Pussy (horse)

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Pussy (horse) crop.jpg
Pussy in an 1834 painting by John E. Ferneley
Sire Pollio
Grandsire Orville
Dam Valve
Damsire Bob Booty
Sex Mare
Foaled 1831
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
Colour Brown
Breeder Mr. Lechmere Charlton
Owner Thomas Cosby
Trainer W. E. Day
Record 25: 8-7-6
Major wins
Epsom Oaks (1834)
Ascot Derby (1834)

Pussy (1831 – after 1848) was a Thoroughbred racehorse that won the 1834 Epsom Oaks. In a racing career that lasted from 1833 until 1837, Pussy started 25 times winning eight races. She initially raced under Thomas Cosby's name and was sold in 1835 to Lord Bentinck but raced under the Duke of Richmond's name. Pussy was retired to Bentinck's stud in 1837 but did not produce any noteworthy offspring. She was sold at auction in 1846, and her last foal was born in 1848.


Pussy was bred by Mr. Lechmere Charlton and was foaled in 1831 near Ludford Park in Salop.[1] Pussy's sire, Pollio, stood for 10 sovereigns at the Ludford Stud Farm near Ludlow and was described by the Racing Calendar as a "beautiful dark brown, without white, nearly 16 hands high, with very great bone and power."[2] Pussy's dam, Valve, was bred by the Marquess of Sligo and was foaled in Ireland in 1820.[3] Valve's dam, Wire, was a full-sister to the Derby winners Whisker and Whalebone and was a successful racehorse in England and Ireland.[4] Pussy was Valve's fourth foal and the first of two foals sired by Pollio, with Pussy's full-sister Griselda foaled in 1832.[3] Griselda was sold to H. Bland and exported to Belgium in 1835.[5] A half-brother to Pussy, The Steamer (sired by Emilius) was a noted sire of hunters after his racing career "was foiled by his bad legs."[6]

Pussy was a "very dark brown mare, almost black"[1] with "remarkably fine" action.[7] Pussy was sold by Mr. Shackel for £80 "in [a] low and ragged condition" to Thomas Cosby.[7] Pussy was trained at Danebury by William Day, the brother of Pussy's regular jockey John Barham Day.[8] Pussy did not train well as a yearling or two-year-old and was noted as having gone "amiss all the summer of 1833."[7]

Racing career[edit]

1833: two-year-old season[edit]

In June at Ascot, Pussy received a forfeiture from Mr. Ricardo's filly Ellen,[9] and a few days later, was third to the filly Louisa and the colt Comet in a 210-sovereign sweepstakes race.[10] At Goodwood in July, Pussy was beaten in a match race by Mr. Kent's filly Baleine.[11] Thomas Henry Taunton, the author of Portraits of celebrated racehorses of the past and present, noted that Pussy was "sadly out of condition at this time."[1] Pussy won a 100-guinea sweepstakes race against General Grosvenor's horse "Dick"[12] and was second to a filly sired by Merlin in the Nursery Handicap run in October at the Houghton Meeting.[1]

1834: three-year-old season[edit]

On 20 May at Epsom, Pussy ran in the Oaks Stakes against fourteen other horses. The start of the race was delayed for half an hour owing to Mr. Walker's filly Cotillion (the betting favourite) having a "skittish temperament" and trying to jump over the starting rope, which "gave great delight to the spectators."[13] The pacesetter was Lord Jersey's filly Nell Gwynne who maintained the lead until the first turn when she was passed by Colonel Peel's entry Rosalie. Rosalie tired at "the corner" and was overtaken by Mr. Forth's Louisa. Lord Berners's entry May-Day broke her leg and fell after "pulling hard" to outrun Louisa and was euthanised on the racetrack shortly after the race.[13] Pussy overtook Louisa "halfway up the distance" and won by "more than a length" uncontested by Louisa.[13] Louisa finished second followed by "W. Richardson's bay filly by Young Phantom"[13] (later named Lady de Gros) in third.[14] Taunton notes "But for [May-Day's] accident, Pussy might have not returned the winner."[15] In June at Ascot, Pussy won the inaugural[16] 500-sovereign Ascot Derby against three other horses including the betting favorite and former Oaks rival Louisa.[17] Commentary in New Sporting Magazine asserted that "Pussy was on her own ground and won with even greater ease than she did at Epsom."[18] Pussy's full-sister Griselda won the race by 20 lengths the following year in what was described by the Earl of Errol as something that could "scarcely be called a race", being "more like a hunt".[19]

1835: four-year-old season[edit]

On 16 June at Ascot, Pussy walked over for the Oatlands Stakes, was second to the colt Lucifer in the His Majesty's Plate held the same day and was unplaced for the Gold Cup the next day.[20] Pussy was third in the Oxfordshire Stakes held 18 August, losing to the colt Paris and the horse Revenge.[21] She won the Egham Stakes against Mr. Martyn's Pincher and at the Second October Meeting at Newmarket was unplaced in the Handicap Plate. Pussy finished the season with a win in a 100-sovereign Handicap Plate, beating Tramp and Lucifer, "winning by a length, without turning a hair."[22] Lord Bentinck purchased Pussy from Mr. Cosby in late 1835, but the mare was registered and raced in the Duke of Richmond's name.[23]

1836: five-year-old season[edit]

On 4 April at the Craven Meeting, Pussy finished third to the colts Redshank and Coriolanus in the Craven Stakes.[24] At Newmarket a few weeks later, Pussy was second to Mr. Forth's mare Famine in the King's Plate.[25] Pussy was beaten by the colts Knobstick and Jacob Faithful for the gold Cup Stakes run in May at Epsom.[26] At Reigate, Pussy was third for the Gold Cup, losing to Colonel Peel's Jacob Faithful and Mr. Robertson's gelding Olympic.[27] Pussy was unplaced for the Goodwood Stakes and the Duke of Richmond's Plate of £100 run at Goodwood in July[28] and the Brighton Stakes.[29] At Egham on 23 August, Pussy finished second to the colt Lucifer in a gold cup race, was third in the Surrey and Middlesex Stakes[30] and won the Egham Stakes. Pussy won the Rockingham Stakes held at Rochester on 6 September, running against one other horse.[31]

1837: six-year-old season[edit]

On 24 April at Newmarket, Lord Suffield's colt Alfred beat Pussy in a match race.[32] The next day at the same meeting, Pussy won the King's Plate, beating three other mares.[33] In the last start of her racing career, Pussy finished second in the Jockey Club Plate to the colt Calmuck.[34] She was then "put to the stud."[35] In horseman George Tattersall's opinion, Pussy "fairly earned the character of an industrious mare though [she was] scarcely entitled to the name and fame of a good or fortunate racer."[36]

Stud career[edit]

Pussy was retired to Lord Bentinck's stud in 1837. Pussy was sold on 14 September 1846 at Doncaster for 185 guineas.[37] Pussy produced seven foals between 1839 and 1848.[38] No foals are listed for Pussy in the sixth volume of the General Stud Book after 1848[38] and she does not appear in volume seven.

Tabulated pedigree[edit]

Pedigree of Pussy (GB), Brown filly, 1831[39]
Pollio (GB)
Beningbrough King Fergus
Fenwicks Herod Mare
Evelina Highflyer
Blue Stockings
Popinjay Buzzard
Boudrow Mare
Briseis Beningbrough
Lady Jane
Valve (IRE)
Bob Booty
Chanticleer Woodpecker
Eclipse Mare
Ierne Bagot
Gamahoe Mare
Waxy Pot-8-Os
Penelope Trumpator


  1. ^ a b c d Taunton, Thomas Henry (1888). Portraits of celebrated racehorses of the past and present, Volume 3. Liverpool: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington. p. 154. 
  2. ^ Hunter, Robert J (1833). "Pollio". Racing Calendar. 61: 562. 
  3. ^ a b Weatherby (1840). "Valve". General Stud Book. 4: 471. 
  4. ^ Edited by George Ripley and Charles Anderson Dana (1883). The American cyclopaedia: a popular dictionary of general knowledge, Volume 16. New York: D. Appleton and Co. p. 49. 
  5. ^ Staff (1836). "CHEVAUX ENTIERS JUMENS POULAINS ET POULICHES DE PUR SANG EXPORTÉS D ANGLETERRE PENDANT l aNNÉE 1835". Journal des haras, chasses, et courses de chevaux, des progrès des sciences zooïatriques et de médecine comparée. 4: 188. 
  6. ^ Dixon, Henry Hall (1862). The post and paddock. London: Rogerson & Tuxford. p. 255. 
  7. ^ a b c Staff (1834). "Pussy". Sporting Magazine. 9 New Series, 84 Old Series: 290. 
  8. ^ Staff (1918). "Training". The National Review. 71: 71. 
  9. ^ Hunter, Robert J (1833). "Ascot". Racing Calendar. 42: 59. 
  10. ^ Hunter, Robert J (1833). "Ascot". Racing Calendar. 42: 61. 
  11. ^ Hunter, Robert J (1833). "Goodwood". Racing Calendar. 42: 111. 
  12. ^ Hunter, Robert J (1833). "Houghton". Racing Calendar. 42: 224. 
  13. ^ a b c d Staff (1834). "Epsom". New Sporting Magazine. 7: 201–202. 
  14. ^ Hunter, Robert J (1834). "Epsom". Racing Calendar. 43: 51. 
  15. ^ Taunton, Thomas Henry (1888). Portraits of celebrated racehorses of the past and present, Volume 3. Liverpool: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington. p. 156. 
  16. ^ Cawthorne, George James and Richard S. Herod (1902). Royal Ascot: its history & its associations. London: A. Treherne. p. 313. 
  17. ^ Hunter, Robert J (1834). "Ascot". Racing Calendar. 43: 57. 
  18. ^ Staff (1834). "Ascot". New Sporting Magazine. 7: 203. 
  19. ^ The Earl of Errol (1835). "Ascot". New Sporting Magazine. 9 (51): 198. 
  20. ^ Staff (1834). "Ascot Heath". New Sporting Magazine. 9: 39–40. 
  21. ^ Staff (1834). "Oxford". New Sporting Magazine. 9: 84. 
  22. ^ Tattersall, George (1850). The pictorial gallery of English race horses. London: Henry G. Bohn. pp. 92–93. 
  23. ^ Kent, John and Francis Charles Lawley (1892). Racing life of Lord George Cavendish Bentinck, M. P. and other reminiscences. London: W. Blackwood. p. 55. 
  24. ^ Hunter, Robert J (1836). "Craven". Racing Calendar. 45: 8. 
  25. ^ Hunter, Robert J (1836). "newmarket". Racing Calendar. 45: 22. 
  26. ^ Hunter, Robert J (1836). "Epsom". Racing Calendar. 45: 48. 
  27. ^ Hunter, Robert J (1836). "Reigate". Racing Calendar. 45: 56. 
  28. ^ Hunter, Robert J (1836). "Goodwood". Racing Calendar. 45: 102–103. 
  29. ^ Hunter, Robert J (1836). "Brighton". Racing Calendar. 45: 115. 
  30. ^ Hunter, Robert J (1836). "Egham". Racing Calendar. 45: 142–143. 
  31. ^ Hunter, Robert J (1836). "Rochester and Chatham". Racing Calendar. 45: 155. 
  32. ^ Hunter, Robert J (1837). "Newmarket". Racing Calendar. 46: 23. 
  33. ^ Hunter, Robert J (1837). "Newmarket". Racing Calendar. 46: 25. 
  34. ^ Hunter, Robert J (1837). "Newmarket". Racing Calendar. 46: 41. 
  35. ^ Hunter, Robert J (1837). "Index". Racing Calendar. 46: 574. 
  36. ^ Tattersall, George (1850). The pictorial gallery of English race horses. London: Henry G. Bohn. p. 96. 
  37. ^ Staff (16 September 1846). "Sporting Intelligence. Doncaster Races., Doncaster, Monday Night 11 O'clock.". The Times. p. 6. 
  38. ^ a b Weatherby (1856). "Pussy". General Stud Book. 6: 159. 
  39. ^ "Pussy (GB) Pedigree". Equineline. Retrieved May 28, 2015.