack of cash ended only with death The needy race horse owner lad his horses better trained and ridden at the village feasts than they had ever been before and the lad if he received no riding fees made up for his Duke Humphrey fare at home by taking them out in kind at the booths His seat and judgment became so famed among the farmers that one of them in the hour of victory insisted on paying him his ewe whose descendants soon swelled into a dozen IX IIAHD STRAITS STRAITSThey They in their turn were chivalrously sold to pay the fee of Smiling Tom a halfbred Arab from the Hampton Court Stud the produce of which from one of Reads mares won the Subscription Plate at Hambleton but was beaten by PeggyGrievesMe and two others in a field of sixteen for the Guineas next year Winter was fast approaching and with only slender funds in either purse to meet it but aided by the countenance of a sturdy butcher from Pocklington who knew the mare and rode 120 miles to back her stabling himself and steed under a haystack by night she and John won the Morpeth Plate and two others at Stockton and Stithi erland as well The stables at Grimsthorpe soon became fraught with winners and a filly which the Marquis of Rockingham purchased out of them induced his lordship to offer its good genius the situation of jockey and trainer to himself Long before he was forty he had the lions share of the Yorkshire riding and henceforth he hailed from Newmarket during the spring and Thixendale in the summer summerSeven Seven years after he had defeated Herod and two others with Bay Malton over the Beacon course Singletons half century mark in the saddle ended He came back per manently to Yorkshire and was buried in nearly his eightieth year No jockey had so many pictures taken of him but that which represents him riding his hunter Merry Bachelor in his gold laced cap and long coat and with a brace of greyhounds on the lookout for a wold hare at his side hands down most faithfully the seat and character of this first great northern light lightCHIFXEYS CHIFXEYS EGOTISM EGOTISMSam Sam ChSfney senior was just beginning to prophesy of himself as Singleton resigned his Rockingham jacket to Kit Scaife Mod ¬ esty was not one of Sams virtues and he thus described his acquirements when only eighteen In 1773 I could ride horses in a better manner in a race to beat others than any person I ever knew in my time and in 1775 I could train horses for running better than any person I ever yet saw Riding I learned myself and training I learned from Richard Prince PrinceHowever However there were few to dissent from the first part of this eulogy although they might not give credence to his notions of riding with a slack rein lying under the wind and getting a head out of the brisket when the spur fell dead elsewhere Those were days when jockeys might as fitly have appeared arrayed Esquimaufashion as Jr peg tops and brown breeches with bunches of ties which might have made them pass muster for The Driving Club white stock ing and short gaiters encased their nether man This was Chifneys and Singletons wonted attire but there are those that re 1 membered how the former wore ruffles and j a frill whenever he took silk of an after neon while lovelocks hung on each side from I beneath his jockey cap and how he would j trot up and down Newmarket at intervals in his drawers and then by way of varia tion do the greater part of his wasting iu bed Be that as it may he has left a name which losing no luster in his sons hands has been transmuted into an English prov ¬ racingf erb and at which no modern rabbi in racing science dare to shoot out the lip coxcihrxixc DICK GOODISSOX Dick Goodisson who was slightly old Sams senior found his way from Selby in Yorkshire to Newmarket nobody remembers how and gradually wound himself into Old Qs good graces by his flash of lightning style at the post He was a terrible sloven in his dress and there were times when the duke might have said to him as Mr Toots Tootsdid did to the Chicken Richard your expres sions are coarse and your meaning is ob scure But they were only parted once for three weeks and then his grace was the first to make it up by asking him to go and see a horse sweat At one time he used to go about Newmar ket wth a leather case in his pocket which contained 2500 in notes His reason for bearing so bulky and precious a burden was that once he had been unable to cover that amount when a tempting bet was of fered him in an inn and I lost that was his constant complaint to the day of his death Both of Dick Goodissons sons Charles and Tom weje brought up to the profession Charles died in his twentyseventh year four seasons before his father and Tom who was a safe ridr and a fine judge of pace won more races in his principal patron the Duke of Yorks lifetime than any jockey out outWilliam William Clift who died at Newmarket within a few months of the younger Good ¬ isson was also Yorkshirebred He first showed himself as a lad when he was selected in his shepherds smock by a despairing Fitzwilliam tenant who began to think that he would have a loose pony at the post in the sports at Wentworth Park Eventually he succeeded Peirse and Jackson in the green and a pension from his lordship for twenty years service formed one of the three which he enjoyed till his death deathHis His contemporaries used to speak of Clift as a wild uncultivated Indian It has been j handed down that on one occasion he did not g scruple to say to the Duke of Dorset who e employed him and asked him how he liked h his horse Hang me you see I won thats e enough for you As a jockey none was more 1 honest but he punished severely would f race with anything from end to end and in fact his science was much below what might have been expected from a man in s such vast practice practiceHe He thought little of riding to and from j Pigburn each day of the York August when j he was between sixty and seventy Ten years after that he would walk the twentyeight r miles from Newmarket to Bury and back s simply to give his legs a stretch A man of s such physical endurance was invaluable to t the London insurers of tickets in the Irish j lottery and it used to be said that his ab ¬ s sence from Newmarket at intervals during t the winter months might be accounted for by t the fact of his being sent to Liverpool and r riding with relays of horses from there to I London the moment he had ascertained at t the pier the number of the tickets which had drawn a prize

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1920s/drf1923030801/drf1923030801_11_2
Local Identifier: drf1923030801_11_2
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800