Turf was owned by Frederick St. John, second Viscount Bolingbroke, the dissipated racing enthusiast who also owned the racehorse Lustre, seen in another painting by George Stubbs (shown nearby). Turf is represented with his jockey at Newmarket, headquarters of British racing, in front of a brick rubbing house where stablehands would wipe down sweating horses after an exercise or race. A small and fastidious study of the rubbing house is also shown nearby. Acquired by Bolingbroke in 1764, Turf proved himself by beating King Herod at Newmarket in a 1,000-guinea race in April 1766. This painting was probably commissioned to commemorate the victory, though Turf was retired lame only a year later.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2022


  • Title: Turf, with Jockey up, at Newmarket
  • Creator: George Stubbs, 1724–1806, British
  • Date Created: ca. 1766
  • Physical Dimensions: Frame: 46 1/2 × 56 1/2 × 2 7/8 inches (118.1 × 143.5 × 7.3 cm) 38 x 49 inches (96.5 x 124.5 cm)
  • Subject Keywords: sky, animal art, horse (animal), sporting art, landscape, hat, breeches, riding boots, jockey, brown, equestrian, pasture, post, horse racetracks, building, clouds
  • External Link: See this work of art on the Yale Center for British Art website
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Repository Name: Yale Center for British Art
  • Credit Line: Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection

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