Thursday, October 25, 2018

DAY 89: Mornings on Horseback

Jennie's father, Leonard Jerome, loved horses--he built two different racetracks during his lifetime and hosted the first Belmont Stakes, named after his close friend August Belmont, at Jerome Park in the Bronx in 1867, when Jennie was thirteen. It was the last race she witnessed at Papa's track--Clara Jerome moved her girls permanently to Europe that autumn. The winner was a filly named Ruthless.

Jennie had a lifelong passion for riding, horses, hunting, and racing. She prided herself on her "seat," her balance while riding hard over every kind of terrain. Charles Kinsky, whose family bred their own unique strain of cavalry horses known as the Equus Kinsky, loved to ride with her. One of the first gifts he gave Jennie in the spring of 1883 was a gorgeous and expensive sidesaddle like the one pictured here. A lady learned to grip the leather horns with her knees, masked by the draped skirt of her riding habit.

This picture isn't of Jennie, but it suggests what she might have looked like--with her eighteen inch waist, and her excellent sidesaddle seat. 

For more images from THAT CHURCHILL WOMAN, visit the  Pinterest board behind the novel.

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