Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Politically incorrect gymkhana games

Can't see this gymkhana game being given programme space in the Prince Philip Cup.  This photograph shows Lady Margaret Drummond Hay and her partner "at a difficult stage of the bun-eating, water-drinking and cigarette lighting competition in the Ladies' Gymkhana at Ranelagh," sometime in 1936.  This event was, strangely, absent from every pony book description of a gymkhana I ever read.

8 comments:

susannaforrest said...

I don't think the horses approve.

Fran Jurga said...

Are you sure it was just water they had to drink?

Christina Wilsdon said...

Yes, those horses look very disdainful!

Funny, I've never seen the beer-chugging event in pony books either, nor the mud-wrestling event...

Jane Badger said...

No, the horses are appalled.

Fran, well, there's water and water. Who knows? Maybe the photo was trimmed to cut out the pile of empty gin bottles.

Christina, no, it's odd that, though I think the mud-wrestling could appear very easily if you choose to do the sack race on a wet day, or maybe do musical chairs in the middle of a ploughed field.

Susie Blackmon said...

Love the old photo (especially the expressions on the faces of the horses). Interesting leg wrap.

Jane Badger said...

Ooh yes - hadn't spotted that. It looks rather like a puttee.

Shari said...

Tell me, do you know if Margaret Drummond Hay in the photo might be related to Annaly Drummond Hay whom I watched in the 1970s win a major show jumping competition in the UK on Merely-A-Monarch? He was an ex-steeplechaser, knocked down one rail which made them first equal and the only way to win was on time. No hesitation, she signalled him, he forgot about being a staid show jumper, leaping, flying, stacking around the corners, hurtling himself over the jumps, with all the power of his hindquarters and his rider almost lying flat along his back. They won - and I sat cheering, with tears in my eyes.

Jane Badger said...

That did occur to me too. I had a look on the peerage websites, and as far as I can see, M D-H didn't have any children. I think they must be related in some form though; Drummond-Hay isn't a hugely common surname!

I loved your story of watching her win on Merely-a-Monarch.