L'Abbesse de Jouarre
|L'Abbesse de Jouarre|
|Owner||Lord Randolph Churchill|
|Epsom Oaks (1889)
Manchester Cup (1890)
Portland Stakes (1890)
Hardwicke Stakes (1891)
L'Abbesse de Jouarre (1886 – 6 March 1897) was a Thoroughbred racehorse that won the 1889 Epsom Oaks. The horse was owned by Lord Randolph Churchill and the Earl of Dunraven during her three-year racing career. She was nicknamed "Abscess on the Jaw" during her career due to the difficulty the public had pronouncing her name. A versatile racehorse, she was able to win major races at distances ranging from six furlongs to one and a half miles. Retired from racing in 1891, L'Abbesse was the dam of the influential German broodmare Festa and the leading stallion Desmond. L'Abbesse de Jouarre died 6 March 1897 during foaling.
L'Abbesse de Jouarre was bred by James Snarry and was foaled in 1886 at Snarry's breeding and training facility at Musley Bank in Malton, North Yorkshire. James Snarry was the son of Sir Tatton Sykes's stud-groom. L'Abbesse's sire, Trappist, was sired by the 1867 Epsom Derby winner and leading stallion Hermit and was "one of a little company of exceptionally speedy horses." L'Abbesse's dam, Festive, was sired by Carnival and produced four full-siblings to L'Abbesse, the colts L'Abbé Morin and The Black Prince (who was gelded and sent to Germany) and the fillies Travesty and Musley Maid. Festive produced 14 foals between 1883 and her death in 1898.
L'Abbesse de Jouarre was purchased in 1887 by Lord Randolph Churchill, the father of Winston Churchill, for £300 (the least expensive of Snarry's yearlings) at the Doncaster sale. L'Abbesse de Jouarre was named, at Lady Churchill's suggestion, after a play of the same name by French historian Ernest Renan. Lady Churchill described L'Abbesse de Jouarre, nicknamed "Abscess on the Jaw" during her racing career, as a small, "beautiful black mare" with a "heart bigger than her body."
Lord Churchill and the Earl of Dunraven owned and raced L'Abbesse de Jouarre in partnership. Churchill's racing colours were a pink shirt with brown sleeves and cap. L'Abbesse de Jouarre earned the nickname "Abscess on the Jaw" during her racing career due to the difficulty the public and bookmakers had in pronouncing her name correctly, leading her to be associated with the phonetically similar phrase. Her trainer Robert Sherwood referred to the horse as L'Abbesse to avoid the pronunciation issue.
1888: two-year-old season
L'Abbesse de Jouarre ran eight times as a two-year-old, winning three races. In her first start at Croydon, L'Abbesse ran unplaced, losing to the colt Amphion. L'Abbesse won the May Plate Stakes at Newmarket and two other races. She finished second in the Fernhill Stakes at Ascot, losing to Hazlehatch. L'Abbesse won £935 during her two-year-old season.
1889: three-year-old season
In her first start of the season, L'Abbesse, starting at 20 to 1 odds, won the Epsom Oaks by neck against the betting favourite Minthe. The Churchills did not witness L'Abbesse win the Oaks. Lord Churchill was fishing in Norway at the time of the race and Lady Churchill heard that the "Abscess on the Jaw" had won while boating on the Thames. Lord Dunraven was also absent, spending the day "sailing in his five-rater [yacht] at Calshot Castle." L'Abbesse started in four other races, but did not win again. On 19 June, L'Abbesse finished third to Whitelegs and Veracity in the mile long Royal Hunt Cup. L'Abbesse finished sixth in the St. Leger Stakes, won by Donovan.
1890 and 1891: four and five-year-old seasons
On 23 May, L'Abbesse de Jouarre won the 2,000 sovereign Manchester Cup, beating 17 other horses and winning by three quarters of a length over the horse Father Confessor. In June at Ascot, L'Abbesse was second in the Gold Vase, losing to Tyrant, a horse owned by A.M. Singer "of sewing machine notoriety." On 23 July, L'Abbesse was second in the Liverpool Cup, losing to the horse Father Confessor. At Sandown, L'Abbesse defeated "a big field of sprinters" to win the Princess of Wales's Stakes, and she also won the Portland Stakes. In 1891, L'Abbesse ran unplaced in the City and Suburban Handicap and won the Hardwicke Stakes.
Lord Randolph Churchill retained an interest in L'Abbesse until June 1894, when illness and strained finances forced him to sell his share to the Earl of Dunraven. L'Abbesse de Jouarre only produced three live foals during her breeding career, a colt and a filly to the cover of St. Simon and a brown colt sired by Galopin named Cowl that was destroyed at a young age due to lameness. L'Abbesse de Jouarre's 1893 filly foal, Festa, sired by St. Simon, was exported to Germany and became a broodmare in Baron Arthur von Weinberg's stud. Festa "became one of the most important mares in German breeding history," producing the good racehorses Festina, Fels, Fabula, Faust and Furor, whose combined race earnings were almost 1,500,000 marks. Her 1896 St. Simon colt, Desmond, was a successful racehorse as a two-year-old but did not succeed in the major three-year-old races. Desmond became one of the top ten leading sires in the United Kingdom and Ireland in the early 1900s, topping the list in 1913 and siring the 1913 Epsom Derby winner Aboyeur and Grand Parade's dam. L'Abbesse de Jouarre died on 6 March 1897 while trying to deliver a stillborn foal sired by Isinglass.
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