About this image
The original caption for this picture reads:
'FLAGG RACES. Over stone walls in the High Peak ... High Peak Cup ... snap shows Lady Hartington - Duke of Devonshire's daughter, presenting the Cup to the Winner.' The image is a companion to PTPD300093 which shows the actual race.
Can anyone name the winning rider, presumably a member of the High Peak Hunt?
Lady Hartington appears to be the former Kathleen ('Kick') Kennedy, younger sister of the future US President John F. (Jack) Kennedy. She had married William Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington and heir to the 10th Duke of Devonshire, on 6 May 1944 (thus making her the Duke's daughter-in-law rather than 'daughter'). He was killed in action just four months later leaving her a widow at the age of 24. On 13 May 1948, while en route to a vacation on the French Riviera, she died along with others when the plane they were travelling in encountered bad weather, broke up and crashed into a mountain ravine. Her body was brought back to Chatsworth and buried in Edensor Churchyard; the grave was visited by her brother JFK six months before his assassination in 1963.
Flagg Races were staged annually by the High Peak Hunt on Easter Tuesday from 1892 until 2011, aside from a couple of years during World War Two and from 2001 to 2003 when the event had to be cancelled. They were a rare survival echoing the early days of horse racing when riders rode from one point to another without any defined course to follow. The principal attraction at Flagg was the unique Hunt Members' race over their own territory and it is this race that is the subject here.
Such traditional point-to-point racing was steeplechase riding for amateur riders and meant that they raced 'through the fields and across roads jumping dry stone walls and choosing which line to take to get to each point.' As late as the mid-1980s there were around 10 such 'old-fashioned' events in the country, but Flagg proved to be the last survivor. In 2013 the Flagg Races Management Committee announced that the Races would 'no longer take place', citing as the reason a combination of 'umanageable problems' including financial risk, a shortage of participants, staffing difficulties and unpredictable weather.