West Essex Yeomanry Horse Races 1834-1914

From 1834 to the First World War Essex Yeomanry delighted in demonstrating their cavalry riding skills by taking part in races.

Initially they were held at Nazing Mead near the home of their founder Colonel George Palmer although in later years they were held at Galleywood Race Course, Chelmsford.

The most prestigious race was the silver cup for a one mile race which was presented by the 'Ladies of Essex' for non-commissioned officers and men of the West Essex Cavalry for horses that were owned and ridden by members of the troop and have been ridden at least 6 times at field days or drill.

In 1835 the winner was Mr Webb followed by Mr J Chapman and Mr Biggs.

In 1836 the winner was Mr T Webb followed by Mr Wright and Mr Pollett. Other troop races that year were won by Mr Pryer followed by Mr Earl, Mr T Smith and Mr J Chapman and the next won by Mr Algar followed by Lt Palmer and Mr J Chapman.

In 1837 the winner was Mr Bruty followed by Mr T Webb, Mr G Clark and Mr Algar. A second race was won by Mr Algar followed by Mr Jessop and Mr Bruty.The last race was won by Mr Algar followed by Mr Wasson, Mr Webb, Mr Frankling, Mr Hall Dare, Mr Redding and Mr F Palmer

In 1840 the winner was Mr Norman followed by Mr S Baker, Mr Bruty, John Bacon and Arthur Bacon.

The races continued and in 1856 followed a weeks training. The event was supervised by Major Palmer and his two sons Lt Palmer and Quartermaster Palmer. The races were officiated by  Quartermaster Fairman, Sergeant Major Cannon and Sergeant Major Gray.

The 1st race winner was Corporal Pritchett followed by Mr Chaplin, Mr Spencer, Mr Hopcraft, Mr Webb and Mr Powell.

The 2nd race was won by Mr Boutell followed by Mr Chaplin, Mr Champness and Mr Goodwin.

By 1871 the races had moved to Galleywood racecourse as part of a full racing program.

The winner in 1871 was Mr G Baker followed by Mr Medlicott and then Mr J J Thomas.

The tradition continued into the Great War where in 1915 the Essex Yeomanry took part in a horse race for the 8th Cavalry Cup which they won ahead of the 10th Hussars and the Royal Horse Guards.