J. Howard Lewis

John Howard Lewis was an outstanding amateur steeplechase rider in the 1880s before transitioning to a career training jumpers.  

J. Howard Lewis (Keeneland Library Cook Collection/Museum Collection)
Inducted

1969

Born

1862, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Died

1947, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania

Career

1901-1937

Biography

John Howard Lewis was an outstanding amateur steeplechase rider in the 1880s before transitioning to a career training jumpers.  

Lewis, who also raced and trained horses on the flat he bred at his Highwood Farm near Philadelphia, was a classmate of Sam Riddle at Swarthmore College. Lewis bred a horse named Swarthmore, winner of the 1887 Kenner Stakes at Saratoga, for Riddle and artist Henry Stull.

When Joseph Widener entered steeplechasing in 1901, he engaged Lewis as trainer. During the next four decades, Lewis developed such champions as Hall of Fame members Bushranger and Fairmount, as well as El Cuchillo, Coligny, Relluf, John M. P., Compliment, Expectation, Stonewood, Mac Carthy More, Houdini, Duettiste, Arc Light, and Neap-Tide, all recognized as champions before it was customary to vote on such things. Fourteen horses trained by Lewis were retrospectively recognized as champions. 

Lewis saddled winners of the Manly Memorial eight times, the Temple Gwathmey six times, and the Charles L. Appleton and American Grand National five times each. He trained the winners of more than 150 stakes for Widener.

Achievements

Won the Temple Gwathmey — 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930
Won the American Grand National — 1914, 1917, 1919, 1929, 1936

Media

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