Suffragette-Derby Epsom 1913

Emily Davison - Suffragette Derby 4 June 1913

Suffragette-Derby Epsom 1913 - The English Derby has turned up some great races but the 1913 Derby was famous because of the death of Emily Davison who walked into the Kings horse in the cause of women's suffrage

The first world war was still 12 months away and the main topic in England was not the Kaiser or the Austrian Hungary Empire but women's suffrage or should we say lack of it.

Under these circumstances the 1913 Derby was to be run.

Epsom is a flat only left handed race course situated in the Surrey Downs. Although there are lots of meetings at Epsom the winner of the Derby occupies a place in racing history second to none. The Derby course is a real test of horse and jockey with a long uphill rise from the start with a sweeping descent into Tattenham corner a dip at 100 yards from the winning post and then an uphill finish. If this wasn't enough there is a camber in the track which is at it's most severe in the dip opposite Tattensall's enclosure.

15 horse were to compete for the 1913 Derby Craganour was the hot favourite at 6-4 King George had a horse running Anmer it was 50-1,there were four horse on 100-1 one of these was Aboyeur. Aboyeur's odds were indicative of his chances he had proved to be a no hoper on his previous run out as a three year old.

Almost straight from the start Aboyeur took the lead Craganour was well place as were Aldegood, Shogun, Nimbus and Louvois. With one mile left the King's horse was struggling to cope with the pace and was falling further behind. Aboyeur was confounding his critics by being 3 lengths in front.

Meanwhile at Tattenham corner Emily Davison who had received instructions waited until the leading bunch of horses had thundered past then she quickly squeezed through the crowd and under the rails onto the course.managing to avoid Agadir she went to grab the reins of the King's horse unfortunately she had failed to anticipated how difficult it is to stop a horse in full gallop doing 40+ mph and all three went down. To this day no one can be certain of Emily Davison's motives or what she really intended the outcome was probably never in doubt she never gained consciousness and died in hospital 4 days later, five years after her death women gained the vote.

Suffragette Derby Result

Aboyeur,Craganour, nimbus, great sport, louvois, shogun,

You may wonder at the result of the race and even this was to cause contraversy the race evolved into a barging match Aboyeur was still leading on the inside with the favourite Craganour mounting an effective challenge on the stands side, with nimbus, great sport, louvois, shogun & day comet hard on the heels of the leading pair,Shogun who had gotten the best of Day Comet was now making ground on the rails when Craganour's jockey moved his mount over to the rails to lean on Aboyeur who in turn swerved left and cut off Shogun's run once more Shogun tried to get through and once again Aboyeur cut him off by this time Craganour had taken an 1/2 length lead Aboyeur's jockey took up the whip and began applying it causing Aboyeur to veer once more this time into Craganour this caused Craganour to veer to the centre of the course and interfer with Nimbus's run as the two went past the winning post Craganour was a head in front.with Louvois in third.

Despite all the pushing and shoving Aboyeur's jockey declared at the unsaddling that he wouldn't be objecting. The alright signal was given however within minutes the all right signal was pulled down the news spread that the Stewards had objected no one believed that the favourite could lose and odds were being given that he would get the decision. However against all the odds the second place horse got the decision.

Many believe that the decision went against Craganour because his owner was the son of the founder of the White Star line who's flag ship the Titanic has sunk the previous year to make matters worse the owner had been on the ship and had survived this made him a very unpopular man at the time.