Horse Races at Bermuda Hundred
By Jeannette Holland Austin
One of the most popular horse tracks in Henrico County was situated at Bermuda Hundred, among the oldest settlements in the valley of the lower James River. It was July of 1678. The race was run between horses belonging to Mr. Abram Womack and Mr. Richard Ligon. In this instance the owners did not ride their horses. One was ridden by Thomas Cocke and the other by Joseph Tanner, a servant of Mr. Thomas Chamberlaine, both of whom were still mere boys. The horses made a rush, but the one ridden by Cocke, after running four or five lengths, shied from the track. Cocke quickly reining him in, cried out "This is not a fair start." Chamberlaine shouted to his servant, who was riding the other horse, to stop, but the young man, when he returned, boldly declared that the race was fairly begun, and in this contention was sustained by Mr. Childers. Source: Henrico County Minute Book 1682 to 1701, p. 38.
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