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A Brief Miscellany

held on Coddington Moor under the direction of Newark Corporation is one of them.

Although an agreement laying down all conditions to be ob-

served at Coddington horse races (in a later era called more correctly Newark races at Coddington) was not made until March 1st 1624, the minutes of the Newark Corporation in- clude details of the event from 1619. Tere may even have been races prior to that date, which further scrutiny of the records may reveal, but an interval of five years would seem adequate enough, even for a ponderous corporation, to fulfil the needs for the drawing up regulations.

It was decreed that races were to be held on May 4th each

year. Whit Monday, a moveable occasion in those days, seems to have been the day used each year and was probably the implicit intention in 1624.

All competitors had to weigh ten stones – with weights added to achieve this weight. No discussion or condition is laid down for anyone over this weight. Whether such persons were allowed to race with this handicap or were excluded is a question that must remain unanswered. A twenty-shilling piece was the entrance fee, all riders to be assembled between nine and ten o’clock at the start on Coddington Moor, the mounts already saddled and fully shod and carrying the cor-


Every horse and rider had to complete each of three heats, each of four miles. Half an hour was to be allowed between heats in which to rub down the horse and give it a drink of wholesome water, but no other refreshment was allowed.

At the end of each heat, each horse more than 240 yards behind the winner had to be withdrawn. Of the remaining competitors, the hindmost had to pay the winner of the heat one twenty-shilling piece, always providing there were more than two riders remaining. Should any horse or rider fall, the other competitors must stop and wait until the fallen rider had his foot back in the stirrup. Such behaviour, although gentlemanly, would have been much less appreciated by the horse.

It was stated that no ‘man or boy who was either a party to

the horse, or who had placed a bet on one, was allowed to strike or otherwise spur it on’. It would thus appear that the fairer sex were not expected to attend – maybe even expressly excluded – although no such instruction is made in the agree- ment.

rect weight. Horseboxes, of course, were unavailable so it can only be conjectured that the participating horses had already been ridden to the site.

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