Kalabagh, Pakistan

Kala Bagh, Murrie Hill.
Publisher: H. A Mirza & Sons, Delhi (1907-1912)

Google Maps (general location).

Kalabagh was a small cantonment in Hazara District, North West Frontier Province on the road between Abbottabad and Murree, in the area popularly known as Murree Hills. During the summer months it was occupied by one of the British mountain batteries which were stationed at Rawalpindi in the winter.
Fibiwiki (Families In British India Society)

Two of the Infantry Regiments are located in the Murree hills during the hot weather, and tlie three Mountain Batteries proceed, one to each of the following Gallis — Khaira Galli, Kalabagh, Bara Galli.
“Gazetteer Of The Rawalpindi District 1893-94”, F A Robertson, 1895

Racetrack, Tijuana, Mexico

Club House and Grand Stand at Race Track, Tia Juana, Mexico
Publisher: M. Kashower Co, Los Angeles (1914-1934)

Google Maps.

British Path: Film footage of a race meeting, Tijuana 1925

The first professional race track opened in January 1916, just south of the border gate. It was almost immediately destroyed by the great “Hatfield rainmaker” flood of 1916. Rebuilt in the general area, it ran horse races until the new Agua Caliente track opened in 1929, several miles south and across the river on higher ground.

The Mexican Government has notified that it will not permit the construction of a race track at Tia Juana, Lower California. Several wealthy Americans were interested in the venture. Furthermore, it is stated that it is the intention of the Mexican authorities to close the Juarez track, which has been conducted for the last few years by an American syndicate. The move against racing is said to be the first in a crusade by the Mexican Government against all sport on which money is wagered.
Referee, 29 December 1915

Back in 1909, all horse racing in California fell victim to an antigambling reform movement, and those in the state connected with the sport — inspired by the well-known success of the Juarez track across the border from El Paso — decided to build a track in Tijuana and exploit its proximity to Southern California population centers. A group of men headed by San Francisco boxing promoter James (Sunny Jim) Coffroth undertook the job of construction and management of a new racetrack in Tijuana. . . . Coffroth had little interest in horse racing as a sport, but he had a genius for promotion, plus numerous contacts among horsemen, journalists, businessmen. He obtained a major portion of the financing to build the Tijuana track from Adolph Spreckels, whose family — he was the brother of John D. Spreckels — for decades after made strong denials of the old man’s involvement. Spreckels was a horseracing buff and the owner of the Napa Stock Farm. He felt that Tijuana racing might help to return the sport to California; an added incentive may have been the fact that he owned the railroad spur to the border and needed an attraction like the racetrack to encourage people to make the ride to what was then a “desolate, scattering, wind-swept village,” as a Los Angeles Times writer described it at the time.

At the time the track was being built, General Esteban Cantu was in effective control of Baja California. He had been sent to the area in 1911 by the Mexican government to drive out the Americans who had come to Mexico to assist the revolution. Although the new revolutionary government in Mexico City vetoed the racetrack idea. Cantu, strongly of independent mind, was all for it, so construction proceeded on schedule. On January 1, 1916, the track, with a wooden grandstand, sparkling white fence, and 114-foot-long liquor bar, opened for business less than a quarter mile from the border crossing. (The site of the track is now partially covered by the freeways and by the Tia Juana River canal.) Coffroth’s friends in the press helped publicize the event and 10,000 people showed up on opening day. . . . On the day the track opened, it started raining again after a long drought. At first this seemed an auspicious omen, but the rain didn’t stop. It turned out to be one of the worst floods in Southern California history, which some believed had been brought on by a self-proclaimed magician known as Hatfield the Rainmaker, who had been hired by the City of San Diego to end the drought. The waters rose and the Tia Juana River flooded into the newly opened racetrack. Coffroth was undeterred; he obtained from Adolph Spreckels more money to rebuild the track. “Take it from me,” Coffroth proclaimed to the press, “Tijuana, with San Diego so close, is the ideal place for the Sport of Kings.” The rebuilt track (at the same location in the river bed) was officially called the Sunset Racetrack but usually known simply as “the Tijuana track.”
“The amazing and slightly sordid story of Aqua Caliente racetrack” (San Diego Reader)

It seemed the racing gods didn’t want Tijuana to have a racetrack. The first track, the Tijuana Jockey Club, was destroyed twice in its first year before Adolph Spreckels, who owned the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, stepped in to save it. . . . The track location was near the U.S./Mexico border, and opening day’s six races drew 10,000 Californians, who were legally denied betting on horse racing at home at the time. The San Diego Union reported, “Surrounded by the mauve hills of old Mexico, as though nature intended the spot for the site, lies the magnificent new Tijuana race course, a miles from the thriving little village.”
It border location was also its downfall, as it was built on the low ground of the Tijuana riverbed. The sparkling new facility was only one week old when the nature that “intended the spot” included heavy rains and the word flooding in 25 years, which destroyed the track. To keep the momentum, the hastily rebuilt and reopened the track. That’s when Spreckels stepped in to help; they reopened the following year. Prohibition in the U.S. had fun-seeking Americans flocking south to newly opened Baja resorts and casinos. In 1928 American entrepreneurs built a beautiful casino at Agua Caliente (hot water) on higher ground on the outskirts of Tijuana. The following year they added the Hipódromo Agua Caliente (Caliente Race Track) on the location. The horsemen from the Tijuana Jockey Club had moved up the hill.
“Baja Legends: The Historic Characters, Events, and Locations That Put Baja California on the Map”, Greg Nieman, 2002, p.62

Your luck will be the luck of “Sure Thing, Johnny.” You will hope with him, you will cheer with him. You will stand with the mob in the Grandstand as tho great race nears Its tremendous finish. For thrilling, fast action romance it is a screen story of intense, spell-binding interest. All the life, all the colour of Tia Juana–America’s classic racing event–is mirrored in this gripping romance.

The Mercury, 18 September 1924

On a recent visit to Southern California, I took the opportunity to go south into Mexico, a country I had always, wished to see because of its romantic history. The first Mexican town i encountered was Tia Juana, a place consisting of honkey tonks, dance halls, faro tables, gambling dens, and saloons, chiefly patronised by Americans, who swarm across the border to slake a thirst accumulated under prohibition, and to see the races at the celebrated Tia Juana race track.

In this town can be seen the largest bar in the world, occupying an entire block, and measuring 2llft. of rows and rows of shining bottles. It could be fittingly called the “drunks’ paradise*” .The saloons are run in real frontier style, and most of them have soft-eyed Mexican girls lurking round to coax the unwary, stranger to “loosen up” on his roll. The southern maid is not so hard-faced as her nordic sister, but she prevails just the same. On race days the crowd is cosmopolitan, and of all colours–from the ebon of the negro through shades of tawny and yellow, to the white of the Caucasian. The day I was there Jack Dempsey and Estelle Taylor attended the races, probably to spend some of the cash Dempsey got when he lost the fight at Chicago.
The Australasian, 28 January 1928

Santa Beatriz Racecourse, Lima, Peru

On back:
Hipódromo de Santa Beatriz – Lima.

Google Maps.

The Campo de Marte is one of the largest parks in the metropolitan area of Lima, capital city of Peru. Similar in size to Parque de la Exposición and Parque de la Reserva. Campo de Marte originally was part of Exposición and later a horse racetrack, the Hipódromo de Santa Beatriz (before Jesús María Ward was split from downtown Lima Ward), in operation from 1903 to 1938. A new racetrack, San Felipe, was built further south in Jesús María ward but the stand was allowed to remain; the track was paved over with asphalt and given the street name Avenida de la Peruanidad (Peruvianness Avenue). The stand is currently used for spectators watching the Grand Military Parade, done every year on July 29, the day after Independence Day.

At the end of the 19th century , the Municipality of Lima granted, in emphyteusis , to the Jockey Club of Peru the lands of the “Santa Beatriz” farm located in the southern part of the city. In July 1903 the construction of said enclosure was completed, which was characterized by the Moorish style of its stands, inaugurating that year with a 1,600 meter by 12 meter wide track. In 1909 the second-tier stands were added and in 1924 the racecourse facilities would be expanded.
. . .
In 1938, before the urban growth of the city, the land of the racetrack was required by the Peruvian State. In exchange, lands were given in the Jesús María district , further south, where the San Felipe Hippodrome was built . That year was the last that the Santa Beatriz Racetrack was active.
Second Wiki (seems to be a translation from Spanish Wikipedia.

Belgian Army, WW I

Armée belge | Une section de mitrailleuses Maxim
(Belgian Army: a Maxim machine gun section)
Publisher: Nels

At the beginning of the First World War the Belgian Army could field only 102 machine guns. However, many of these guns were transported by a very unusual method. They were pulled on small gun carriages by specially trained dog teams. The machine guns seen in the photographs above are Maxim guns, but the Belgian Army also had a number of French Hotchkiss guns. The dogs used to pull the machine guns were Belgian Mastiffs, this strong breed were more than capable of drawing the 60lbs weight of a Maxim gun. . . .The relatively cheap cost of pack dogs compared to horses, along with their relative lack of maintenance – with no need for horse shoes etc, made the dogs an excellent option. They also offered a much lower profile than that of a pack horse, allowing them to stay close to the guns ready to move under cover when in action, and were much easier to handle without the need for specially trained troops. The dog teams were attached to most Belgian line infantry regiments with each battalion with 6 guns, split into 2-gun sections – each battalion had 36 dogs for the 18 gun and ammunition carriages. The machine guns could be brought into action very quickly and it was said that the dogs were so well trained they would remain quiet and patient in their harnesses until it was time to move again.
Historical Firearms

Armée belge | Les Cyclistes
(Belgian Amry: The Cyclists)
Publisher: Nels

Bicycle infantry are infantry soldiers who maneuver on (or, more often, between) battlefields using military bicycles. The term dates from the late 19th century, when the “safety bicycle” became popular in Europe, the United States, and Australia. Historically, bicycles lessened the need for horses, fuel and vehicle maintenance.

With the advent of WWI, the thickly-roaded districts of France and Flanders meant that military cyclists would find the ground better suited for their wheels than combatants found in the South African veldt. The flat landscape of the low countries meant that Belgium in particular was an ideal environment for military cyclists and they were well used in the initial stages before the static stalemate of the trenches set in. Four Carabinier battalions of the Belgian army had attached companies of cyclists. They wore a distinctive uniform with a somewhat old-fashioned peaked hat similar to a kepi. Their cycles were the “Belgica” which was a foldable cycle. This allowed the bicycle to be slung across the shoulder when encountering difficult terrain. A dedicated military cycling school in Belgium provided troops with specific training in reading maps, reconnaissance and communication techniques, as well as the mechanical skills needed to maintain the bicycles.
Suburban Militarism: Belgium’s Carabinier Bicyclists

Armée belge | Escadron de cavalerie
(Belgian Amry: cavalry squadron)
Publisher: Nels

The use of horses in World War I marked a transitional period in the evolution of armed conflict. Cavalry units were initially considered essential offensive elements of a military force, but over the course of the war, the vulnerability of horses to modern machine gun, mortar, and artillery fire reduced their utility on the battlefield. This paralleled the development of tanks, which ultimately replaces cavalry in shock tactics. While the perceived value of the horse in war changed dramatically, horses still played a significant role throughout the war.

Irish Jaunting Car

An Irish Jaunting Car
Publisher: Valentine

A jaunting car is a light two-wheeled carriage for a single horse, with a seat in front for the driver. In its most common form with seats for two or four persons placed back to back, with the foot-boards projecting over the wheels and the typical conveyance for persons in Ireland at one time (outside jaunting car). Also with passenger seats facing each other (inside jaunting car).

This is, properly, an Irish machine. The jaunting car is almost peculiar to our island. A. Scotchman or an Englishman on first landing at Dublin or at Kingstown is struck with this peculiarity; but: they soon learn to relish so agreeable and handsome a conveyance. It is true, that the cars for hire do not present very great temptations: the miserable horses, and too often the squalid, dirty drivers, clamoring for a fare, and underbidding each other with fierce vociferation, while the furious driving, and incessant attempts to take advantage of ignorance and inexperience, render the Dublin carmen almost intolerable, (we speak generally) except to those who are content to endure these disadvantages for the pleasure and ease of being conveyed to any part of the city or country. But none who have enjoyed the comforts of that pleasant vehicle, a private car, will quarrel with our designating it agreeable and handsome. Almost every citizen who can afford it, (and we are sorry to add, many who can not,) keeps a car
“The (Irish) Jaunting Car”, from the Dublin Penny Journal, 14 July 1832

Cavalry School, Samur, France

On back:
Ecole de Saumur
Entertainement des eleves
(Samur School/Training of students)

In 1763, Louis XV (via the Duc de Choiseul) reorganised the French cavalry. A new school for officers from all the cavalry regiments was set up at Saumur, managed and supervised by the “Corps Royal des Carabiniers” – since its inception the school has been hosted in the carabinier regiment’s quarter of the town, latterly in a magnificent 18th century building. This functioned until 1788. At the end of 1814, after the First Restoration, Louis XVIII set up the “École d’Instruction des Troupes à cheval” in Saumur. Its activities declined from 1822 onwards so it was regenerated by Charles X under the name of the “École Royale de Cavalerie” (later renamed the École impériale de cavalerie de Saumur). Most of its building complex was taken up with a military riding area and a riding-academy training hall. From 1830, with the disappearance of the École de Versailles, Saumur became the capital and sole repository of the French equestrian tradition, and its knowledge (such as in the Cadre Noir and its training regime in dressage) is still recognised throughout the world. At the end of the Second World War the French mounted cavalry (reduced to several squadrons of spahis retained for patrol work by this point) and armoured troops merged to form the ‘Arme blindée et cavalerie’ (ABC), with the École de Saumur becoming the new branch’s training centre.

If the wars of the Revolution and the Empire confirmed the legendary bravery of the French cavalry, they also revealed a lack of equestrian training. The troops were destroyed by contagious illness, the ferocity of combat, and the poor quality of the military equitation of the time. The French cavalry was decimated after the Napoleonic wars. In 1815 a Cavalry school was created in Saumur to reform the mounted troops and to standardize the use of the horse in war. Faced with the urgency of retraining riders and horses, a body of instructors was set up, made up of several great civilian riding masters, out of the Manèges of Versailles, the Tuileries and Saint-Germain. Considered the elite of the period, they trained the officer pupils of the cavalry : In 1825, it was the birth of the Cadre Noir of Saumur.

However at the beginning of the XXth century when the cavalry became mechanized (tanks and planes having gradually replaced horses on the battlefield) the question was raised of the usefulness of the Cadre Noir at the heart of the army. The government of the time could not bring itself to eliminate something which had become a real living heritage for France with the passage of time. A spectacular increase in riding for pleasure in the 70’s saw the creation of innumerable equestrian centres. The creation of the National Riding School was aimed at organizing the teaching of riding in France; its vocation to prepare for high level teaching diplomas and top level competition.. The National Riding School was created by decree in 1972 under the charge of the Minister for Sport.
Le Cadre noir de Saumur

Allentown Fair, Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA


Google Maps

The Lehigh County Agricultural Society held the first fair from October 6 to October 8, 1852, on Livingston’s Lawn, a 5-acre (20,000 m2) plot located east of Fourth Street, between Walnut and Union Streets, in Allentown. The initial fair was so successful that in 1853 the Society undertook the purchase of a larger plot of land, north of Liberty Street and between Fifth and Sixth Streets, on which ticket offices and a two-story exhibition hall were built.

Throughout the 1870s and 1880s, the popularity of the Allentown Fair continued to grow. However, increased attendance led to dissatisfaction regarding the fairground’s size, facilities, short race track and small grandstand. In 1889, the Lehigh County Agricultural Society purchased a plot of land on Seventeenth Street, between Chew and Liberty Streets, to serve as the new fairgrounds.One of the primary features of the new location was a new half-mile race track, with grandstands capable of seating 2,500.

From its earliest days, horse racing was a popular event at the Allentown Fair. In 1902, the fair’s half-mile track was regarded as “one of the finest in the country.” In 1905, racehorse Dan Patch set a record of 2:01 on the half-mile track. In 1908, a new grandstand was built at the Allentown Fairgrounds that increased seating capacity from 2,500 to 10,000. As of 2009, this structure remains in use as the Fairgrounds’ grandstand.


1900 Advertisement for fair, showing track

Official site