How to Escape Losing

Thomas Rowlandson British
Subject George, Prince of Wales British
Subject Samuel Chifney Jr. British

Not on view

This print and its companion, "How to Escape Winning" (59.533.438) respond to a pair of races held at Newmarket, on October 20 and 21, 1791. Centered on the Prince of Wales's prize thoroughbred Escape, these launched a scandal since, in the first, Escape was favored to win but finished last of four. The next day, Escape won handily over two of the same rivals, rewarding both the Prince and his jockey Samuel Chifney for bets placed at odds increased by the horse's recent loss. Accusations of cheating ensured and an investigation was launched by Sir Charles Bunbury, head of the Jockey Club. Although Chifney swore he had not held Escape back in the first race he was, perhaps unjustly, prevented from running further races and the Prince sold his stables soon after; he did stand by Chifney, however, and continued to pay him a generous salary.

How to Escape Losing, Thomas Rowlandson (British, London 1757–1827 London), Hand-colored etching and aquatint

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