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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Crab Orchard in Lincoln County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
 

Beginning of Horse Racing in Kentucky

 
 
Beginning of Horse Racing in Kentucky Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, April 12, 2017
1. Beginning of Horse Racing in Kentucky Marker
Inscription. Disagreements in early Kentucky were not always settled by duels, but often, by a horse race, run in a straight course of about a quarter mile distance on the public roads. Quarter horses were specifically bred to run these straight-coursed races. The first circular track appeared in American in 1780. In the February 16, 1778, Kentucky Gazette, there was a notice of an English bred quarter horse “Pilgarlick” standing at stud in Lexington. Thoroughbreds, also of English stock and bred to run the longer distance of a circular track, appeared in Kentucky in 1797 with the horse “Blaze”. Colonel William Whitley, at his estate “Sportsman’s Hill” is credited with building the first circular track in Kentucky.

Whitley settled in Kentucky in 1775 from Virginia. In 1788, Whitley began to hold annual fall racing. The races became so popular that the Lincoln County Court “Ordered…to view the most convenient way for a road from Whitley’s race path to the courthouse and report thereof to the court”.

By 1800, the sport of horse racing had spurred the building of tracks in Georgetown, Danville, Bardstown, Shelbyville, Versailles, Winchester, and Maysville, Kentucky.
 
Location. 37° 28.13′ N, 84° 32.877′ W. Marker

Sportsman's Hill image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, April 12, 2017
2. Sportsman's Hill
is in Crab Orchard, Kentucky, in Lincoln County. Marker is on William Whitley Road, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is located on Sportsman's Hill across from William Whitley House. Marker is in this post office area: Crab Orchard KY 40419, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Celebration (within shouting distance of this marker); A Little Bit to Eat at the Race (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sportsman Hill (about 400 feet away); Sportsman's Hill / Whitley House - 1785 (about 400 feet away); The Legacy of Sportsman’s Hill at Crab Orchard (about 500 feet away); Where Racing Turned Around (about 600 feet away); A View from Sportsman’s Hill (approx. 0.2 miles away); Sportsman's Hill (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Crab Orchard.
 
Categories. AnimalsSettlements & SettlersSports
 
Beginning of Horse Racing in Kentucky Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, April 12, 2017
3. Beginning of Horse Racing in Kentucky Marker
Sportsman's Hill Marker Locations image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse
4. Sportsman's Hill Marker Locations
William Whitley House image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, April 12, 2017
5. William Whitley House
William Whitley image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse
6. William Whitley
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 15, 2017. This page originally submitted on July 14, 2017, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 69 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 14, 2017, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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