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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Willoughby's Old Field

In Westmoreland, there was an old plow field of Mr. Willoughby, used by avid horsemen during 1693. There was a particular race where numerous horses would race for stakes from bets made by spectators. Mr. John Gardiner entered his horse called "Young Fire", pure white in color.  During the races, Gardiner kept his horse in the background while observing the possible competitors. Then, when several races had been run, Gardiner suddenly led "Young Fire" forth and boldly challenged the owner of any horse on the track to run his steed in a race for a stake of one thousand pounds of tobacco and twenty shillings in coin. Daniel Sullivan, borrowing Mr. John Baker's bay horse, agreed to the bet.  Mr. Raleigh Travers acted as security for payment of the wager, and John Clemens and Capt. William Barber were selected to stand at the poles and report the name of the winning horse. At the end, a dispute arose and the wager was finally settled in court.  Source: Westmoreland County Records, Orders, April 7, 1693.
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