The Hermits of Salisbury Plain


The Hermits of Salisbury Plain was given to a group of people in the early 1900s. This name was given to people who worked for them. The people given this title were Percy Cunliffe, Wilfred Bagwell, Captain Frank Forester, Holmer Peard and Edward Wigan. These five gentlemen made up the group that would famously come to be known as the Hermits of Salisbury Plain together with all of their employees and had one of the most feared reputations in the entire nation.


These five men together with everyone else who worked for them made sure that any horse that had a reputation as a winner ended up with them. One of the best horses at that time was the Ypsilanti which they bought from its owner, Richard Croker. They first obtained the former before going on to acquire the latter horse later on. The Hermits of Salisbury Plain posted huge winnings from this horse which had entered the race, 03 Kempton Park Great Jubilee Handicap, at 25/1 but ended up winning at 7/1.


Later on, they would proceed to enter the same horse in other races, that is, and Cambridge shire Handicap and come up with great wins. Until to date, it is claimed that there has been a more daring gamble carried out by any other professional gambler in horse racing with the same level of audacity and grit as this group of people had. Before these latest horse races, they had run this horse to the ground thus ensuring that the horse went into either race on the back of abysmal performances.


It is said that at one point, Ypsilanti had entered the race with the odds at 25/1. However, by the time the race was underway, the horse had emerged as the favorite due to the favorable conditions the racecourse presented to it. It galloped to the front from the word go and never looked like losing the race at any point. It comfortably won the race by three lengths which some people likened to almost thirty three lengths. The amounts of money this group of people reaped in today’s rates would be £20 million.


The Hermits of Salisbury Plain ran their business so strictly that it has been rumored every single mail was opened to review what kind of information was being sent to members of the public. Everyone who worked for them had to adhere to these very strict regulations and in some cases mails sent to their stables were opened. Employees working for this group of people were supposed to observe all the regulations which their employers had put in place to ensure high levels of secrecy and privacy.


One of the most famous races that Hackler’s Pride won netted this group of individuals close to 4 million Sterling pounds in today’s rates. As at today, there has never been another group more successful as professional gamblers in horse racing better in their trade as this group proved at the turn of the twentieth century.

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