28 November 2015

The Day Sweet Daughter Won the Course



George Singleton, a pub owner in Liverpool in the mid to late 1800's, was a sporting man and he bred greyhounds and entered them in the Courses in the 1870's.

George Singleton was a member of the National Coursing Club. Once he got into the sport he had 6 or more greyhounds competing in a season, often 2 or 3 in the same Course. There was an entry fee that varied depending on the Course - about £3 - £6 each dog and the winner could take home anywhere between £25 and £60 in prizes, plus whatever he makes in side bets. Once they made their way through Course Meetings and Stakes to the Waterloo Cup the entry fee was more like £25 each and the winner took home £500.

Brindle and white female greyhound

Part of the Coursing Calendar for 1878 is The Little Crosby Meeting taking place February 6th, on the property of Colonel Blundell at Little Crosby Village outside Liverpool. The day is clear with a light breeze, reaching about 34°F and there is a huge attendance. George Singleton is one of the Stewards this day. George has entered the Crosby Hall Cup with his Sweet Daughter, bd w b (brindle and white bitch) greyhound, offspring of Sterling Boy (one of his sires) and Tormentor's Daughter. The entrance fee for each dog is £5 10s.  George's Sweet Daughter beat Mr Jones' Just in Time in the first round. In round II Sweet Daughter beat Mr O'Neile's Silvo to go on to the final round. In round III George's Sweet Daughter beat Mr Pierce's Peeler and won the Crosby Hall Cup, taking home the first prize purse of £26.


Liverpool Mercury 07 February 1878

George's greyhounds won many courses over the years, but I found no record of his dogs ever winning the ultimate Waterloo Cup.

Greyhound Courses were not like races on a track.  A Course was held in a field with a live hare.  Rather than shooting or poisoning the pesky animals which normally would happen, the hares were tolerated by the field owner and left to munch at his crops and grasses. The owner would even put out food for the hares during the cold winter months. The grassy field is surrounded by tall grass in which the hares have a chance to escape if not caught. To start the Course, the hare is given a head start, then the slipper lets loose a brace of greyhounds (2) who chase after the hare.  The dogs are tested and awarded points on their ability to run, overtake a hare, and turn, wrench or trip a hare, not so much aiming for capture. The judge follows at a set distance on horseback and counts the points.


George Singleton: born 27 April 1836 in Stalmine, Lancashire.
My 2x great grandfather, married to Elizabeth Carter.
Their daughter Martha E Singleton married Thomson Tait.



Related post:  Genealogy: Beyond the BMD - Gone to the Dogs