Original Document
Original Document
Formation of the Hunting Park (Trotting Club) Association, Philadelphia, PA, 1828

The meeting for the formation of this association was held at the Indian Queen tavern, South 4th street, 8th February, 1828. The object of the association was such as ought to induce similar ones at all. the country towns. They would promote a fondness for fine horses, would increase their number, and greatly augment the value of the capital, which must always exist in the article of horses. The purpose of the association is clearly explained in the first article, as follows:

ARTICLE 1. For the encouragement of the breed of fine horses, especially that most valuable one known as the trotter, whose extraordinary powers cannot be developed, or properly estimated, without trials of speed and bottom, and, in order to prevent those vicious practices which often occur on the course, where it is not subject to the government and direction of an association, empowered and resolved to maintain good order-the subscribers agree to associate under the name and title of the Hunting Park Association.

It would occupy too much space to copy all the rules, and moreover they are like all others 'for similar objects-the same offices, duties, andc; we shall only therefore extract some parts which may serve as a sort of guide for other clubs, reserving the printed copy of the rules at length, for the use of any who may desire them.

The government of the association is vested in a president, two vice presidents, a secretary, treasurer and seven managers-to be elected annually.

No new member to be admitted without consent of two-thirds of the board of managers.

Annual subscription ten dollars.

Each rider to be neatly dressed in a fancy silk jacket, jockey cap and boots-and
all horses to carry weight- according to age, as follows:
An aged horse, - - 150 pounds.
Six years old, - - 143
Five years old, - - 136
Four years old, - - 129
Three years old, - - 122

Mares, fillies and geldings allowed three pounds.

Intervals of thirty minutes between heats of four miles-twenty between heats of three miles, and fifteen between every other heat.

All combinations and partnership between horses prohibited, and their owner never again allowed to enter a horse. A horse must win two clear heats, unless he distance all others at one heat-but if three horses win each a heat, then no other horse to start against them.

The distance on four mile heats fixed at 320 yards.

On three mile heats at - 240
On two mile heats at - 160
On one mile heats at - 80

ART. 26. All trials for speed shall be under the saddle, unless directed otherwise, by a majority of the members of this association, or two-thirds of the officers belonging to the same but the first day's and largest purse shall, in all cases, be contended for under the saddle. When trotting in harness is permitted and authorised, the officers of the association shall give notice of the same, and prescribe the rules, at least one month, before the purse is trotted for.


All bets are understood to relate to the purse, if nothing is said to the contrary.

2. Where two horses are bet against each other for the purse, if each win a heat and neither are distanced, they are equal; if neither win a heat, and neither are distanced, they are equal; but, if one win a heat, and the other does not, the winner of the heat is best, unless he shall be distanced; in which case the other, if he saved his distance, shall be considered best; and, when both are distanced, they shall in all cases be deemed equal.

3. When a bet is made upon a heat, the horse that comes first to the ending post shall be considered best; provided no circumstance shall cause him to be deemed distanced.

4. A bet made upon a purse or heat is void, if the horse betted on does not start.

5. All bets made to play or pay, except between those who are the bona fide owners of the horses bet on, shall be deemed void, if the contest should not take place.

Credit: American Turf Register and Sporting Magazine (October 1829): 197-98.
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