Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lottery, the first winner of the Grand National





A final posting from my recent visit to East Langton and Church Langton.

A few years ago, approaching East Langton across the fields from Market Harborough, I came across this pillar. When I got home I did some Googling and discovered why it is there.

The Thoroughbred Heritage website (scroll down as the horse we are interested in is the son of the other Lottery that the page is mostly about) tells the story of Lottery:

In 1839 Lottery won the Grand National (Grand Liverpool), then a race for even weights. In 1840, within the span of a month, he ran six times in steeplechases held in widely separated areas of the country, to which he was walked; all the races were over four miles, and he carried 12-0 in all but one, Cheltenham, where he carried 13 st. - 3 lbs. Of the six races, he won four, at Leamington, Northampton, Cheltenham, and Stratford; the other two were Fakenham and Liverpool, where he fell, as did several other horses, at the stone wall.

A very tough and game horse, his career spanned eight seasons, during which he won five hurdle races and sixteen steeplechases. He was so successful that course clerks wrote rules to specifically cripple him with handicaps, such as at Liverpool in 1841 and 1842, wherein it was specified that the winner of the Cheltenham Steeplechase of 1840 (e.g. Lottery) would be required to carry an additional 18 pounds (in this race was pulled up). At Horncastle the race was "Open to all horses except Mr. Elmore's Lottery."

As another page on that site says, this monument was erected in 1886, long after Lottery's death, and it is uncertain if it notes an earlier grave for him. But it is known he spent his later years at Astley Grange Farm Stud, East Langton.

5 comments:

Alec said...

A great piece of local history.

>> At Horncastle the race was "Open to all horses except Mr. Elmore's Lottery."

Just as pub quizes are no longer open to the More4 team.

Jonny Atom said...

This is very interesting, something I never knew surrounding Market Harborough. Where exactly is the memorial? It looks like a good walk to visit.

Jonathan said...

If you look on the OS map, it is on the footpath that runs south from the village a little to the east of Grange Farm. You have to cross three or so fields to find it.

The map reference (I was in the Cubs, you know) is 726923.

Shakey said...

Came across this monument the other day, while walking part of the Leicestershire Round. The monument is mentioned in the L.R. book, but it doesn't say what it's all about. I 'Googled' Lottery East Langton and came up with your web page. Thanks very much for putting the info. on here. I can now enlighten my fellow walkers, who will no doubt call me 'clever clogs' (again).

antidote said...

This is the second time I've read your post. The first was last year when I found the obelisk while walking the Leicester Round. I remembered the exact wording of the inscription and, back home, Google took me straight to you. The second time, today, enabled me to put the monument into a story I am writing. Thank you.