Hagley Digital Archives
Hagley Digital Archive

Thoroughbred Horses

His love for hunting led William du Pont, Jr. to become an enthusiastic horse rider and owner of thoroughbred horses. His horses stabled at Bellevue Hall, Delaware, and Walnut Hall Farm, Virginia, were trained by well-known trainers Preston E. Burch and Richard E. Handlen. Together with his sister Marion du Pont Somerville Scott, he operated the annual Montpelier Horse Show and Montpelier Hunt Race Meeting which included flat and steeplechase races.

One of William du Pont, Jr.'s best horses was a thoroughbred named Rosemont. In 1937, Rosemont beat the beloved Seabiscuit and his jockey Red Pollard in the Santa Anita Handicap in a photo finish. William du Pont, Jr. reportedly bought the famed thoroughbred stallion The Satrap in England for a then enormous sum of $100,000 and sold the stallion in 1932 for $4,600.

Image: William du Pont, Jr.'s champion racehorse Rosemont winning the 1937 Santa Anita Derby. Seabiscuit, ridden by Red Pollard, is pictured finishing second.


Foxcatcher hounds emblem
Hagley Digital Archives

Hunting Hounds

The childhood days William du Pont, Jr. spent at his father's estates provided him with plenty of opportunities to learn about, and love, not only horses but also hunting dogs. He established his first foxhound pack in 1912 at Montpelier, and in 1926 he moved it to the farm in Cecil County, Maryland, later known as Fair Hill estate.

The Foxcatcher Hounds pack, named after his farm near Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, was well recognized among foxhunting clubs of America. du Pont organized the Foxcatcher Hounds Hunting Club at his premises in Fair Hill, Maryland as a seasonal hunt for his family and friends.

William du Pont, Jr. was an active member of the American Foxhound Club, Masters of Foxhound Associations of America, and a number of local foxhunting clubs in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware.

Image: Foxcatcher Hounds Emblem

Cattle spray brochure
Hagley Digital Archive

Cattle Farming

Following in the tradition of his father, William du Pont, Jr. maintained fine dairy and beef cattle herds on his estates. William du Pont, Jr. was the owner of one of the premier herds of the American beef cattle breed, Santa Gertrudis.

The breed was originally developed in the 1920s. Du Pont, Jr. worked with American cattle breeder Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. of Kings Ranch in Kingsville, Texas, to bring specimens of the new breed to his estate. After William du Pont, Jr. died in 1965, Kings Ranch purchased the entire purebred herd.