Walter Gilbey | Inducted 1915
Successful English businessman who devoted his wealth and energy to the promotion of horses.
1831-1914 | Artist: Robert Wadsworth Grafton (1876-1936); original portrait by Arvid Nyholm
Impact & Accomplishments
This likeness of Walter Gilbey, painted by Arvid Nyholm in 1915 and recreated by Robert Grafton after the 1934 fire, was based on a portrait presented to the Royal Agricultural Hall in London in 1891. Queen Victoria made him a baronet in recognition of his achievements in horse breeding and livestock publishing.
Born in Hertfordshire, England, Sir Walter Gilbey made his fortune as a wholesale merchant for wine and spirits (including gin), promoting local labels when taxes on imports rose. Sir Walter invested his wealth and his energy to promote the English Cart Horse, Hackney, and Hunter breeds. He was president of the Shire Horse Society, the Hackney Horse Society, the Hunter Improvement Society, the Essex Agricultural Club, and many others. He also helped establish the Royal Commission on Horse Breeding and the London Cart Horse Parade.
Did You Know?
In 1875, the Gilbeys purchased a large claret-producing estate in Medoc, on the banks of the Gironde, and became also the proprietors of two large whisky-distilleries in Scotland.