King Edwards Thoroughbred Stud: London Sporting Lifes Special Commissioner Tells of His Visit to Sandringham, Daily Racing Form, 1907-02-20


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: ; I I 1 i i t , I ■ a a I I • t K I, J] H at not m hi all KING EDWARDS THOROUGHBRED STUD London Sportinq Lifes Special Commissioner Tells of His Visit to Sandnnqham. The Sandringbam Stud was established just twenty years sgo. v the beginning of lss? tbe firsl range of boxes for the accommodation of the brood mares had still to be built: ami the paddocks had not even been laid out. Today the establishment is ohc of the most perfect of its kind to be found the world over, and it can make tbe proud boast Of having produced two Derby winner.- iii Persimmon .and Diamond Jubilee. This is a splen lid record record that redounds to the credit .* everyone associated with the stud -to Lord Ms tor.i. who bears the responsibilities of management; to Edmund Walker, the stmi groom, who keeps an ever-watchful eye on Lie minutest details; most of all to ills Majesty the King, who. by the liberality of his outlay and by his enthusiastic and p radical encouragement, has made possible all that lias been accomplished. Those whose knowledge of the Royal stud is limited to the information gleaned and im-presssons formed by reading descriptions that have been published from lime to t inn-, can have but an imperfe. t conception ot the scheme and scope of the establishment. I was there last Monday. It Was my li:-; visit to Saudriimliam. I had long looked forward to having the privilege of inspecting the stud, and it may be Imagined that 1 eagerly availed myself of an opportunity very kindly afforded me by Lord Marcus Beresford. When I arrived at Wolfertoa, to find Walker waiting for me on the station platform my imagination was tired by the prospect. ..f the agrees bit sensations I knew ; was al t to experience. The realties far exceeded my expectations. The scenes and in. id. tits of that day will always h, I if HUM1 ll memories. Walker and 1 had met before. I made his BC itualntance al Cottlsarham lasi August when I went to Mr. Simons Harrisons stud to Inspect the year lings that were going thence to Doncaster. He and Wlrberforee, Mr. Harrisons stud groom, are old friends, and Walker, who was enjoying a brief holiday, happened to have "looked him up the day was there. So there was no Introduction needed last, Monday. Walker ha- been at Sandt inuham from t ie rerj Inception of tin- stud. The establish •in -in could not possibly have been placed in better hands. All hi- life he has been associated with the breeding of thoroughbreds. His earliest recollections are of the days when his father. George .Walker who. eighty-seven years ol age, la si ill living in the neighborhood of Newmarket, had charge of the Lincolnshire Stud at which The Care was located. lie remembers John Porter, then head lad for the trainer Hover, coming to take sway yearlings to i o trained. Prom there George Walker went to Mr. I.lenkirous stud a I Mi.ldlw Park, Eltham. "I . can sec him now." said the sou to me. "leading Galopln round the ring, when he Wa8 being sob! a- yearling. Mr. Blenklron had bought the colt as foal; he was not bred m Middle Park, as many people Imagined.1 After the break up of the Middle [•ark stmi. the father went to Brook End, near lliiinuou. ill i.ssex. as stud groom to the late Earl of Roaslyn. Meanwhile. E.hnnxl Walker had obtained a silua-I on • ti,. Royal Stud al Hampton Court. Irom there he went h» the Saudgate Stud, near Pul- borough, to "do" Rosicrucian and Paganlnl, the latter a very Useful racehorse, but no go.»d SB a sire. Rosfcrucian, Walker told me. was a nasty tempered burse, but was "fashionable, and got speedy st.***:. From Saudgate, Walker went to the late Mr. Hume Websters Stud at Maiden Deer Park. where were quartered Bean Desert, Hilarious. • ■ Frederic, ami Craig Millar. Bresdkuife was bred while In- wa- I here "I have good reason to remember him." says Walker. "They need to sell their yearlings a: Samlown Park, and we had tn take tiiem thei. b a tweinv mile walk. W e would star! on the Saturday evening and reach San down about four oclock on the Sundav BSOrning. It fell to m lot to lead Kreaiiknile. and as he was BOM I had !• lead him back again. My fellow I servants haft the lattgh of me that time, because they went back by Uuiu. liteuUkuife W« afterwards f 1 - • • i I r t r t ? ! i i • i ■ t 1 SOU at lo1:. aster for. t believe. .:aJ0..,« i»tn n,,, famous taterham Vallej Stud. Walker wnnt te market as stud gr I to Ire.l Archer, ami re niaine.l with him to the tragic end. It WS dispersal ot Archers brood mares in 1836 that Inltl-i ted ihe He. ember -ales, that have now become such a treat intitule!, Porter attended tbe -ale. ami. s,.,.inu- Walker, a -ked him if he had obtained another berth. When told thai some negotiations had taken pyace. John intimated that the Prince of Wal.s ■,,;,- forming i -ml a: Sandringbam. Would Walker like n go there 1 of coarse, he Jumped at the hl.a. and. sine enough, a week or two later Walker waa asked to present himself at Bandring-bam, and iii di arse received the appointment which he has since so -i essfully tilled. This was not the cnly .. «l turn which John Porter did t the Sandringbam Stud, on the occasion of one of the Newmarket sales, the Kings agent and Walker attended for the purpose of buying two or three ;. ires. When the proceedings were over and they were walking away, John Porter met them, anil ••iM there were two in. ire- in the town for sale Which lie should like them to see. iff thev all went, niiil after the two marcs had been examined Walker was asked which he preferred. lie Indicated his choice. One was P.raw Lass, tie other Ierdila II. Walker had selected PerdltS II.. de-tine I to be e the .inn of riorjyol II.. Persimmon, and l ia- niond Jubilee. Put for John Porter she would never. I suppose, have found her way to the Sandringbam paddocks, md there would have been no Persimmon, • Sceptre, no ZinfandeL and no Keystone II. And now. chaperoned by Walker, we will, if yon please, begin our tour of the II yal Sin. I. I must J plain at the outset that the premises snd ps at Sandringbam are .lev. ted exclusive!; to the Kings maies ami their produce. Persimmon i- also there eight months of the twelve, but during the stud season lie is at Woiferton. The box he occn pies there. .u the boxes foi visiting maret situated within a hundred yard- of the station. The extensive and altogether admirable paddocks lie on either - of the iailwa. line. Only a mile aw av is the Wash, li i- ■ breexy, healthy -pot. Matrons visiting Iei -inn ion art virtually al the seaside, and they are bound to benefit by their stay in ibis bracing locality. Put we will defer our visit to the Wolferton Stud a while, and proceed to the one at Sandrlngham, three miles away, along road-, bordered by pines and far-stretching u l-tille.l with game. Presently we come to tin- famous Norwich Gates at the end of a beautiful avenue of limes leading to the Hall, the Norfolk bOUM ol OUT beloved King aid Queen. Keeping the boose on our iil: I. w e piss, on the left hand. Ihe entrance to the gardens, at the tar end of which, a quarter of a mile off, is the Queens diary, and. Immediately bej . 1 thai. Ihe group of stmi buildings. We drive round on tie southern side of tbe gardens, skirting a well grown plantation, affording protection from nortberl] winds, to some of the paddocks, and. after passing tbe petty cottage in which our cicerone l res. we pull up at the entrance to a large paddock. in which we find seven of the nine yearling fill -that are being leafed at the ntud. We had discussed these youngsters, among other matters, whil ting ranch at the comfortable Feathers Hotel, at PersinghanJ. "Yes," Waller had said, ruefully. "we bad nine fillies las; yea and ..tie .-oil." "You would rejoice when tbe cut arrived." 1 suggested. " lh." he rejoined, "matters had gone so far thru thai I really .lid not care. It. was very disappoint Ing. Bnt it was a filly year." This reminded me ol t e lunicatiou I received from Mr. J. B. Wood. of Henlej Hall. Ludlow, in August, by which he Informed me that he bud nine foals all fillies. Walker knew all about it. He and Mr. Wood had had occasion to exchange correspondence, .-md they lad endeavored to console each other. It may, of course, turn out that this "gnower" of allien was really a blessing in disguise. What il there i- an other Sceptre r Keystone II. among them. Who kl.OWS Lut there is now a vacant stallion 1 ox a! Sandrlngham. Another Persimmon is wanted. A more promising start has been made this season. only .me of the Royal mares had foaled up i • last Monday Ecila. She has je.l oft with a grand chestnut colt by He is. therefore, an own brother to Os-ila. Put I am scampering ahead too fast, i most first of all deal with the yearling fillies, who. with that •■urio-iiv s.. characteristic of their kind, came crowding round us when we entered the paddock. Tie on ■ by Persimmon, out of Courtly, seemed to be particularly Interested in my notebook, ami would per -isi in rubbing her p against my shoulder, it so happens that she is one of the gems of the collection a wonderously tine, promising brown filly. A January foal, she now stands 1I.LL. Every point about her seems to be a good one. Another splen didly developed filly Is tbe daughter of Gallinnle and Kcila. she show- first rate quality, with the besl o! limbs. Many visitors have singled her out as the besl of the batch, she measures ll.l1.. I was also greatly takes with tbe chestnut filly by Cyllene our of Lioiianiia. she is two months .younger than iii" Other two, and is net si. big as they are. but I was tol.l that When it came to galloping, she could beat tlein i.asilv. and all the others as well. So :- Laodamla his at last produced the flyer we have so long been expecting of her. The oilier fillies in this paddock were by Persimmon oat of Loch Doon, by Diamond Jubilee nut of White Lilac, bj Diamond Jnbtlee out of Spy Sins-, and by St. Sim, .n out of Meadow Chat. The last-named was a very -mil: foal. In: -ho has been growing well lately and is very nippy. From the day these youngsters were weaned they have not s"en Ih.- Inside of a bog. They are being subjected •.. experimental treatment devised by Lord Marcus Beresford, with a view to bringing them np under conditions a- natural as circumstances will permit. To this end. what was formerly a large uncovered yard was divided into two "compounds." surrounded by stout fencing, ten feet high. Each of these compounds is about twenty-eight yards long by fourteen yards wide. The flooring is thickly bed .led with straw. They slope towards :!i" s uth. At the northern end then is a thatcbed she. twenty-two feet deep, in which there are troughs for hay. corn, and water. When, late in ihe afternoon, the fillies are brought in the paddock, they are divided between these two yards, ami there they remain until th" f. [lowing morning. It so happen-, of course, that the present winter ha- been a specially favorable one for testing the rlrtnes of this treatment If ie weather bad been ahnormallj mild, as it was year, tin- experiment would not have obtained a very 1 convincing trial, but the condition have been severe enough to enable the King .and Lord Marcus Bore»-ford to note Hie effects of the method under whir may be termed average conditions. So far as it :- a I present passible to jn.luc. the experimeni has been a huge BOCCCBS. The youngsters have thriven muler it. They have all along lx-cn in the best of health. After thu storm in the early hours of Boxing Hay they were found with their Nate covered with snow, but they took the experience BS a matter ot course, ami showed not ihe smallest Sign of distress. It is intended to enlarge this plan of operations at Sandrlngham. A site has already been provision* By select. .1 for the construction of similar compounds for ..its. owing to their match ten us habits, each of them will need a yard t. himself, whereas four or five fillies get along famously in one compound. It will be interesting to follow the careers of the roungsters who have been reared these novel conditions. I saw two more yearling fillies in the compounds one by Persimmon, our of NunSOCb, the other by Ayrshire, out of Vane. Th. former i- strong and useful look-iiur. but the latter is decidedly on the small side. It was not until I had been round all the paddocks and boxes .and -ecu the mares that Walker, the stud groom, conducted me to the of Persimmon. Like a good showman, lie reserved hisi ! est •■turn" till the end. I will, however, take Ihe liberty of snviic_- what I have to say about St. Simons greatest son before I proceed to deal with the mares at the Sandringbam sun!. As I explained in the foregoing. Persimmon lives at Sandringbam foi oi:_riit months of the year, and at Wolferton during the lour mouths of the stud sea son. He will be uoiu down to Wolferton next i ihe week -1 1 1 i n ir February 19, to begin his tenth year a- a stallion. As before, his fee is t,. he 11,300, and at that figure his list was full so Ion- ago as la-t May. Persimmon is in tin- very pink of condition. lie presented a magnificent ap|»at nice as I saw him in his box. One hardly know-; which characteristics to extol most the beautiful masculine head, the length of rein, the finely moulded shoulders, the strong, short back, the massive and powerful ipiartors showing rare length from hip to lex-k. or ihe won. lent 1 bone which he displays— eight and three-smarter inches of it below till- knee. Each of these features arrests ihe observers attention, and the whole in combination produces a great and lasting Impression. As one gases at blm one cannot help feeling that, splendid as hi- stud record already is for he has twice been al Ihe head of ihe li-l of winning sires he will ret accomplish greater achievements. I believe that much is thought of his son Perambulator, now n three ear old. It wa- lis siiiniaer when I first heard this eolt well spoken of. lie did let appear ill public as a two-year-old. simply because it was resolved to pursue the policy of allowing him plenty of time to develop his powers, and because it was noi advisable to give him much work on the hard ground. During ihe la-l few week- rumor has been very busy with hi- name, and penplo are already beginning to talk of the Kimi winning his third Derby. Let tae say that I studiously avoided discussing the reputed abilities of Perambulator when ii Sandringbam; nevertheless, the Impression I had formed concerning his prospects were confirmed while I was there. 1 was presented with one of the otli- cial stud .aids, the front- of which ate prettily adorned by a bordering in the Kings racing color-. TUrnlttg to the list of brood mares, thirteen in number, i find a few of them are -ingle. l out for special "descriptive" treatment. Thus, Amphora is ••dam of Glass Jug ami sister to Stndridge." Amphitheatre "dam of King Duncan." Bella "dam of OoeDa." Medora ".lain of EInfandel," Vane "sister to Living Pox." Now nndnr the name of Spy Glass I find the Intimation thai she is "dam of Perambulator." Why - ■ M It have been thought worth while to chronicle that fact? Are we not Justified in assuming that it is I eh BIBBS Perambulator is expected during the coming season to reflect credit on bis dam. I fancy SI • rlock Holmes would be inclined to draw that conclusion. Persimmon has had stock running for six seasons. In Uinl tbe value of the stakes placed to his credit was 2,273; in 1002, it was 81,340, a total which placed Mm a! the head of the list of sires for the season, for he Just managed to beat his own sire. S.. Simon: in 1908 he was third with 22,360; In I.iM his winning record dropped to 1,540; it was up to 2,220 in 1005; and last year advanced still further to 08,685, which placed blm for the second time in the premier position. The gross total for the six years i- 61,430. These figures are eminently satisfactory ami require no comment. I was much struck with tin- extremely comfortable appearance of ihe box Persimmon occupies at Sandrlngham, It is spacious ami airy. The upper portion is tiled: below the.. Is a thickly padded cow-hide dad... ih- box which Diamond .Jubilee used to occupy at the opposite end of the yard was. in the first in stance, Similar to Persimmons, hut he very Boon played havoc with cow-hide dado, and so it had to bo removed. Marks made by his playful heels are to p.- -ecu on the tiles six feet from the ground. I noticed tiiat one of the electric lights suspended from ihe roof was protected by wire, and was told that before this precaution was taken. Diamond Jubilee had broken the lamp bv rearing: yet it mast have been ten or eleven feet above the level of the floor. There can lie no doubt that Diamond Jubilee was a terror when in one of his tantrums. In the little pharmacy adjoining the box in which he was foaled, there is a very remarkable photograph show-in.- him rearing while al the post for the St. Leger. Looking at the picture one wonders how Jones managed to keep in Ihe saddle. In a frame close to this ]. otograpn is the telegram sent by Lord Roberts from South Uri.n to the Kins then Prince of Walest. congratulating him on Diamond Jubilees victory in the Derby. During the last few months of his life in England Diamond Jubilee remained entirely at WoKerton. There he was subjected • treatment that wrought a wonderful change in his temper. A !»••. was built for him in a small pad 4, ,-k. and the door was always open day and night. bo thai he could please himself whether he was In or out. lie greatly appreciated this liberty, and sobered down in a remarkable way. Walker assured that no hots,, could have done better lhan be did last sea-on. and there is reason to hope that. although he is thousands of miles from his native land-he is now in Argentina— he has left behind him at lo is! one son or daughter who will uphold ii e famiry name. To be eonthoned. t

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