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  Family B-15: Maid of All Work

This family was included in the Family Table of Racehorses because Zoedone and St. Galmier were top steeplechasaers. The family was traced back to a Welsh pony mare dating to the first decades of the 19th century, her female descendants in this family bred to thoroughbred stallions. Miss Osborne, her great-grandaughter, born in the 1850s, was by Osbaldeston, a son of The Saddler. She produced Hard Times, a winner of three steeplechases, April Morn, who also won three steeplechases, and a daughter, the unraced Miss Honiton, by Honiton.

Miss Honiton produced two really good jumpers, Zoedone and St. Galmier, and some other foals that became steeplechasers and dams of steeplechasers. These included Rufus, a winner of three steeplechases, that broke his neck in 1883; Carlsbad, a winner of eleven steeplechases and later a stallion in Hutingdonshire, and Marienbad, a winner of hunter's flat races, three hurdle races and a steeplechase. In addition to Zoedone, her daughters included Zoedone's sister, Blue Ribbon, who at age four won the West of Scotland Grand National, and was third in the Scottish Grand National and Eglinton Hunt cup, and at age five won Lady Eglinton's Cup; she bred on through her daughter, Heather, a steeplechase winner. Other Miss Honiton daughters included Otteridge, winner of a hurdle race, and later a producer of jumpers; Little Dot, who won a hurdle race at age four and two steeplechases at age five, and was hunted for nine seasons, later producing the colt Welcome, a well-known sire of good hunters in Nottinghamshire; and the unraced Flower Girl, dam of several steeplechase winners, including Isabelle II, a winner of flat races and fifteen hurdle races between ages four and twelve. All of Miss Honiton's foals were bred by Thomas Jackson of Pentrehaylin, Maesbrook, Llanymynech, Shropshire. She was sold for £1000, with her produce of 1884 (Carlsbad), 1885 (a colt by Bruce) and 1887 (Flower Girl), to W.G. Peareth of Banbury, Oxon, but died foaling a colt by Philammon in 1888.

Notable Descendants

St. Galmier
St. Galmier


St. Galmier b.c. 1882
(New Owestry - Miss Honiton by Honiton)
Bred by Thomas Jackson, he ran for seven seasons on the flat in hunter's races, and over fences, starting twenty-six time, and winning eighteen of them, placing second four times. He won nine flat races, two hurdle races, and seven steeplechases. Retired to stud he got "very many good horses and died on April 24th, 1899."

Zoedone ch.f. 1877
(New Owestry - Miss Honiton by Honiton)
Edward Clayton of Oakham, Rutlandshire, who had a racing stable at Exton at the time, purchased Zoedone for £170 in 1881 from a farmer, intending to use her as a hunter. After riding her that summer and fall with the Cottesmore Hunt, he thought her so superior in the field that he decided to enter her in the 1882 Grand National steeplechase, with his friend, Captain Arthur ("Doggie") Smith up as rider; Smith had ridden in the Grand National in both 1880 (on Shifnal) and 1881 (on New Glasgow) , and had won the Conyngham Cup on Heraut D'Armes in 1872. Zoedone proved to be a sturdy, careful jumper, with plenty of stamina, placing third, to Seaman and Cyrus, the only three of the twelve horses that started to finish the race, in extremely bad going in rain and snow. She was sent on to the Warwick Grand Annual steeplechase, which she won.

She was spotted by Prince Karel ("Charles") Kinsky of Bohemia (Czech Republic), who had accompanied the Empress Elizabeth (of Austria-Hungary) to England on a diplomatic and recreational visit in 1870 (and was with her on her hunting tours of England in the late '70s and early '80s), and later was attached to the Austro-Hungarian embassy in London, where he was a convivial member of society and close friend of the married socialite Jenny Jerome Churchill (mother of Winston, daughter of New York financier Leonard Jerome, who built New York's Jerome Park and co-founded the American Jockey Club). Kinsky had been raised in a family steeped in equine tradition; in 1723 the wealthy Kinsky family was given the commission of developing its stud farm to provide cavalry horses for the Emperor of Austria, and for 150 years the Kinsky stud had been famous for its production of elite mounts. Kinsky's father had expanded the stud, with importations of English bloodstock, and took an interest in racing; Kinsky's mother was generally recognized as one of the finest horsewomen in Europe.

Kinsky was an avid hunter and steeplechase enthusiast, who hunted in Melton with the Duke of Portland and other aristocrats. Late in 1882 he purchased Zoedone for £800, with a £200 contingency, should she win the Grand National; it was agreed that Smith would partner with her, but Kinsky later decided to rider her himself, and both he and Zoedone were schooled at Upton by W.H. Jenkins, a former successful National Hunt rider who trained a select few horses and aspiring steeplechase riders.

Zoedone won the 1883 Grand National in heavy going, in the smallest field in National history, ten very modest horses. Kinsky was advised by Jenkins and Clayton to ride her as if he were out hunting, which he did; she never put a foot wrong, outstayed the field, and came in in the slowest time ever recorded for the Grand National -- 11 minutes, 39 seconds -- until Red Marauder ran even slower in 2001. The next year Zoedone and Kinsky ran again in the National in a heavy mist, but with a better field (Voluptuary, Frigate and Roquefort with 1-2-3; Frigate and Roquefort would both later win the race), she placed fourth. The following year, 1885, she was second favorite, linked in the betting pools with with Lincolnshire Handicap winner Bendigo; if she won, the bookmakers would have been hit heavily by the "spring double." When Kinsky mounted, he later said, he felt the mare was "a dead horse," and she fell when schooling over a hurdle before the race. Zoedone was still allowed to start, and got around the first circuit, although never jumping or galloping well, and then fell at the fence before Becher's Brook in the second lap. It was agreed and has been recorded that she was poisoned before the race, but nothing was ever proved.

That was the end of Zoedone's successful chasing career. She was shipped off to the Kinsky stud in Europe, where she produced two offspring that were brought back to England to run. One, Zoemou, a filly by Sweetbread ( a son of Brown Bread) won one steeplechase. Kinsky still had horses running in England as late as 1914, when his horse Aiglon, trained by Francis Lambton, won a race at Kempton Park. He went back to Austria-Hungary during the war, served on the Russian front -- refusing to fight the British-- and died in Austria in 1919.

Zoedone's sire, the half-bred New Owestry, won races on the flat and over fences, and was a noted sire of steeplechasers and hunters in Shropshire and surrounding counties; he was by Knight of Kars (1855, a son of Pocahontas), who also got the dual-Grand National winner The Colonel (1869-1870). New Owestry's dam, Debonnaire, was a half-bred mare by Newminster whose female family traced back to an Exmoor pony mare dating to the mid-eighteenth century. Debonnaire was also the dam of Johnny Longtail, a chaser who placed third in the Grand National of 1887. Her half-bred dam, Miss Honiton, was a daughter of the Stockwell son Honiton (1863, a half-brother to Queen Bertha), a useful sire.

Descent Chart

Welsh pony mare
 mare (f) by Black Prince
  Maid of All Work (f) by Rochester
    Miss Osborne (f) by Osbaldeston
      Hard Times [Black Knight] (br.c. 1867) by Buckenham
      Miss Honiton (b.f. 1869) by Honiton
      |  Rufus (ch.c. 1874) by New Owestry
      |  Zoedone (ch.f. 1877) by New Owestry
      |  | Pop (b.f. 1887) by Robert Emmet
      |  | Zoemon (ch.f. 1890) by Sweetbread
      |  Otteridge (br.f. 1878) by Mayfly
      |  Blue Ribbon (ch.f. 1879) by New Owestry
      |  Little Dot [Bertred] (b.f. 1880) by Lamlash
      |  | Welcome (b.c. 1892) by Ellesmere
      |  St. Galmier (b.c. 1882) by New Owestry
      |  Carlsbad (br.c. 1884) by Hilarious
      |  Flower Girl (b.f. 1887) by Reveller
      |  | Franzensbad (bl.f. 1890) by Professor
      |  | Dewdrop (b.f. 1897) by Child of the Mist
      |  | Isabelle II (ch.f. 1899) by Isobar
      |  | Truthful Maiden (br.f. 1900) by Veracity
      |  Marienbad (br.c. 1888) by Retreat
      April Morn (b.c. 1870) by Buckenham

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