Horse-Racing

Several cricketers – especially in the early 20th century – were good riders and huntsmen. One of the most famous was Johnnie Clay, who was a member of the Glamorgan team which won the County Championship title during 1948. In his youth, Johnnie had ridden in, and won, several point-to-point races.

His family home – Piercefield House – subsequently became the site of Chepstow Racecourse, which opened during 1926.  By this time, Johnnie was captain of Glamorgan CCC.

A cartoon from the South Wales Echo celebrating
the diverse sporting interests of Johnnie Clay.
Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.

After playing for Monmouthshire as a tearaway fast bowler, Johnnie became one of the finest off-spinners in county cricket during the inter-war era, and made one appearance for England during 1935. He might have won more, but was injured in 1938 after ricking his back and jarring his leg whilst trying to leap over a sofa in an attempt to demonstrate to his young family the jumping skills of Golden Miller, the great steeplechaser!

In later years, Johnnie became a steward at, as well as being director of, Chepstow Racecourse. He also owned a number of good horses, several of which had cricketing names, including Sixer who was placed in the Welsh Grand National at the Chepstow course.

JC Clay – the debonair sporting gentleman,
as seen in 1924.
Credit – Glamorgan Cricket Archives.