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A Contest of Endurance

Horses to Run Against Bicyclists for Seventy-two Hours

Beginning to-morrow afternoon New-Yorkers will have an opportunity of witnessing a contest of endurance between man and horse under conditions that ought to prove interesting.  Twenty equines, hardened for a severe trial, will be ridden in relays against Albert Schock, the long-distance champion cyclist, and Jack Prince, who has had many a similar race.

The contest will take place at Manhattan Field, and will begin at noon to-morrow and continue six days, the riding to last twelve hours a day.  The horses will be piloted by Jack Alexander and Henry Breninger, both of whom have had enough experience in the business to make them perfect horsemen.  The track at the field will be four laps to the mile, and will be banked at the turns to enable the men to ride almost as fast as on a much larger track.  Electric lights will be called into play so that the race can be as well seen and appreciated in the evening as in the daytime.

A similar contest under discouraging circumstances was held in Madison Square Garden last Winter.  On that occasion, the cyclist was an easy winner, Jack Alexander, who rode the horses, not being able to do himself justice around the comparatively sharp turns.  In justice to Alexander it should be said that he did as well as any man could have done under the circumstances.  In the first place, the track in the Garden was not firm enough for the horses, and, as above stated, the turns were a great deal too sharp.  This combination was responsible for the defeat of the horses.

Profiting by this example, the management of the coming tournament has made plans with the object in view of giving the horses as many chances as the men.  Cyclists will be particularly interested in the race because it will show just about what a strong, healthy man can do on a cycle against a number of horses which do their work when comparatively fresh.  It is believed by a majority of wheelmen that the cyclist will prove the victor, but those who take an opposite view are positive that the equines will triumph.  But no matter which side wins, the race should result in an instructive object lesson.

Alexander is pretty well known to every tourist who has visited Florida in the Winter time, for then he makes his headquarters at fashionable St. Augustine.  During the Summer he is generally to be found at Saratoga with a string of saddle ponies.   He is a master hand at training, and a horse from his hands is considered to have a special value.  Many of his races against cyclists have taken place in Florida, and nobody there has yet said that Jack Alexander ever quit in any kind of a contest.  His reputation, then, indicates that, so far as he and his horses are concerned, the match will be a genuine test of endurance and speed.

Breninger, his partner, is a well-known riding instructor of this city.  This will be his first engagement in such a contest, but his skill in the saddle is such that he will be able to do as well with the ponies as Alexander himself.

Schock is famous for his great power of endurance, displayed in many six-day events.  He is as game as a bulldog, and, once started in a race, never lets up as long as there is a chance to gain a point.  In the last six-day affair in Madison Square Garden he made a wonderful record, and puzzled learned physicians, who asked among themselves what manner of man he was to possess such remarkable power.  The coming race will not be so exhaustive as was that memorable event in the Garden, but it will be fully as exciting, and if all records established in similar races do not go by the board, others besides Schock will be disappointed.

Prince's races against horses in the South are newspaper history.  He believes he can beat any horse that ever was shod, and will go into the struggle to-morrow with every confidence.  The outcome is enthusiastically discussed by both wheelmen and horsemen.
The New York Times, 15 July 1894.

[Unfortunately the researchers at the LRG-AF have so far been unable to discover the result of this race, or even to confirm that it took place.]

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