Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Auctioning the Tantivy's Horses at the Close of the 1886 Coaching Season

Yesterday I posted to the Historic Pelham Blog an item about an accident involving the four-in-hand road coach "Tantivy" on its way to Pelham in 1886. See Thursday, March 6, 2008: Coaching to Pelham: The Tantivy Has an Accident on its Way to Pelham in 1886.

Today's posting transcribes an account of the auction of the 20 horses used to pull the Tantivy at the end of the 1886 coaching season. Following the "English custom", the owners of the coach auctioned the coach horses at the end of the season.



Coaching in England is not a thing of the past. Gentlemen run coaches from London to different suburban points and it is considered 'just the thing.' The gentleman whip takes a tip just as kindly as did the professional of 'ye olden time.' When the coaching season is over -- and it lasts only about two months -- it is customary to take the horses to Tattersall's and have them sold at auction. The horses always bring an extra price, because there are always people who would like to drive four-in-hands who would not dare to buy green horses and break them in for that business. It is sometimes a risky thing to do. A horse may be steady single and double, yet he might not make a good wheeler or leader in a tandem team.

Rederic Bronson and J. R. Roosevelt some two months ago began running the Tantify, a four-in-hand coach, from the Hotel Brunswick to Pelham, Westchester County. It furnished them lots of fun and made an interesting trip for all that took the trip. Their season ended last Saturday. True to the English fashion they advertised their horses to be sold at auction, and yesterday they were under the hammer at Madison Square Garden. They were a fine lot and brought good prices. Twenty horses were sold. Of course they were in demand. Club men were there, some to buy and some to look on. Delancey Kane, who might be called the father or coaching in this country, was present. So were Captain Coster, secretary of the American Jockey Club, Prescott Lawrence, A. J. Cassatt, who takes as much interest almost in coaching as he does in racing, L. C. Ledyard, Hugo Fritsch and G. Redmond.

The first team sold brought $740, the next $805, another $1,010, and so on down the list. Thus the twenty horses were scattered to the four quarters of the globe, but 'so much the better for coaching,' say the coaching men."

Source: Selling Coaching Horses, New-York Tribune, Jun. 19, 1886, p. 8, col. 3.

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