Famous ponies at Welbeck

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THIS week’s Archive Corner picture is of a painting showing the famous Lippizaner ponies at Welbeck Abbey in 1912.

It was painted by Arthur Spooner, a member of the Royal Society of British Artists.

The picture was sent in by Kenneth Burton, whose grandad Edward ‘Teddy’ Burton is seen standing at the back of the carriage.

Kenneth, of Chilwell, near Nottingham, said: “I think my grandad would have been in his late teens then.”

“He was a wiry man and small in build and his working life was closely connected with horses and working at Welbeck Abbey, grooming and generally looking after the Duke and Duchess’s working and leisure, riding horses.”

“The Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife the Duchess of Hohenburg came to visit Welbeck just prior to the outbreak of World War One and he asked my grandad if he would go back to Austria with him and become a jockey.”

“It was a good job my grandad declined the offer because not long after returning home to Austria the Archduke was assassinated at Sarajevo and so began the First World War.”

Kenneth said his grandad’s memories included lodging with the famous bankers the Rothschilds, the London season when the daughters of the rich tried to attract a wealthy suitor, and helping at banquets held at Welbeck.