prize whip, petrus rienstra

In 1823 King William 1 published the following decree:

Every year, in the first week of August a harness race shall be held with a Gold Whip as first prize, to be handed over to the winner by the Governor of the Province of Friesland.

Prijszweep, Petrus Rienstra, 1811

Prize whip, Petrus Rienstra, 1811. Click on the picture to see a larger version.

Harness racing was a very popular sport among the Frisians, even more so than football! First prize was a gold or silver whip – a valuable showpiece which was not intended for actual use, like the fine specimen on display here.