Please note additional information on this picture:
This is the finish of a steeplechase in the very early days of the sport. The tack worn by the horses is for steeplechasing rather than flat racing. It is set in the early 19th Century, probably no later than the mid-1830s.
The grey horse in second place is presumably owned by Mr. John Elmore, whose colors were Crimson with a Black cap. Elmore was about the most prominent owner of the first twenty years of steeplechasing along with his father, William. He owned Lottery, winner of the first Grand National in 1839 and probably the best of the early steeplechasers.
It is not thought that the present work depicts a specific race and as there are very fragmentary records of steeplechasing in the 1830s it is difficult to attribute. Paintings of this quality depicting early steeplechases are very rare, more usual were prints of the subject which were typically charicatures rather than historically accurate images.
Elmore farmed near St. Albans and played a major role in the early races there from 1831. His involvement helped to launch steeplechasing into the racing world. The background of the present work indicates that it is probably near the sea, however, before Aintree began the main courses were St. Albans, Leamington or Northampton all of which were inland. It could therefore be a small lesser known track.
A series of six prints after Henry Thomas Alken Senior entitled A Steeplechase (1832) also show a grey horse in the same colors along with another in the Yellow colors with Red cap seen in fourth place in the present work.