T02361 BIRMINGHAM, WITH PATRICK CONOLLY UP, AND HIS OWNER JOHN BEARDSWORTH 1830
Inscribed ‘J.F. Herring. 1830’ lower right
Oil on canvas, 21 × 29 (53.2 × 73.7)
Presented by Mr Paul Mellon KBE through the British Sporting Art Trust 1979
Prov: Beaufort Hunt, the son of Birmingham's veterinary surgeon, by descent to Miss Mary C. Marsh; Richard Green, from whom purchased by Paul Mellon 1970.
Exh: Richard Green, Sporting Paintings, 1970 (13, repr.).
Lit: Egerton, 1978, pp.298–9, no.322; Christopher Neve, ‘Gift from a Galloping Anglophile’, in Country Life, CLXVI, 30 August 1979, p.584, repr. in colour, fig.1.
Engr: in aquatint by R. G. Reeve, published by S. & J. Fuller, March 21st 1831.
Birmingham, a dark brown colt by Filho da Puta out of Miss Craigie, foaled in 1827 and bred by Mr Lacey, was purchased for 55 guineas by John Beardsworth, and named after his new owner's native city. T.2361 commemorates Birmingham's only Classic win, the 1830 St. Leger at Doncaster, in which Patrick Conolly rode him to victory against the favourite, William Chifney's 1000-guinea Priam. The fork of lightning in the background on the left is not artist's licence, but a record of the fact that a violent thunderstorm raged during the race (J. S. Fletcher, The History of the St. Leger Stakes, 1776–1901, 1902, pp.228–31)…