Happy 2014! Here’s to a new year of learning more about thoroughbred racing history. The Times has compiled a short list of highlights to look forward to in the coming months:
Happy Birthday Wishes: This week marks the birthdays of not one, but TWO leaders of the antebellum Louisiana turf—and we were astounded to discover that both share the same date! On Tuesday, February 11th, please join us in celebrating the birthday of Colonel Adam L. Bingaman, born this day in 1793 (d. 1869) in Natchez, Mississippi, and Duncan Farrar Kenner, also born on February 11th in 1813 (d. 1887) in New Orleans. Read more about Col. Bingaman’s highly successful spring race meeting in 1837 here.
Duncan Kenner Will Not Be Slighted: The Times has been busy preparing a new story focused on the life of Kenner, his Ashland Plantation in Ascension Parish, Louisiana, and his slave jockey Abe Hawkins, who was responsible for making Kenner’s racing stable such a great success. More details to come in the next month once this article is released.
Edward Troye Exhibitions: We are pleased to share some exciting information about two sporting art exhibitions slated for the fall of 2014 at the National Sporting Library & Museum (NSLM) in Middleburg, Virginia.
NSLM, which is now celebrating its 60th year of operation, will feature two exhibitions of the work of equestrian artist Edward Troye—one to be held in the Library’s Forrest E. Mars Exhibit Hall, and the second in the Museum’s historic Vine Hill galleries. Both are launching on September 19, 2014, with the former running until January 3, 2015, and the latter continuing until May. Read more in the Fall 2013 NSLM newsletter here (see “What’s Next” article, pages 1–2).
In the meantime, we recommend brushing up on your Troye knowledge by procuring an out-of-print copy of The Race Horses of America 1832–1872: Portraits and Other Paintings by Edward Troye, by Alexander Mackay-Smith; Smith, the editor of The Chronicle of the Horse, co-founded the National Sporting Library in 1954 with George L. Ohrstrom, Sr.
Worthy of note: Duncan Kenner himself had commissioned several paintings of his horses by Troye in the 1840’s, though reportedly only the 1845 portrait of the mare Grey Fanny survived after the war, the others being seized and/or destroyed during a Federal raid of Ashland in July 1862. According to the book Cane, Cotton & Crevasses: Some Antebellum Louisiana and Mississippi Plantations of the Minor, Kenner, Hooke, and Shepherd Families—co-authored by Meredith S. Smith, a great niece of Kenner—the Grey Fanny portrait remained in the family for many years until it was sold at auction for $30,000 in 1988.
Thanks for reading!
Editor, Antebellum Turf Times