Sporting Spirit


The poem "Under the Lone Star" is located on page 4 at the top left corner of this issue.

Horse racing has been a longtime tradition in Chile, appealing to both the British and the Chilean love of horses. Santiago’s Club Hípico de Chile, founded by native Chilean racing enthusiasts, opened in 1870; the Valparaiso Sporting Club, founded in 1882 by a group of enthusiasts primarily consisted of British colonist families (hence the English name), was the second major racetrack founded in Chile.

The Star of Chile’s issue of May 6, 1905 published a column called “Under the Lone Star," which opens with a short poem describing the passion and thrill of Chilean sports. This section eventually became a signature column in The Star, seeking to inspire colonial readers with a love of horse-racing, even when they were far from the racecourse and far from home:

Our Life is but a moment:  
One sweep of silken wings,  
One thunder on the greensward  
One snatch of bridle rings;  
One struggle for the pride of place,  
One crash of splintered rails—  
And Life is but a moment  
Before the sunlight fails.

In the thrilling sensation of the race, the poem depicts jockeys, owners and onlookers plunged into the moment and united by a shared experience of victory or despair. 

HorseWalkaroundthePaddocks_PublicaatValparaisoSportingClub_Viña del Mar,CHile_c1925Unknown_M.PrainBrice.JPG

A moment when a horse racer rode close to the spectators.


Under the Stars column, Star of Chile, vol. 3, no. 39 (Valparaiso, Chile), May 06, 1905, 4.

Horse Walk Around the Paddocks from Michelle Prain Brice (family photo), 1925. Accessed June 14, 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Horse Racing
Sporting Spirit