Waterloo Cup

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Sir Mark Prescott and the cups, February 2005

The Waterloo Cup was a coursing event organised by the National Coursing Club. The three-day event was run annually at Great Altcar in Lancashire, England from 1836 to 2005 and it used to attract tens of thousands of spectators to watch and gamble on the coursing matches. It was founded by The 2nd Earl of Sefton and, originally, was supported by his patronage.

Fleck of hare fur from the last Waterloo Cup meet, February, 2005.

It was the biggest annual hare coursing event in the United Kingdom and was often referred to by its supporters as the blue riband event of the coursing year. A hare coursing event of identical name was held in Australia from 1868 to 1985, at which point it became a lure coursing event.[1]

Run as a knock-out tournament between sixty four coursing greyhounds from Great Britain and Ireland, supporters described it as the ultimate test of a greyhound but opponents of hare coursing, such as the League Against Cruel Sports, saw it as a celebration of cruelty. The Hunting Act 2004, which came into force just after the 2005 cup, made hare coursing events illegal in England and Wales, and the Waterloo Cup has not taken place since.


The Waterloo Cup was the premier event in the coursing calendar and known as the 'blue ribbon of the leash'. It was inaugurated in 1836 by Mr William Lynn, proprietor of the Waterloo Hotel in Liverpool's Ranelagh Street. Encouraged by the extra trade generated by the Waterloo Cup, the Liverpool entrepreneur turned his attention to the Turf the following year and organised the first running of the Grand Liverpool Steeplechase, known as the Grand National since 1839.

The first winner of the Waterloo Cup was a bitch named Milanie, owned by Lord Molyneux, the eldest son of the Earl of Sefton on whose land the contest was run on the plains of Altcar. In addition to stakes of £16, Lord Molyneux won a trophy in the form of a silver snuff box.

The first supreme champion in the sport of coursing was Lord Lurgan's greyhound Master McGrath who won the Waterloo Cup on three occasions, 1868, 1869 & 1871. The dog became a household name in Britain and such was his fame that Queen Victoria commanded his appearance at Windsor Castle. Master McGrath set the standard by which all proceeding greyhounds would be judged. The great Master McGrath's record was finally eclipsed by Colonel North's greyhound "Fullerton" who recorded four consecutive victories in the Waterloo Cup between 1889 and 1892.

In later years the event has been championed by Newmarket trainer Sir Mark Prescott.

The 2005 event, held on 14–16 February, was eventually won by a dog called Shashi, bred by Ernest Smith, and owned by him with Albert Shackcloth and Michael Darnell. Trained at Malton, North Yorkshire by the Jonathan Teal, the winner beat Hardy Admiral, owned by Diana Williams, in the final. The event was memorably filmed by Paul Yule for the documentary The Last Waterloo Cup,[2] subsequently shown on The BBC.

Past winners[edit]


Year Winner Owner
1836 Milanie Mr William Lynn
1837 Fly Mr Jebb
1838 Bugle Mr Ball
1839 Empress Mr Robinson
1840 Earwig Mr Easterby
1841 Bloomsbury Mr King
1842 Priam Mr Deakin
1843 Major Mr G Pollok
1844 Speculation Mr N Slater
1845 Titania Mr Jebb
1846 Harlequin Mr Barge
1847 Senate Charles Molyneux, 3rd Earl of Sefton
1848 Shade Sir St George Gore, 8th Baronet
1849 Magician Sir St George Gore, 8th Baronet
1850 Cerito Mr G F Cooke
1851 Hughie Graham Mr W Sharpe
1852 Cerito Mr G F Cooke
1853 Cerito Mr G F Cooke
1854 Sackcloth Charles Molyneux, 3rd Earl of Sefton
1855 Judge Mt T Brocklebank
1856 Protest Mr J Bakens
1857 King Lear Mr W Wilson
1858 Neville Mr S Cass
1859* Clive Mr J Jardine
1859* Selby Mr Mr J Gordon
1860 Maid of the Mill Mr J Blackstock
1861 Canaradzo Mr J Hyslop
1862 Roaring Meg Mr J Challander
1863 Chloe Mr T T C Lister
1864 King Death Mr T Williams
1865 Meg Colonel Goodlake
1866 Brigadier Mr Gorton
1867 Lobelia Mr E W Stocker
1868 Master M'Grath Charles Brownlow, 2nd Baron Lurgan
1869 Master M'Grath Charles Brownlow, 2nd Baron Lurgan
1870 Sea Cove (late Covet) Mr J Spink
1871 Master M'Grath Charles Brownlow, 2nd Baron Lurgan
1872 Bed of Stone Mr J Briggs
1873 Muriel Mr R Jardine
1874 Magnano Mr C Morgan
1875 Honeymoon Mr W F Hutchinson
1876 Donald Mr R M Douglas
1877 Coomassie Mr R F Wilkins
1878 Coomassie M H F Stocken
1879 Misterton Mr H G Miller
1880 Honeywood Mr R B Carruthers
1881 Princess Dagmar Mr H G Miller
1882 Snowflight Mr Ellis
1883 Wild Mint Mr G J Alexander
1884 Mineral Water Mr C E Marfleet
1885* Bit of Fashion Mr E Dent
1885* Miss Glendyne Mr J Hinks
1886 Miss Glendyne Mr R B Carruthers
1887* Greater Scot Mr R F Gladstone
1887* Herschel Mr T D Hornby
1888 Burnaby Mr L Pilkington
1889* Fullerton Colonel J T North
1889* Troughend Mr J Badger
1890 Fullerton Colonel J T North
1891 Fullerton Colonel J T North
1892 Fullerton Colonel J T North
1893 Character Mr R L Cotterell
1894 Texture Count Stroganoff
1895 Thoughtless Beauty Mr R B Carruthers
1896 Fabulous Fortune Messrs Fawcett's
1897 Gallant Mr T P Hale
1898 Wild Night Mr J Trevor
1899 Black Fury Mr J B Thompson
1900 Fearless Footsteps Mr J H Bibby
1901 Fearless Footsteps Mr J H Bibby
1902 Farndon Ferry Mr G F Fawcett
1903 Father Flint Mr J H Bibby
1904 Hornfray Mr G Darlinson
1905 Pistol II Mr W H Pawson
1906 Hoprend Mr H Hardy
1907 Long Span Sir Robert Jardine, 2nd Baronet
1908 Hallow Eve (late Forest Kitten) Mr E Hulton
1909 Dendraspis Messrs. J E & S M Dennis
1910 Heavy Weapon Mr S Hill-Wood
1911 Jabberwock Sir Robert Jardine, 2nd Baronet
1912 Tide Time Mr J W Fullerton
1913 Hung Well Mr S Hill-Wood
1914 Dilwyn Mr A P Pope
1915 Winning Number Sir T Dewar
1916 Harmonicon Mr E Hulton
1917 No competition
1918 No competition
1919+ Jakin Sir Robert Jardine, 2nd Baronet
1920 Fighting Force Mr N Dunn
1921 Shortcoming The Countess of Sefton
1922 Guard's Brigade Dudley Marjoribanks, 3rd Baron Tweedmouth
1923 Latto Hugh Lowther, 5th Earl of Lonsdale
1924 Cushey Job Mr A Gordon Smith
1925 Pentonville Mr H C Pilkington
1926 Jovial Judge Mr J l Jarvis
1927 Golden Seal Mr A Gordon Smith
1928 White Collar Mrs Sofer Whitburn
1929 Golden Surprise Mr A Gordon Smith
1930 Church Street Mr Geo Smith
1931 Conversion Mr T Cook
1932 Ben Tinto Mr W Ellis
1933 Genial Nobleman Mr J L Jarvis
1934 Bryn Truthful Major H Peel
1935 Dee Rock Mr J E Dennis
1936 Hand Grenade Mr J Campbell
1937 Rotten Row Mr R Rank
1938 Perambulate Mr H C Pilkington
1939 Delightful Devon Mr H Dyke
1940 Dee Flint Mr J E Dennis
1941 Swinging Light Mr R C Brownlee
1942 Swinging Light Mr R C Brownlee
1943 Countryman Mr T Cronoplos
1944 Dutton Swordfish Mrs J A Dewar
1945 Bryn Tritoma Miss G A Allen
1946 Maesydd Michael Mrs S Whitburn
1947 Constable Mr E Baxter
1948 Noted Sunlight Mr N Shaw
1949 Life Line Mr T Holmes
1950 Roving Minstrel Mrs A Rhodes-Moorhouse
1951 Peter's Poet Sir Richard G W Burbidge
1952 Dew Whaler Mr J A Dewar
1953 Holystone Lifelong Major G A Renwick
1954 Cotton King Mr T Noble
1955 Full Pete Major J J Fullerton
1956 Magical Love Mr T E Murgatroyd
1957 Old Kentucky Minstrel Mr J Clarke
1958 Holystone Elf Mr W Proctor-Smith
1959 Mutual Friend Mr M Forsyth-Forrest
1960 Jonquil Mrs B Kerr
1961 Dubedoon Mr A J Morris
1962 Best Champagne Mr G B Cary
1963 Himalayan Climber Mr P McAlinden
1964 Latin Lover Mr L Lucas
1965 Nicelya Head Mr A H Birtwhistle
1966 Just Better Mr G R Graham
1967 Haich Bee Mr P J Duggan
1968 Not Run
1969 Not Run
1970 Rooney Magnet Mr S F Land
1971 So Clever Hugh Molyneux, 7th Earl of Sefton
1972 Linden Eland Mr A S Cathcart
1973 Modest Newdown Mr W Lee
1974 Not Run
1975 Hardly Ever Mrs D Ellis
1976 Minnesota Miller Mr M Sullivan
1977 Minnesota Miller Mr M Sullivan
1978 Not Run
1979 Not Run
1980 Not Run
1981 Timworth Edward Lady Turnbull
1982 Play Solo Mr J N Donaldson
1983 Luda Hussar Mr W Burton
1984 Tobertelly Queen Mr W Gaskin
1985 Hear and There Mr W Gaskin
1986 Not Run
1987 Mousetail Mrs J M Collins
1988 React Fraggl Mr W Gaskin & Miss E Ryan
1989 React Fagan Mr R Hopper
1990 Sam The Man [5] Mr D Truelove
1991 Evening Mail Mrs D Ellis
1992 Johns Mascot J. Gaskin
1993 Crafty Tessie S. Guerin
1994 Not Run
1995 React Robert T. Ryan
1996 Dashing Oak P. J. Daly
1997 Teds Move C.J. Shaw & D. Morgan
1998 Drill the Lads D.M. Gunter
1999 Judicial Inquiry D. Flanagan
2000 Suncrest Tina F. Allen
2001 Not Run (foot and mouth)
2002 Petite Glory H. G. Fetherstonhaugh
2003 Henrietta M. Barry & L. Burke
2004 Why You Monty A. Condon
2005 Shashi E. Smith, A Shackcloth & M. Darnell
* Cup divided
+ Substituted event called the Victory Cup

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Donovan Associates - Donovan News No.39 Spring 2007
  2. ^ https://www.paulyule.com/film/the-last-waterloo-cup/
  3. ^ Genders, Roy (2009). The Greyhound and Racing Greyhound. Page Brothers. ISBN 0-85020-0474.
  4. ^ "WATERLOO CUP RESULTS 1922 - 1963". Greyhound Derby.com.
  5. ^ "Monthly Greyhound Star (Remember When) February edition". Greyhound Star. 2011.