William Rysdyks Hambletonian 1865, Father of the Trotting Horse. His employer, Seeley
William Rysdyk's Hambletonian 1865, Father of the Trotting Horse. His employer, Seeley, acquired a Charles Kent Mare, which had been permanently injured and was used only for breeding. Sired by Bellfounder, she was of Norfolk Trotter ancestry, a breed noted for its smooth gait. Seeley bred his mare to Abdullah, who was a grandson of Messenger, but a mean and ugly horse. The offspring of the Charles Kent Mare and Abdullah was a bay colt who was to be a keystone in the future of harness racing.
Rysdyk persuaded his employer to sell him the colt and named him Hambletonian. In all, Hambletonian was bred to some 1, 900 mares resulting in 1, 331 foals. Forty of these foals trotted the mile in less than 2 minutes 30 seconds. Among Hambletonian's many distinguished heirs were Dexter, Happy Medium, George Wilkes, Dictator, and Electioneer. The blood of Hambletonian is in most of today's distinguished trotters and pacers. The History of Horse Racing by Roger Longrigg, page 236
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