Freiston Shore Races - 1832

Article in The Boston Gazette, 9th October 1832


Thursday last was appointed for this rural and novel sport in this part of the country.  The weather was auspicious, but the attendance was not so great as on the former occasion.  There were not many carriages or other splendid equipages to grace ‘the course’, it is true, but what was wanted in style was made up by a variety of,  gigs, carts, wagons, etc, which were drove up by a motley group from the adjoining towns and villages, while  a few humble pedestrians trudged it merrily over the green fields to the rendezvous.  Dealers in delicacies of all descriptions delighted the palate of the hungry rustics from ‘savoury pies’ to ‘fresh oysters’.

The course was marked out by flags of different colours, extending nearly to the sea, the tide being then at its height, and the course was pronounced to be in excellent condition. 

The first prize contended for was a new bridle, and two ponies did their best to make a gallop for it: one was rode by a boy, the other by a horse dealer.  The boy took the lead, but not being so well versed at the art and mystery of horse racing as his more elder competitor, he pushed his nag too much at starting, and came in like Paddy’s favourite horse, driving the other before him. 

A splendid prize, of considerable value, was next put up, but sufficient entry could not be made, and accordingly the next stake was a handsome new saddle.  For this three horses were entered, one of them had all the appearance of being a regular racer, and the person who rode it had great difficulty in holding it: the sight of this horse, which someone said had padded the turf at Lincoln races the week before, excited some surprise, and damped the spirit of speculation before manifested.  It was like a giant coming amongst an army of pigmies. 

However, they started for the prize, and so well did the jockeys manage their steeds that the first heat was pronounced by the judge a dead tie: there were also some whisperings about it being “a done thing”: of two of the jockeys being brothers etc.  The horses were started again, and this time a stranger galloped on the course, crossing one of the horses that were running at the time.  This was resented by some who had backed the horse, and the intruder was summarily ejected from the spot.  In this heat the favourite horse ran on the wrong side of the post, and thereby lost its chance; the third heat was won by a horse, but whose property it was we could not learn. 

The day had by this time far advanced, and the sport of the field concluded; during the evening the assemblage dispersed to their respective homes, discussing the events of the afternoon, of which various opinions were entertained, and so ended the Freiston Shore season - outdoor sports now giving way to a comfortable fire side and the delights which even the Wintry evening bring with them.