I'ANSON international

Transcript of "The History of the I'Anson Family" by Brian I'Anson




(From a local paper.)

The handsome bay’s unexpected victory astonished more persons than the Southerners, who were sweeter on Black Tommy, Adamus, and one or two others, and the Malton mare was allowed to start at the long odds of 20 to 1; and what a race it was but few living to tell the tale, and they must have but a hazy memory of the struggle now.

There were over two hundred subscribers that year, and thirty starters appeared at the post. Johnnie Charlton was on Blink Bonny (a chance mount given him, by the way), and he had made the pace a hot one from the beginning, as evidenced by the result, the mare covering the distance in the (up to then) record time of 2 minutes 25 seconds. Blink Bonny won by a neck only, and so severe was the struggle, generally, and close the finish, that half a dozen of the competitors were almost in a line – in fact, "could have been covered by the proverbial sheet." And what a shout the Northerners gave when Mr. Clark uttered the verdict!

The news of the great victory was boisterously received at malton. Bands played in the streets, and – yes, "tell it not to the anti-Gambling League and the rest of the unco guid!" – the church bells rang merrily in honour of the event.

Of course, the victory of the famous mare, followed, in a day or two afterwards, by her capture of The Oaks, drew more attention to her lineage, her breeder and owner, and to everything appertaining to the place from which she came. To the sporting men of that day these things soon became familiar history, but to the present generation Blink Bonny and Queen Mary, Caller Ou and Blair Atholl, and the rest of them, are little more than names.

Yet the whole story is worth re-telling, because the history of Queen Maery and the I’Ansons had in it not a little of the romantic.

The "Queen Mary Blood" undoubtedly founded the fortunes of the family, now so well known in the sporting world.

When the late William I’Anson, of Spring Cottage, came to Malton from Gullane, he had secured a foal of Old Queen mary, but had lost sight of the mare. That filly, Haricot, subsequently the dam of the tough Caller Ou, proved to be a "galloper," and this led to diligent search being made in Scotland for Old Queen Mary.

She was discovered in the Highlands, running almost wild, with a foal at foot, by a half-bred horse.

She was quickly purchased for a small sum, and brought back to Malton, and from her blood spring Blink Bonny, and her more famous son, Blair Athol, who, seven years after his mother’s victory, again won the Derby for Mr. I’Anson and the St. Ledger too.

In his day Blair Athol was considered the best horse ever foaled.

The skeleton of the famous mare, Blink Bonny, was carefully preserved, and presented by her owner to the York Museum.

Mr. I’Anson died in 1881 at Hungerford House, Malton, and his son, the late Mr. Miles I’Anson, continued the Blink Bonny Stud Farm.


1857. – Blink Bonny, at 20 to 1. Owner, William I’Anson; Charlton, Jockey; trained by Owner; 30 runners; time, 2 m. 45 s.

1864. – Blair Athol, at 14 to 1. Owner, William I’Anson; J. Snowden, Jockey; trained by Owner; 30 runners; time 2 m. 43 s.

MILES I’ANSON, of Hungerford House, Malton, the well-known Clerk of the Course, was fourth son of William I’Anson, who founded the famous Blink Bonny Stud, which came into his possesion on his father’s death in 1881. He had the following horses at the stud there: Beauclere, Selby, Bread Knife, Bosphorus, Kenilworth, Waterford, Ingoldsby (brother of Chittabob), Belle Mahone, Hawkeye, Red Light, Blue Light, and Porcelain. Mr. Miles I’Anson was thirty years of age when he succeeded to the Blink Bonny Stud Farm. He was born at Spring Cotage, Norton, Malton, on 15th June, 1850, and died 13th February, 1912.

WILLIAM I’ANSON, of Gullane, Norton, Malton, the only brother of the late Miles I’Anson, now living, is the well-known trainer of Malton, who has in the past been responsible for so many handicap coups, and whose capture of the Cesarewitch in 1896 with Mintagon is well remembered.

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