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Tuesday, June 4, 2019

story of Emily, suffragette ~ who ran into Anmer, horse of King George V

After elephants, horses interest me an interesting news item that US President Donald Trump wanted to give the Queen a racehorse as a gift to mark his State visit this week.  It is reported that Trump instructed aides to scour Kentucky stud farms to find a thoroughbred.  The idea was instigated by the Governor of Mississippi Phil Bryant, who is chairman of the US Royal Commonwealth Society.But the plan was dropped after senior aides warned it would be seen as “too flashy” and “a bit over the top”.It was also felt it would create huge problems transporting it to London - and arranging a photo opportunity with Her Majesty. The Queen has earned a staggering £7.7million in winnings from her horses over the past 30 years. She has won 534 races from 3,205 runs over her career as a racehorse owner !

Horse racing .. Derby .. .. the  Derby Stakes, officially the Investec Derby, popularly known as the Derby is a Group 1 flat horse race in England open to three-year-old colts and fillies. It is run at Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey over a distance of one mile, four furlongs and 6 yards (2,420 metres), on the first Saturday of June each year.  It is Britain's richest horse race, and the most prestigious of the five Classics. It is sometimes referred to as the "Blue Riband" of the turf. The name "Derby" has become synonymous with great races all over the world.  History has it that the  Stanley family, Earls of Derby, had a long history of horse-racing, and James Stanley, 7th Earl of Derby, who gained the Lordship of Mann in 1627, instituted horse-racing on the Langness Peninsula on the Isle of Man, donating a cup for what became known as the "Manx Derby".

The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes is a Group 1 flat horse race in Great Britain open to horses aged three years or older. It is run at Ascot over a distance of 1 mile 3 furlongs and 211 yards (2,406 metres), and it is scheduled to take place each year in July.

Gleaning some history, stumbled upon this accident that occurred on this day 106 years ago !~ it lead to the death of a woman activist .. it is reported that she obtained two flags bearing the suffragette colours, travelled by train to Epsom, Surrey, to attend the Derby.  She positioned herself at Tattenham Corner, the final bend before the home straight. At this point in the race, with some of the horses having passed her, she ducked under the guard rail and ran onto the course; she may have held in her hands one of the suffragette flags. She reached up to the reins of Anmer—King George V's horse, ridden by Herbert Jones—and was hit by the animal, which would have been travelling at around 35 miles (56 km) per hour, four seconds after stepping onto the course.  The poor horse Anmertoo  fell in the collision and partly rolled over his jockey, who had his foot momentarily caught in the stirrup. She was taken to hospital, operated upon but reportedly did not regain consciousness and died a couple of days later !

That is the story of - Emily Wilding Davison (1872 –1913),  a suffragette who fought for votes for women in Britain in the early twentieth century. A member of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) and a militant fighter for her cause, she was arrested on ten occasions, went on hunger strike seven times and was force fed on forty-nine occasions. She died after being hit by King George V's horse Anmer at the 1913 Derby when she ran onto the track during the race, possibly in an attempt to place a suffragette flag onto the jockey's horse.

That horse was owned by - George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert) (1865 – 1936) King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936.Born during the reign of his grandmother Queen Victoria, George was third in the line of succession behind his father, Prince Albert Edward, and his own elder brother, Prince Albert Victor. On the death of his grandmother in 1901, George's father ascended the throne as Edward VII, and George was created Prince of Wales. He became king-emperor on his father's death in 1910.

He was the last Emperor of India and the first Head of the Commonwealth.   For the records,  there were only 5 Emperors : Queen Victoria,    Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII and George VI.Just as the previous MohammadeanKings,  the British too indulged in fanfare.  The Delhi Durbar was an Indian imperial style mass assembly organised by the British at Coronation Park, Delhi, to mark the succession of an Emperor or Empress of India. Also known as the Imperial Durbar, it was held three times, in 1877, 1903, and 1911, at the height of the British Empire. The 1911 Durbar was the only one that a sovereign, George V, attended.   There is a statue of King George V near flower bazaar police station ~ in fact the area was known as Georgetown. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
4th June 2019.

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