Dated 1843

15″ x 20.5″

John Hartwell Cocke II (1780-1866)

Utilitarian was a sire that stood at John Hartwell Cocke’s plantation Bremo on the James River.   A handful of  southern breeders were active in the improvement of American racing bloodlines. Utilitarian’s sire, American Eclipse, was a famous northern racehorse successfully pitted against southern rivals.  Virginians eventually answered in 1833 by purchasing Eclipse and breeding their mares until the horse was moved to Kentucky to provide similar services.

In contrast, Cocke’s interests lay in the production of fine saddle horses and he advertised Utilitarian as a producer of sensible, sound and useful animals.  According to the Farmer’s Register of 1839 it cost $25 to breed a mare to Utilitarian plus the daily cost of 25 cents in upkeep for the mare.


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Christopher H. Jones Antiques

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