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california hare.audubonCalifornia hare by John J. Audubon

The early part of the last century saw the people of Riverside, California looking towards Great Britain for inspiration for their leisure activities.

This was chiefly because of the many British immigrants who had begun arriving here about 1889, primarily to invest in, among other things, the fast-growing orange industry. English customs were held in the highest esteem, especially among socially ambitious Americans, Tom Patterson wrote in his book, A Colony for California.

Riversiders engaged in such British activities as polo, high tea, and foxhunting. The latter did not usually include a fox, because foxes were not common in the area. Instead they substituted a more common animal, the jackrabbit. These hunts were conducted wherever a large area of open land could accommodate horses, hunters, hounds, and the prey.

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