The Lost Trotting Parks Storyboard Archives

The Lost Trotting Parks Storyboard Archives

Sunday, December 15, 2013

2009 -- Nelson -- World Trotting Stallion Died 100 Years Ago on December 3

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Waterville Sentinel -- Saturday, December 4, 1909
Excerpts –
“The report on the streets Friday evening that the old horse Nelson had been killed by his owner, although Mr. Nelson would not affirm it at the time, was confirmed Saturday by Mr. Nelson, who said that he had killed the famous old animal that afternoon, and Saturday the body was buried beneath a pine tree on the Nelson farm on the Oakland Road where a grave had been prepared so as to be ready to receive the remains.

Saturday, the body was buried under the pine tree on the farm and sometime later, Mr. Nelson will have a big boulder rolled over the spot and on it will be suitable inscribed the record of the life of the horse Nelson.

Beside the remains of the dead stallion is room for another horse, for Mr. Nelson does not expect that the life of his other well known stallion, Wilkes, to extend over many years more. The two kings of the track will lie side by side with their graves properly marked. Wilkes, who is commonly called Nelson’s Wiles, is nearly 27 years of age and was the stable mate of Nelson.

Nelson, considered the greatest stallion of his time, registered No. 4209. He was sired by young Rolfe, 2.32 1/2 , he by Tom Rolfe, 2.33 ½ . The dam of nelson was Gretchen, by Gideon. He was bred by C. Horace Nelson, who has kept the old horse through 28 years of his life and has trained and driven him in all his races. He was a great colt and attracted attention as a two year old when he won a two year old stake races for Maine colts at the state fair in Lewiston. As a three year old he won the state fair cup for the fastest three year old, also the cup for the fastest stallion of any age, taking a record of 2.26 ¼, the fastest half mile track record up to 1884 and for several years after.

As a five year old he won the new England stake for that age and when seven years old he lowered his record to 2.14 ½

1907 – Mr. Nelson and his old horse have been seen occasionally on tracks at Maine fairs in recent years, and the old fellow did good work as a driving horse. His last appearance in public was at the Central Maine Fair in 1907 when he was the chief attraction of “Nelson Day” and received the cheers of thousands as he went around the track with his old time style, and was visited by thousands in his stall.

Of his stallion, Nelson stated, “I could see all those races over and over again, and I could not get the old horse out of my mind. He would have been 28 years old the first of next year. He was foaled in Winslow. He was a clever old fellow and was kind to everybody. In all his life he has only bitten at two or three persons and would not have done this had they let him along or had they not been intoxicated. He could tell when a man had been drinking and seemed to take a dislike to them on that account. I owned his dam and sire.”

“They say I have refused $103,000 for Nelson, but I can tell you that I was offered $125,000 for him when we were on the circuit and he was eight years old. But I wouldn't take it. He was a consistent performer and won about all the races he went into. Out in Buffalo he was one of a field of 17 horses and won the race in straight heats in .15, .16, and.15. In a high wheel sulky and that was a record in those days. There were 40,000 people present that day.”

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