Book: History of the South Carolina Jockey Club Irving, John Beaufain. THE SOUTH CAROLINA JOCKEY CLUB. Charleston, SC: Russell & Jones, 1857. Rebound in Moroccan leather with marbled boards and gilt lettering, with chapters entitled Preliminary Remarks; Racing, It's Origin, Progress; Racing Memoranda from 1734 to the Revolution; Racing Memoranda and Calendar of Races from the Revolution to 1857; Washington Course and Annual Reunions of the S.C. Jockey Club; A Glance at the Different Race Courses in South Carolina; Brethren of the South Carolina Turf; Rules of the South Carolina Jockey Club; and Conclusion.
"He has given the horse strength, and clothed his neck with thunder. He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength; he goeth on to meet the armed men."
Other Notes: Under the reign of Charles II, horse racing became known as "the sport of kings" and the Newmarket Races became a great tradition in England in the 1660s and 1670s. Charlestonians were later to name a racecourse "New Market." Eventually horseracing became even more popular than cockfighting in colonial Charlestown, perhaps because ladies could attend. In 1735, a racetrack, the York Course, was established about one mile from the city where races were held every month. The New Market Track was established at Goose Creek (about 15 miles from the city) in 1743. The "Charleston Races," much admired throughout the colonies, were established by the Yorkshireman Thomas Nightengale in 1754. These races took place on another New Market Course on the neck north of Charlestown.
The South Carolina Jockey Club, founded in 1758, was organized by the great horse breeder Edward Fenwick and Revolutionary heroes General Charles Cotesworth Pinckney and General William Moultrie, among others, and offered purses up to 1,000 pounds. It was the city's most venerable institution until after the Civil War.
The elegant Washington Racecourse, now Hampton Park, was built by the Jockey Club on land acquired from a plantation owned by John Gibbes known as The Grove or Orange Grove Plantation. An annual horse race in February attracted thousands of spectators who could watch the races from an Italianate grandstand designed by Charles F. Reichart. Today, Mary Murray Drive is a one-mile parkway that loops around the perimeter of Hampton Park in almost the exact location of the race track.