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Hunting Days of Yore

Martha wrote this story after studying the unpublished manuscript, The Life of an American Sportsman: Being Reminiscences by Harry Worcester Smith, during the course of her 2016 John H. Daniels Fellowship at the National Sporting Library & Museum in Middleburg, Virginia. (Part I was published last month.)

the cad.hws in cap.smallHarry Worcester Smith in hunting attire, circa 1910, from the Harry Worcester Smith Archive (MC0041), National Sporting Library & Museum.Undeterred by his spills the spring and summer of 1900, and against everyone’s advice, Harry entered The Cad in the $10,000, three-and-a-half mile Champion Steeplechase at Morris Park (in what is now The Bronx, NY), Saturday, October 6, 1900. Ollie Ames met him at the clubhouse that Saturday morning.

“You are not going to run The Cad are you?” Harry recalls Ollie saying. “He’ll break your neck!” Next, Mr. B. F. Clyde of Philadelphia admonished him, “Now, look here, Harry Smith, I have seen you ride a great many times around New York, Philadelphia and Saratoga; I have the greatest admiration for you as a sportsman, in fact I am very fond of you. Now, Please don’t take your life in your hands and ride The Cad today against all those professionals.” It seems Mr. Clyde had his money on another horse; Harry thanked the man and walked away. “Then, about noon,” Harry writes, “a Western Union boy came up and handed me a telegram. It was from Mrs. Smith: ‘Don’t ride, get best professional possible. Signed, ‘Mildred.’”

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