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JIM: The Fleetfooted Tennessee Nag

By "Jim"

This humorous tale of Tennessee chicanery perpetuated in Adair County 172 years ago appeared in the News ninety years ago this month.

An Old Race Recalled

The coming of the fair reminds us of an old story we heard Mr. Kearn Owens relate many years before he died. It was in the year of 1839 when there was a race course in this town to the left and beyond the bridge that spans Russell creek. The big race was billed for a certain day and an old gentleman arrived with a poor gray horse, from Tennessee.

He entered his horse with the understanding that he himself was too old to ride, and that he would not trust a jockey he did not know, but he was willing for his horse to run without a rider. The Judges agreed, and the old man buckled a surcingle around his horse and answered, "Ready." The horses were brought upon the track, the jockeys mounted, and the bell was tapped.

The old gray horse took the lead and come under the string fifty yards ahead.

The old gentleman was made many offers for his horse, but there was nothing doing. It was learned afterwards that the horse was the fastest animal in Tennessee, and that he had never lost a race.

This story was posted on 2011-08-15 09:48:16
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