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EARLY HAMILTON SPORT

(By A Correspondent.)

Seeing the changes and the growth of Hamilton since the time it was commonly called The Grange, I thought it would be of some inter- est to vour readers to give an idea of the sports indulged in in the   early times. Population being scarce,  

there wore only a few inhabitants.   People from the neighbouring sta-   tions used to come and help to make   occasionally some pastime, such as   foot racing, horse racing—three miles  

heats for a saddle, the second horse getting a bridle. The winner had to run his three miles to win. i also may mention a kangaroo hunt. Rob- ert and John Sevior rented from the late Mr. Patrick Burgin 640 acres, situated at Dooling Dooling, for a stud farm, having the imported Eng- lish thoroughbred High Sheriff locat-   ed there. They arranged to capture a large kangaroo and take him to Hamilton for a hunt. How he was captured I don't know.   I saw the kangaroo in a loose box prior to the hunt, at the old Ham- ilton Inn stables. He was taken in   a spring cart with a rope netting over the top. The huntsmen met where Mr. Robert Drummond's gar- den is at his private residence in Thomson street. The kangaroo was let loose where the big-gate en- trance to the botanical gardens stands, opposite Dr. Laidlaw's resi- dence. He started on getting his freedom at a merry pace round Mount Craig, turned towards the east and jumped a stiff, high, three-

rail fence which enclosed a small

ploughed paddock owned by Mr.   Thos. Butler, the present site of Mr. Officer's residence, Oakdene. Being in the month of July and the ploughed ground soft the kangaroo stopped in the centre of the pad- dock. The fence heing high and the ground slippery, several of the crack horses refused to negotiate the fence until Mr. James Wilson,

sen., now of Queenscliff, mounted on a fine dapple grey, Day- spring, winner of the Great Western Steeplechase, Coleraine, and owned by the late Mr. Henry Cox, one of the first Hamilton solicitors, jumped into the paddock and started the     kangaroo, which made straight ac- ross the Hamilton racecourse, past  

where the railway, station now stands. He Crossed the creek and made up the hill, jumped the fence  

at the old Church of England par- sonage, across, where the present golf links are, and through Henty's   paddock, going over several good fences, and ran out at the three chain road above the German chur-   ch, ending the hunt thus. I may mention those gentlemen that took part in the hunt were Messrs. Jas. Wilson, Robert and John Sevior, P. Grant, Walter Grant, Donald and John Cameron (Violet Creek) Dick Donelan (commonly called "Dick the Devil," being a daring rider and good horseman), Robt. Younger, Jim Roberts, Robt. M'Cann, Clem. M'C'ann, and several young station hands. On returning refreshments were provided by the lessee of the Hamilton Inn, Mr. M. P. Grant—a fine fellow, good sport, and fond of   racing. He used to own a good racehorse called Mustang, a Premier horse, bred by the late Mr. Richard

Garton.

Mount Creig, which I referral to, was a high hill, principally compos-

ed of large boulders of honeycomb   stone, about fifty feet high, in the

shape of a sugar loaf, situated in

the botanical gardens. The old  

band rotunda is built on the spot :        

some of the hill was levelled down for that purpose. The stone was

carted away, and a ford was made on the Grange Creek on the west side of the gas works. Some of

the large stones can be seen now.   The first flood carried the ford away.  

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