Orville was a bay colt, bred by Earl Fitzwilliam in 1799. He was got by Beningbrough, out of Evelina, by Highflyer, out of Termagant, by Tantrum (son of Cripple), out of Cantatrice, by Sampson, out of a mare by Regulus, out of the Ruby Mare, by Mr. Hutton's Blacklegs, out of a dau. of Bay Bolton, &c.

Orville was the first of Beningbrough's get that ever started; and Wm. Edwards always declared that, while Selim was the speediest, Orville was the best for all distances, he ever rode. His lungs and courage were inexhaustible. Orville ran a four-mile trial with Haphazard, at Lewes, and gave him such a tying-up (at even weights), that the latter never again appeared in public; and, on the same day, he beat Walton for the King's Plate. Orville was over 16 hands high, was a most difficult horse to ride, and, under the saddle, was very inanimate, and required vigorous riding.

Image of Orville (1799)

Orville's Performances


At York, August, for two years old, 8st 2lbs each, ran fourth in a sweep of 20 gs. each, won by Lord Darlington's b. c. L'Orient, by Star (son of Highflyer), beating three others. At Doncaster, 8st each, won a sweep of 20 gs. each, beating Lord Strathmore's b. c. Strathspey, by Pipator, second, and three others.


At York, August, for three years old, 8st each, ran second in a sweep of 50 gs. each, won by Mr. Wardell's ch. c. Sir John, by Stride; four ran. S. mg. colts 8st 2lbs, ran second in a sweep of 30 gs. each, won by Lord Darlington's b. c. Peter, by Beningbrough; four ran. At Doncaster (ridden by J. Singleton, junior), won the Great St. Leger of 350 gs., beating Mr. Sitwell's br. c. Pipylin, by Sir Peter, second, br. c. Sparrowhawk (also Lord Fitzwilliam's), by Buzzard, third, Sir R. Winn's ch c. Tankersley, by Overton, and three others. S. mg., 6st (William Edwards), ran second for the Cup, won by Mr. Brandling's b. c. Alonzo, by Peagsus, beating gr. c. Blue Devil, by Beningbrough, third, Strathspey fourth, ch. c. Muly Moloch, by John Bull, fifth, b. h. Sir Solomon, by Sir Peter, six years, 9st 2lbs, Pipylin, and b. c. Asheton, by Beningbrough, Alonzo, and three others. “Will Edwards never got over his chagrin at losing this Cup. He was a mere feather at the time, and begged hard for a curb-bridle, but the Earl's trainer knew the colt to be such a slug that he only replied, ‘The further he runs away, the further he'll beat 'em.’ However, John Jackson, on Alonzo, and Shepherd, on Sir Solomon, agreed together to make the St. Leger Winner run away. Accordingly they got the lad between them, and, by sly strokes of the whip, on either side, most effectually waked up Orville for him. In vain poor little Edwards shouted out, ‘I'll tell the Jockey Club of you,’ till Jackson finished the matter by kneeing the bewildered lad on to the rails. But for this Orville must have won.” – From “Scott and Sebright,” by “The Druid.”


At York (Spring), 8st 5lbs, ran second in a sweep of 20 gs. each, won by Sir T. Gascoigne's ch. h. Lennox, by Delpini; three ran. At York, August, 8st 4lbs each, in a sweep of 100 gs. each, was beaten by Sir F. Standish's b. c. Duxbury, by Sir Peter, both four years; three ran. Ran once more this year, without success.


At York (Spring), 9st, two miles, won 120 gs., beating Lord Darlington's b. c. by Ormond, four years, 8st 5lbs, and ch. c. Maltonian, by King Fergus, four years, 8st 2lbs. At York, August, 8st 5lbs, ran fifth and last in a sweep of 25 gs. each, won by br. h. Haphazard, aged, 8st 10lbs, Marcia, aged, 8st 10lbs, second, Lennox, six years, 8st 10lbs, third. At Doncaster, 8st 5lbs, won a sweep of 50 gs. each, beating Pipylin, five years, 7st 9lbs, second, and br. h. Doncaster, by Sir Peter, 7st 11lbs, last. S. mg., 8st 7lbs each, match for 200 gs., beat Colonel Mellish's br. h. Stockton, by Gabriel, both five years, four miles. At Newmarket (Second October), now the property of the Prince of Wales, ran second in a sweep of 25 gs. each, 8st 5lbs, won by Sir C. Bunbury's b. m. Eleanor, six years, 8st 11lbs, four miles.


At Brighton, 8st 13lbs, four miles, won the Somerset Stakes of 450 gs. Sir H. Williamson's b. h. Walton, by Sir Peter, came in first, Sir J. Shelley's br. f. Houghton Lass, four years, 7st 4lbs, second, Mr. Howorth's br. c. Enterprise, by John Bull, four years, 7st 7lbs, third, and Orville last, to whom the Stakes were awarded, as being the only horse, out of the four, who had run the full course. S. mg., 8st 12lbs, four miles, won the Prince's Gold Cup of 100 gs., with sweep of 200 gs., beating Houghton Lass, 7st 5lbs, second, Colonel Mellish's b. f. Lady Brough, by Stride, four years, 7st 5lbs, third, and b. h. Harefoot, by Beningbrough, six years, 8st 12lbs, last. At Lewes, 12st, heats four miles, won the King's Plate, beating the Duke of Richmond's b. h. Rolla, by Overton, aged, 12st 2lbs, in both heats. S. mg., 8st 12lbs each, four miles, for a sweep of 100 gs., beat Walton, both six years old. Ran once more this year, without success.


At Newmarket (Second Spring), 8st 7lbs, B. C., won a sweep of 150 gs. beating ch. h. Quiz, by Buzzard, eight years old, 8st 13lbs, and two others. At Lewes, 8st 7lbs, match for 300 gs., received 150 gs. forfeit from Houghton Lass, 7st 10lbs. S. mg., w. o. for 90 gs. At Newmarket (First October), 9st, B. C., won 50 gs., beating b. m. Parasol, six years, 8st 11lbs, b. c. Staveley (St. Leger Winner 1805), 7st 4lbs, Houghton Lass, 8st 5lbs, and br. c. Henry, by Overton, 7st 4lbs. At Newmarket (Second October), 7st 7lbs, match for 200 gs., beat Colonel Mellish's b. h. Sancho (St. Leger Winner in 1804), by Don Quixote, five years, 8st (who broke down). Ran once more, without success.


At Newmarket (Second Spring), 9st 3lbs, B. C., won a handicap sweep of 300 gs., beating br. m. Pelisse, by Whiskey, 8st 9lbs, and ch. h. Enchanter, by Pot8o's, 8st. At Brighton, w.o. for 125 gs. At Lewes, match for 200 gs., beat Pelisse. S. mg., won 100 gs., beating ch. h. Cerberus, by Gohanna; also won the Ladies' Plate, beating br. c. Brighton, by Gohanna. At Newmarket (First October), 9st 2lbs, B. C., won 105 gs., beating b. c. Canopus, by Gohanna, four years, 7st 7lbs. At Newmarket (Second October), 9st, B. C., won 350 gs., beating Parasol, aged, 9st. This was Orville's last race. *)

*) “The Druid,” in “Silk and Scarlet,” says – “Orville was the first of Beningbrough's get that ever started; and William Edwards always declared that, while Selim was the speediest, Orville was the best for all lengths that he ever rode. His lungs and courage quite inexhaustible. As a proof of this he ran a four-mile trial with Haphazard at Lewes,† even weights, at four o'clock in the morning; and gave him such a tying-up, at the end of three miles, that Sam Chifney did not persevere with Haphazard, who started no more in public. The King's Plate was run that afternoon, and Will Edwards landed Orville home first, after a punishing race with Walton. Orville was a very difficult horse to ride, and so inanimate and dead-skinned that nothing but a whip that would curl well round him could make any impression. There was a great deal of the coach-horse about him, and he stood very much over with one knee.”

† This was in 1805. The Druid is in error in stating that it was the King's Plate that was run for that afternoon. It was a Subscription Plate of 100 gs., in which Orville and Walton alone contended.

[Taunton, Thomas Henry: “Portraits Of Celebrated Racehorses Of The Past And Present Centuries”, 1887]