Thursday, September 10, 2015

Lord William Rothschild with his famed zebra carriage in London, ca. 1890s

In the year 1898, in one of the many mews just off Cromwell Road, Kensington, lived Mr Hardy, who was a noted horserider & trainer, being one of the three men who had succeeded in riding the "French Rocking Horse". This was a device used by the French Cavalry. It had every possible movement of a wild horse not in the best of tempers.

Leopold de Rothschild, who knew of Hardy's ability, was talking to friends of this achievement and said that he was willing to make a stake on his ability to train any animal resembling a horse. One of his friends took up this boast, and a stake was made that Hardy could not train a team of zebras to pull a coach through London.

When after much trouble, the necessary beasts were obtained, Rothschild went to Hardy and told him the conditions of the wager. Hardy agreed to train them.

The zebras were taken to Kensington and after 2 years hard work, Hardy informed Rothschild that his task was completed and that the team were ready for the road.

At six o'clock one morning a strange sight was seen in London when, for the first time, a team of zebras were seen pulling a coach through London. (via shopkins-fossick)

No comments:

Post a Comment