Throwback Thursday: The 1937 National Horse Show At Madison Square Garden

Nov 3, 2022 - 2:56 PM

The article below is republished from the Nov. 5, 1937, issue of The Middleburg Chronicle, the ninth-ever edition in the 85-year-run of the magazine that would go on to become The Chronicle of the Horse. At the time, the nascent publication was focused primarily on horse happenings in Middleburg and the surrounding areas of Virginia, while the National Horse Show was already well-established from its founding in 1883. The ASPCA Maclay Final, in its fifth year of existence, was won in 1937 by the first male rider to take the trophy, New Yorker Walton Perry Davis Jr., while the previous year’s winner, Virginian Ellie Wood Page Keith, returned to compete in the children’s hunters.

The video, courtesy of British Pathé, was shot at the show’s original home in Madison Square Garden (New York City) and shows just how different the show—from the formal attire in the stands to the jumping course—looked 85 years ago.


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This article appeared in the Nov. 5, 1937, issue of The Middleburg Chronicle.

Va. Horses And Riders Prominent In National

Well, there may have been horse shows during the past year of importance, but the top of them all, the 52nd National Horse Show, in the Madison Square Garden, got under way Wednesday, the first stroke after nine o’clock. It is scheduled to run through Monday night, [Nov. 8, 1937], and started with the real ceremony marked in the parade of the International Military Teams, representing Belgium, the Netherlands, the Irish Free State, Canada and the United States.

Despite the significance of the show from an international angle, the six days this year will be the greatest jamboree of the best in hunter show horses and jumpers that has ever been seen on exhibition in the Garden. Probable attendance is hard to estimate, but will likely average over 16,000 daily.

Watch highlights from the 1937 National Horse Show, including the military parade, courtesy of British Pathé:

From Virginia have gone outstanding contenders in both horses and riders in Mrs. Homer Lake’s Mary’s Rock, to be ridden in the children’s hunter classes by Miss Ellie Wood Keith, Charlottesville, who with Mrs. James Hamilton ride many of Llangollen’s best, which includes several grand champions of Virginia shows: Bon Diable, Missing Caddy, Grey Knight, Nobody’s Fool, The Bear, Airy Spirit and Two Leggins.

Mrs. Cary Jackson, who will take up Mrs. Augustus’ horses, including a champion in Chatter Chat and Sand Artist; U.S. Randle with his Claws and Sport Marvel; and Mrs. Howard M. Hanna’s Big John.

Many Virginians will go to New York during the coming week and witness this show of shows.

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