Isaac and Ede Antique Prints
Caractacus Racehorse

John Harris after E. Brown


31 x 25 inches

A large scale aquatint engraving by Harris after Brown: published in London in 1862.

This magnificent and scarce print conceals a controversial and rather remarkable story. The horse (named after the famous first-century British chieftain who successfully fought against the Romans) takes centre stage after a victorious win at the Epsom Derby of 1862. The intrigue lies not so much in the horse, but in the jockey, a 16 year old stable boy named Parsons. Parsons was not a big lad and weighed so little that there were calls for both runner and rider to be disqualified on the grounds that the jockey was underweight. Adding to the tension were a false start and the size of the field; an astonishing 34 horses took part in the race. It was to be the apogee for Caractacus as, soon after, injury rendered him incapable of racing. The beauty of prints such as this is that we capture a moment in history: a racehorse in its prime and a proud owner in the otherwise unknown and amusingly named Charles Snewing.


Back to Catalogue