Submitted by jays on 28 January 2014 - 10:39pm

This cup, made by Birmingham silversmiths Hilliard and Thomason in 1881, was presented to Richard Rouse (1842-1903) and his younger brother Edwin Stephen Rouse (1849-1931) in April 1882 at the New South Wales Agricultural Society’s annual show.  It was won by their English thoroughbred horse Sir Benjamin as the ‘best stallion for producing weight carrying horses for remounts’ for the Indian Army. Sir Benjamin, by Big Ben out of Lady Constance, was considered ‘one of the most handsome and useful horses ever imported to the colony’, with such potential that his portrait was published in the Australian Town and Country Journal. The Rouse brothers had bought him in 1875 for the princely sum of 710 guineas. Sir Benjamin was a successful sire, his progeny realising high prices. Although he was based at the Rouse family property Guntawang near Mudgee, he also stood for a season at Rouse Hill. The Rouse family have a long history in the horse industry, breeding and racing many a successful animal under the famous ‘Crooked R’ brand immortalised in verse by Banjo Paterson. Just days after winning this trophy Sir Benjamin was offered for sale. By 1884 he was standing at stud in New Zealand. 

Photograph: Jamie North, 2013
Rouse Hill House & Farm
Sterling silver trophy cup awarded to Edwin and Richard Rouse for horse Sir Benjamin, made 1881 Sterling silver trophy cup awarded to Edwin and Richard Rouse for horse Sir Benjamin, made 1881 Sterling silver trophy cup awarded to Edwin and Richard Rouse for horse Sir Benjamin, made 1881 Sterling silver trophy cup (detail) awarded to Edwin and Richard Rouse for horse Sir Benjamin, made 1881 Sterling silver trophy cup awarded to Edwin and Richard Rouse for horse Sir Benjamin, made 1881
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HR87/8