Frederick Ambrose Clark

Frederick Ambrose Clark

Birth
Cooperstown, Otsego County, New York, USA
Death 26 Feb 1964 (aged 83)
Westbury, Nassau County, New York, USA
Burial Cooperstown, Otsego County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 186886374 · View Source
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Philanthropist, Horse Breeder, called Brose by his friends, was born at Cooperstown, N. Y., the son of Alfred Corning Clark, whose father had been lawyer for the Singer Manufacturing Company. Since money was tight in the sewing machine business at first, the company paid its lawyer in stock. The re­sult was that Ambrose Clark, three brothers and their mother shared a $30‐million trust fund. Young Clark never went to college and he had no taste for business. “I’m not a money maker,” he once remarked. “All I know is horses. Why should I go putter­ing down to an office to meddle in something another man can do 100 times better?” His own executive ability was devoted to managing the stable and run­ning the Westbury home, as well as a 5,000‐acre farm at Cooperstown. In his younger days, Mr. Clark was an enthusiastic “gen­tleman jockey” who attracted wide interest by the number and variety of his falls. He was recognized as an inspired rider with technical faults.
It was said at one time that Mr. Clark had broken every bone in his body. This was doubtless an exaggeration. Nonetheless, he certainly fractured some bones several times over. A newspaper clipping of 1910 re­cords an accident with the com­ment that “he is a skilled rider, the trouble has always come from the horse.” Mr. Clark married Florence L. Stokes, an equally fervent rac­ing enthusiast, in 1902. The peak achievement he attained at the track was, officially, hers. It happened in 1933 when Kellsboro Jack won the Grand National steeplechase at Aintree in England. Before the race Mr. Clark, who felt his horses were jinxed that year, “sold” Kellsboro Jack to his wife for a one‐pound note (then about $5). The British were delighted, and so was Mr. Clark, when she asked him to lead in the winner. From 1923 on, Mr. Clark went to England annually for many years and hunted with packs there. In this period, both here and abroad, he rode with the Prince of Wales, now the Duke of Windsor, who was often his house guest. As an owner and breeder over the years, Mr. Clark favored horses that were vivid and speedy, but seldom great. This never bothered him, for he was in the sport for the pure exhilaration. At Coopers­town, Mr. Clark entered upon a gentleman farmer's life with comparable zest. There, too, he drove a coach‐and‐four. Mr. Clark was so devoted to his horses that he had a rock­ing chair put aboard a box car so he could ride with a favorite mount to Bryn Mawr, Pa. But he was also capable of irrita­tion, and he once put a hot potato under the tail of a balky horse to speed him along. Among the horses that car­ried Mr. Clark's colors were Killy Moon, Birmingham, Tea­Maker, London Town, Amber Diver and Irish Town. Tea­Maker, which he bought from his first wife's estate, earned a total of $211,530. Thirty years ago it was writ­ten of him: “Life is inevitably swift for a man like that, but the pattern of it remains serene. Each day is a tribute, honest and unaffected, to an earlier day that, as long as Brose Clark drives along the sunny lanes, is not, perhaps, quite gone.” Mr. Clark was a former pres­ident of the United Hunts Racing Association and a mem­ber of the Turf and Field, Piping Rock, Meadowbrook, and Racquet and Tennis Clubs.

(Via New York Times)


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  • Created by: Bobby Kelley
  • Added: 26 Jan 2018
  • Find A Grave Memorial 186886374
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Frederick Ambrose Clark (1 Aug 1880–26 Feb 1964), Find A Grave Memorial no. 186886374, citing Iroquois Farm Cemetery, Cooperstown, Otsego County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Bobby Kelley (contributor 46959922) .