Thursday, June 14, 2007

Charles Buck I -- a Sportsman

In a letter written by his son, Thomas, Charles Buck I was said to be “a great sportsman and used carry me off to the horse races of which I became very fond and in all probability should have followed his example had not the Lord arrested both him and myself in our mad career.”

The race track referenced by Thomas Buck is said to have been located in present day Front Royal. Typically such tracks were about a quarter mile around. The better horses were smaller and their descendants are known as quarter horses today.

Horse racing in colonial Virginia was considered an immoral and sinful activity. Not only were the races rough on the horses, races were often brutal for the jockeys. Horse races were also accompanied by wagering and alcoholic beverages. At the same time, horse racing was reserved for gentlemen only!

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