Back in the 1920s, John R Braden was the king of paces in Aroostook County. A community club from Presque Isle purchased the horse. Little did they know that the horse had talent. Braden's success brought out the competitive spirit of two other communities. Investment groups were formed in Caribou and in Houlton. The purpose of each group was to buy a horse that would beat John R. Braden.
The Nelson Bloodline Living History Project intends to follow the community club model from back in the day. The concept is to purchase horses that are descendants of Nelson, the Northern King. Today only the maternal line exists. To set this project in motion, "The Sunnyside Historic Stable" will be registered with the USTA and in Maine. This proposal asks for 50 to 100 individuals who have an interest in Maine's agricultural heritage and the Standardbred to contribute up to $500to bring a horse in to Maine The current intention is to negotiate with the owners of a colt whose dam is Gravel Gertie. The long term plan would be to breed this colt in the Nelson bloodline to Maine brood mares so that the horses could become part of the Maine Sire Stakes. The horses would be trained and hopefully would become excellent performers.
Another aspect of this project is to promote high-wheel sulky match races that would become demonstrations at racetracks throughout the Northeast. Two high-wheel sulkies would be built using materials that are used to build today's bicycle wheel sulkies.
The goal of this project is to return Maine people to their agricultural roots and to encourage this with interest to raise standardbreds for the support and perhaps enter the harness racing industry. Maine's standardbred traditions go back to the 1800s. It is time for contemporary Mainers to get involved and participate in activities that were once the talk of Maine and the nation -- the age of "When the Horse was King." The contributions would be made to a Maine-based nonprofit.
Step up and take the challenge -- if interested call Stephen Thompson at 207-242-7774 or e-mail Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your comments are welcomed!