'Jump off brick on end, cleared 14 feet without knocking the brick down; off brick over seven chairs, without knocking brick down; off brick over chair, alighting on a second brick, then over a bar 5 feet 6 inches, without knocking brick down; able to clear half-dozen chairs with a jump taken off an ordinary glass tumbler filled with water without spilling a drop; over 10 chairs, placed together, in one jump; over two chairs placed 28 feet apart, standing start; over an ordinary chair placed on top of a table, at third jump with ankles tied together; jump over chair on to a man's face whilst lying on the ground and off again without injury; and jumping over twenty chairs placed 11 feet apart in 20 successive jumps, and in the 21st jump clearing a horse between 15 and 16 hands high.'
He was also adept at trick jumps, and could jump on to the surface of water in a tank and out again, simply wetting the soles of his shoes. That this jump involved a double spring is proved by the fact that he would jump up to the water a distance of 5 feet and then clear the tank, landing six feet beyond it.
'One backward spring jump 12 feet 11 inches, achieved September 14, 1891; one forward spring jump, 14 feet 9 inches, achieved September 19, 1890; one forward spring jump (without weights) twelve feet one and a half inches, achieved May 28, 1890; one stand high jump (with ankles tied) 6 feet, at the Church cricket ground, June 14, 1892; one high jump, after 2 spring jumps, six feet five and a half inches.'
On February 5, 1892, Joe Darby cleared a full size English billiard table length-wise minus the cushions, and, after two jumps, taking off a solid block of wood raised four inches, at Roland's Circus, Wolverhampton. Both these feats were performed for £100 bet, the referee at the event being Mr Edward Pike, the official representative of the "Sporting Life & Sporting Chronicle."
'Two forward spring jumps, 28 feet, September 19, 1890; three forward spring jumps, 41 feet 7 inches at Westminster Aquarium, November 5, 1888; three forward spring jumps (barefoot), 40 feet 11 inches at Bloxwich, July 11, 1891; five forward spring jumps, with weights, 76 feet three inches on Dudley Castle Grounds, May 28, 1890; seven forward spring jumps, with weights, 32 yards 4 inches at Morfield Grounds, Failsworth, Lancashire, July 2, 1887; ten forward spring jumps, 137 feet 7 inches, August 19, 1889; and seventeen forward spring jumps, 81 yards 1 foot and 6 inches on Netherton Cricket Ground, September 18, 1889. The previous record for 20 jumps was 79 yards, 6 inches. This distance was beaten by J. Darby by 7 feet in 17 jumps.'