Wager

Staffordshire Weekly Sentinel, Saturday, October 16th 1943.

By Pony to Blackpool.

Mr Sydney Weston with his pony Dolly, which took him and Mr. Alfred Adams (right) in a gig to Blackpool. Mr. Reg. Brown, who cycled there as umpire, is on the left.

One Werrington farmer wagered another £100 to £80 that his pony could not make a trip to Blackpool in 24 hours. The pony settled the issue during the weekend. It left Werrington at 2.30 On Saturday afternoon was trotting past Central Station Blackpool at 11.15 on Sunday morning, completing the journey in 20-3/4 hours.

The owner of the pony, which is six years old, and between 11 and 12 hands high, is Mr. Sydney Weston of Bark House Farm, Hulme, Werrington. The farmer who lost his wager is Mr. W. Carter, of Salters Lane Farm, Werrington. On the journey to Blackpool, the pony pulled a light trap containing two men, Mr. Weston and a friend of his Mr. Alfred Adams. Mr. Reginald Brown an employee of Mr. Carter cycled behind the trap as "umpire". The feat of endurance by the umpire was almost as remarkable as that of the pony. The pony was properly fed and watered on the trip, and was given four rests, varying in length from half an hour to two and a half hours. During these rests the pony was wrapped in blankets to keep it warm.

The three men and the pony returned by train on Monday. It is understood that other numerous wagers were placed no this event, which created a considerable amount of interest in the Werrington and surrounding areas. Mr. Carter told Weekly Sentinel reporter how the wager had come about. He said that Mr. Weston jokingly remarked to a farmer from Stallington, that he would have a few days holiday in Blackpool, travelling in the trap. Mr. Weston assured the farmer that he could get there within 24 hours. The farmer from Stallington was sceptical about this and a wager resulted. Mr. Carter said that he also expressed the opinion that the pony could not accomplish such a feat, and his wager of £100 to £80 against it being fulfilled within the time was accepted time by Mr. Weston.

"The pony is as fit as a racehorse," Mr. Carter added" I have seen her since she returned from Blackpool and if anything she looks even better. She seems capable of repeating the performance any day. Mr. Brown who was with Mr. Carter during the interview, said that the pony never showed any signs of fatigue during the trip, which appeared to be no trouble at all. It went trotting into Blackpool looking as fresh as when she started.

Dedicated to Mr Reginald Brown 1923-1993 the grandson of Enoch and Rachel Brown nee Heath.

The Death of Dolly.

Dolly the pony liked a drop of ale- but when in October, 1943 she won a £100 bet for her owner, by trotting from Werrington in Stoke-on-Trent to Blackpool in under 24 hours. She was given barley wine and whiskey.

Mr Sydney Weston of Bark House farm, Hulme near Werrington, was at the reigns of a trap pulled by Dolly during the 20 3/4 hour marathon trot.
He pocketed the winnings from fellow farmer Mr William Carter of Werrington and then put Dolly in to an honourable retirement.

Alas there will be no more beer for Dolly as she died last week aged 27 (December 1962).
The news set horse fanciers recalling the remarkable journey, on which as well as the owner; the pony pulled another passenger Mr Alfred Adams. An umpire, Mr Reginald Brown followed behind on his bicycle.