A hunting we will go

Incidental mention of the Shanghai Paper Hunt suggests a new post. Here are two members of the Hunt in action. The Shanghai Paper Hunt Club dated is foundation to December 1863, but as its history, published in 1930, noted, there was steeplechasing under way as early as 1855, shortly after the rebellios Small Sword Society had been driven away from the city. Augustus Broom won the first hunt, on his horse Mud. The second recorded, was won by Bogtrotter. Names improved thereafter.

The unspeakable in pursuit of the ... inedible, Paper Hunt, near Shanghai, c.1920: Ruxton Collection, ru-s006.

The riders here are following a paper trail, laid by the Master, and they are riding in the countryside to the north or the west of the city. They rode Mongolian ponies, and the Club rules forbade the use of ponies over 14 hands high. You can see some historic film of the Club in action online. It was an elite activity and, moreover additonally exclusive: Chinese were not members until the late 1920s. In 1929 the City Government of Greater Shanghai moved to prohibit the club from riding in Chinese territory, but was persuaded to rescind the order. This was not the first nor the last controversy, and the Club as late as 1940 began its season with rides faced by demonstrating farmers carrying, and using, sticks to block their way.

Farmers protesting against paper hunting, December 1940, Source: North China Herald.


A hefty History of the Shanghai Paper Hunt Club 1863-1930, by C. Noel Davis, was published by Kelly & Walsh in Shanghai in 1930.


This entry was posted in Digitisation, Photograph of the day and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A hunting we will go

  1. Pingback: The Shanghai Paper Hunt « Historic Shanghai

Comments are closed.