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Friday, May 4, 2012


Quarter-mile horse-racing was popular in Colonial Virginia. One popular race track was located at Malvern Hill where in 1699, a heat was run between the horses of William Eppes and William Sutton for a stak of half a pound sterling.  It was agreed that each horse was to be kept to his own side of the course, unless, at th vry start, Stephen Cocke, who was serving as Sutton's jocky, could, by two or three leaps of his horse, get possession of that part of the track belonging to the other ridr. The starter of this race was William Randolph, perhaps, after th elder William Byrd, the foremost citizen of the county. Cocke failed to leap ahead after two or thre jumps, and the horses in the running seem to have come  iolently against each other. Source: Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. II, page 297.
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