Five dock grand steeplechase | State Library of New South Wales

Five Dock Grand Steeplechase

This series of four, hand-coloured lithographs of the Five Dock Grand Steeplechase were produced in late 1844 or early 1845. Signed by Thomas Balcombe (1810-1861) and Edward Winstanley (1820-1849), either or both artists must surely have attended the event to render it so accurately.

Plate 1 shows Block clearing the first fence, followed by Highflier with British Yeoman in third position. Plate 2 sees British Yeoman clearing the brook with Highflier taking the lead, while Block lands in the water and his jockey, Mr Hely, scrambles for the bank. Plate 3 records British Yeoman in the lead as Highflier clips the stone wall with his heels and Block refuses the jump. Plate 4 depicts British Yeoman holding the lead over Highflier with Block, the ultimate winner, bringing up the rear.

Prints such as these allowed colonial sportsmen the pleasure of owning a souvenir of what was, in its day, an historic sporting event. Suitable for display in a gentlemans library or office, this set was owned by David Scott Mitchell.


Five Dock Grand Steeple Chase, 1844, by Balcombe & Winstanley
Hand coloured lithographs PXD 659/1-4

> See a portrait of A. B. (Banjo) Paterson at the S.H.C.'s Steeplechase, 26 October, 1895, drawn by artist Water Syer catalogue link