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Letter - Tom Woodcock to Miss Helen Fussee, 18 Mar 1932 Document Reg. No: HT 1108

This letter was sent by Phar Lap's strapper Tommy Woodcock to the donor's aunt on 18th March 1932, just two days before the running of the Agua Caliente Handicap. It was in response to a fan letter she had recently sent to the horse. The letter was sent with three photographs, one of which survived and was donated with the letter.
A rectangular piece of white paper, folded in half vertically to form four pages. The front and back pages contain extensive text handwritten in black ink, with the back text written the reverse direction to the front text. The letter has also been folded once horizontally for posting.
Statement Of Significance:
These objects are an important addition to the Phar Lap Collection. Phar Lap's life worked toward a climax, winning the Agua Caliente Handicap and dying 17 days later, and these objects are from that crucial period. The letter is dated 18th March, 1932, two days before Phar Lap won the Agua Caliente. The letter and photo are also interesting for what they say about the development of fame and celebrity in that era. Both are standard responses to a fan letter. The photograph is one of a multiple of prints that were (presumably) run off by a local photographer at the expense of the Phar Lap camp. Note that the negative has been inscribed for multiple production with the names of the three figures that appear in it. Woodcock's letter is perhaps more literate than one might expect. The composition, grammar and spelling belie the fact that he was poorly educated and that in many subsequent stories that detailed the life of Phar Lap he was presented as a bit of a hayseed.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Ms Dorothy Hunt, 2003
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 177 mm (Width), 309 mm (Length)
Dimension Comment: of letter open

More information

Tagged with: correspondence, horse racing, horses, sport, racing industry, making history - phar lap
Themes this item is part of: Tommy Woodcock, Race Horse Strapper & Trainer (1905-1985), Leisure Collection, Phar Lap in America, 1932, Phar Lap Collection
Primary Classification: SPORT
Secondary Classification: Horse Racing
Tertiary Classification: correspondence
Inscriptions: Handwritten on front page: Dear Miss Fussee/ Your welcome letter/ received a few days ago concerning/ our horse 'Phar Lap;./ I am enclosing you/ two photographs of the horse taken/ at this race track, the other being/ the two jockeys and Dr. Nielsen./ I was away when the/photographs were taken so am not /in the picture./ We think we will/ win the race, so the photographs/ will be a prize for you, as you/ will look upon them in years

Handwritten on back page: to come./ I again thank you for/ your kind words about the/ horse./ Yours truly/ Tom Woodcock
Author: Mr Tommy Woodcock, Agua Caliente, Tijuana, Mexico, 1932

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