Kentuckians have long been accustomed to horses running around oval tracks before excited spectators. But years before such stirring events unfolded, horses running loose elicited quite different emotions. Three acts were passed by the first General Assembly dealing with the problem of stray horses. An "act concerning strays" (June 28, 1792) and an "Act to amend an Act entitled 'An Act concerning strays'" (December 15, 1792) established a system for discouraging negligence regarding strays by rewarding those who would "take up" such animals for the common good. The third act (December 20, 1792) "to provide for the improvement of the breed of horses" dealt specifically with stray "stoned" (male) horses by, again, providing rewards to those who would take them up as well as for the gelding of all such strays more than one year old. Horses running, one way or another, have long been of interest to Kentuckians.
Handbill from the Doram family collection. Donated by Mrs. Viola Gross, Kentucky Historical Society Collections.