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Foxhall P. Keene

Medal record
Foxhall Parker Keene
Foxhall Parker Keene
Men's polo
Competitor for a 22px Mixed team
Olympic Games
Gold 1900 Paris Team competition

Foxhall Parker Keene (December 18, 1867 - September 25, 1941) was an American Thoroughbred race horse owner and breeder, a World and Olympic Gold Medallist in polo who was rated the best all-around polo player in the United States for eight consecutive years, a golfer who competed in the U.S. Open, and a pioneer racecar driver who vied for the Gordon Bennett Cup.

Born in San Francisco, California, Keene was the son of Sarah Jay Daingerfield and James Robert Keene. At the time of his birth, his father was president of the San Francisco Stock Exchange who went on to become an even wealthier Wall Street stock broker. James R. Keene was also a major owner/breeder of thoroughbred racehorses and a founder of The Jockey Club from whom Foxhall Keene inherited Castleton Farm, an important breeding operation near Lexington, Kentucky. In addition to his substantial involvement in flat racing, he was also a founding member of the National Steeplechase Association.

Keene was an avid golfer who competed in the 1897 U.S. Open and who made it to the quarterfinals in the 1898 United States Men's Amateur Golf Championship. Although he played at a high level in a number of sports, he excelled at the game of polo. A 10-goal player, he was a member of the Rockaway Hunting Club in Lawrence, Nassau County, New York, today the oldest country club in the United States. With team captain Tommy Hitchcock, in 1886 he was part of the first U.S. international polo team that competed in the inaugural Westchester Cup matches against England. He was rated the best all-around polo player in the United States for eight consecutive years and won the Gold Medal in Polo at the 1900 Summer Olympics. Following its formation, he was inducted posthumously into the Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame in 1992.

With the advent of automobile racing, Keene competed in the 1903 Gordon Bennett Cup at Athy, County Kildare, Ireland driving a Mercedes. In a race won by Camille Jenatzy, he did not finish after his car experienced axle problems.

Several publications, including The American Heritage Cookbook and Illustrated History of American Eating and Drinking and the Encyclopedia of North American Eating and Drinking Traditions, Customs and Rituals claim that Chicken à la King was prepared at Keene's suggestion.

Keene maintained a country home at Monkton, Maryland and a home in England with a stable at Melton Mowbray where he kept up to ten field hunters for fox hunting. In addition, he had a seasonal residence at Ayer's Cliff, Quebec on Lake Massawippi where he died in 1941.

His father named one of his horses Foxhall who won the 1882 Ascot Gold Cup in England. Recently, two Thoroughbred racehorses, one born in 1983 and another in 2002, were named after Foxhall Keene.

References

  • Hatch, Alden and Foxhall Keene. Full Tilt. The Sporting Memoirs of Foxhall Keene. (1938) The Derrydale Press ISBN 1-199-23975-5



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