“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

Monkey Jockeys at the Canidrome

Posted: August 29th, 2009 | 3 Comments »

Canidrome ad - 1941In 1940-1941 business at the Shanghai Canidrome in Frenchtown was down. Of course it was the war and navigating the streets with unfriendly Japanese around wasn’t much fun while plenty of foreigners and high rolling Chinese had gotten out of town. There were also a rash of new casinos in Frenchtown and the adjacent Badlands in the Western Roads Area to attract gamblers. Simply dogs chasing round a track after a hare wasn’t going to do it.

And so…monkey jockeys. Which genius actually came up with the idea I have no idea but once word got round town that the Canidrome was having  monkey jockeys the crowds flocked back, at least for a while till the novelty wore of. I don’t know where the monkeys came from or whether they were good jockeys but they certainly looked pretty snazzy and wicked little jockey caps. I was so happy to find this old photo of a group of well groomed monkey jockeys on their dogs I had to stick it up here. And so here are the monkey jockeys of 1940 in all their glory…

Monkey jockeys Shanghai Canidrome - circa 1939

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

3 Comments on “Monkey Jockeys at the Canidrome”

  1. 1 Susan Cloos said at 4:42 am on August 31st, 2009:

    How many royals and military commanders longed for their paintings/photographs to have that EXACT expression of serious calmness, competence and leadership as is on the face of the monkey on the far left?

  2. 2 gilligan said at 4:49 am on September 19th, 2009:

    Check-out http://www.bananaderby.com
    “America’s Favorite Monkey Jockeys” are sweeping the Nation, playing Sate and County Fairs

  3. 3 Kat said at 6:12 am on February 27th, 2018:

    The photo is from John Pal’s Shanghai Saga. The author says monkeys were engaged after the 1937/38 business slump.


Leave a Reply