NSW sporting magazine | State Library of New South Wales

'New South Wales Sporting Magazine'

NSW Sporting MagazineThe New South Wales sporting magazine, No. 1 Vol.1 (2 Oct 1848). Printed cover. DSM/798.05/1


The New South Wales Sporting Magazine began publication in Sydney on 2 October 1848. Covering a variety sports and pastimes, it focused on so-called gentlemanly sports such as horse racing, cricket, sailing and hunting, in addition to “the more refined and intellectual pursuits of literature” . The magazine aimed to “combine instruction with amusement”, pairing poetry and the arts with sporting events and light entertainment. Its rather scholarly articles were meant to appeal to a more well-educated audience.

“In putting forth our periodical under its present title, we wish to guard against an unfounded prejudice which leads a great many, otherwise well informed, minds to imagine that, because a person is addicted to manly sports, and devotes some of his leisure hours to racing, fishing, hunting or shooting, he is thus rendered incapable of enjoying the more refined and intellectual pursuits of literature, or the social intercourse of domestic life”.

(New South Wales sporting magazine, 2 October 1848)

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Extract from The New South Wales sporting magazine (edited by D. C. F. Scott). No. 1 Vol.1 (2 Oct 1848), pp. 1-11. Printed. DSM/798.05/1

“Old Jorrocks - the most noble Turf Horse the Colony has ever produced”  (New South Wales sporting magazine, 2 October 1848)

The first issue featured an article on the famous thoroughbred horse Jorrocks (1833-1860). The magazine included detailed information on his pedigree and a complete record of performances, from his first appearance on the turf at Homebush in 1841 (under the name of ‘Jollox’), up until the magazine’s publication in 1848. Between 1841 and 1848, Jorrocks remarkably won 44 of his 67 races and his public winnings totalled around 2688 pounds. Jorrocks continued racing into old age, and is credited as the oldest winning thoroughbred in Australian racing history.

JorrocksJorrocks, drawn by Edward Winstanley. Lithograph by J. Allen, from New South Wales sporting magazine, 2 Oct, 1848. Printed. DSM/798.05/1

> See more portraits of famous thoroughbred horses, including Jorrocks

A portrait of the Honorable Colonial Secretary, Mr E. Deas Thomson, who was a keen sportsman and longstanding parton of the Turf, also appeared in the first issue. "The Colonial Secretary has ever been found ready to join in every sport that is at once manly and gentlmanly", it assured its readers.

The magazine not only featured regular articles on horse racing, but also horse breeding. The first issue included an article on ‘Blood horses of the colony’, looking at the pedigrees of colonial horses and listing a number of the earliest pure bred horses imported to Australia. A lengthy letter to the editor in the subsequent issue praised the magazine for its:

“advancement…of one of the most important interests connected with this Colony – that of the improvement and right management of the numerous herds of horses with which it abounds”.

Published between 1848 and 1849, the New South Wales Sporting Magazine (and later the New South Wales Sporting and Literary Magazine, and Racing Calendar) were short-lived, as many of the early sporting periodicals of the time.


> Read more of the New South Wales Sporting Magazine, October - December 1848, via the Library's catalogue catalogue link