POLLARD, After James (1792-1867)
[St. Leger The Start] Doncaster Races. To the Noblemen and Gentlemen of the Turf, and the Subscribers this print representing the Horses starting for the Great St. Ledger [sic.] Stakes, is most respectfully dedicated by their obedient and most obliged Servants, S. and J. Fuller
London: S. & J. Fuller, '1 June 1832' [but watermarked '1864']. Aquatint, printed in colours and finished by hand, by R.W. Smart and C. Hunt. Image size (including text): 13 3/4 x 24 3/4 inches.
A fine image capturing the excitement of the moment before the pistol is fired to start the St. Leger.
"..the Horses starting for the Great St Leger..." is a pair with (#18679) "..passing the Judges' stand.." also by the great James Pollard The St Leger, known world wide as the oldest classic turf race, was first entitled 'A sweepstake of 25 guineas' and was not given its present name until 3 years later. It was first run on 25 September 1776, as a sweepstake of 2 miles on Cantley Common in Doncaster. (Colts to carry 8 stone and fillies 7 stone 12 pounds). The first race was won by Allabaculia, a brown filly, owned by the Marquess of Rockingham. The second horse past the post was owned by a military gentleman, Lt Colonel Anthony St Leger, of Park Hill estate, near Firbeck, 9 miles from Doncaster. There is some controversy over the naming of the St Leger, some claim it occurred over a meal at The Red Lion in the Market place, others claim it was at the Salutation on South Parade, others at Warmsworth Hall or at Wentworth Woodhouse, the seat of the Marquess of Rotherham. When it was suggested that it should be called the Rockingham Stakes, the Marquess is said to have replied, ' No it was my friend St Leger who suggested the thing to me - call it after him.' The first official St Leger, was won by Hollandaise ridden by George Herring and owned by Sir Thomas Gascoigne. James Pollard was the youngest son of the London engraver and print-seller Robert Pollard. He began work at the age of fifteen as a painter but quickly turned to engraving as well. In the 1820s his coaching scenes became both fashionable and lucrative. "A stream of coaching paintings followed, many of which he engraved himself. From 1821 he exhibited a small number of pictures at the Royal Academy and the British Institution which brought him more patrons. Between 1830 and 1840, Pollard also painted a number of racing pictures and some of the earliest scenes of steeplechasing on purpose-made courses, many recording the prowess of the few professional and more amateur riders of the day... [In all his work Pollard took great pains over accuracy, this is particularly true of his large scale works and] it is Pollard's large racing scenes which really take off and into which one can gaze and discover a microcosm of the turf" (Charles Lane British Racing Prints p.146)
Lane British Racing Prints p.149; Selway James Pollard p.45; Siltzer p.221.