The Waterloo Cup Coursing Meeting
Ansdell's painting represents the meeting held at Altcar, near Liverpool, in March 1840. It was the premier hare coursing event of the season and culminated in the Waterloo Cup. The land was owned by the Earls of Sefton and the 3rd Earl and his Countess are among the local notables portrayed on the right hand side. Altogether seventy-three portraits are included, 'all good likenesses' as a contemporary reviewer noted. In the left foreground, the two greyhounds Earwig and Emperor, who contested the Cup, are held on a leash. Although the work provides Ansdell with little scope for the imagination, it introduced him to many local patrons and was the springboard for his success as an animal painter.