The Lost Trotting Parks Storyboard Archives

The Lost Trotting Parks Storyboard Archives

Monday, October 31, 2011

Vote Yes on 2

If you have ever jogged a horse or stood in a pasture surrounded by mares and their foals, you would vote yes on 2.

Vote Yes on 2

For the last three years I have researched the history of harness racing in the State of Maine. Back in the day when the horse was king, more than 100 Maine communities supported harness racing events. From Bethel to Calais, Kennebunk to Van Buren, Kingfield to Camden, Mainers attended harness racing events. The horse was king! Mainers loved their horses. Maine’s newspapers followed their horses and with expectation readers awaited the latest news related to horse breeding and harness racing. In the early 1890s, Mainers followed the reports on the champion trotting stallion Nelson as he competed in faraway trotting parks in Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan. Nelson 4209 was owned by Palermo born, Charles Horace Nelson, who operated the Sunnyside Stock Farm in Waterville, Maine.

Most of this history has been forgotten. News related to horse breeding and harness racing is no longer the news of the day. However, today, Maine’s horse industry is endangered by the advent of other forms of gambling – the slots, table games, and the lottery have taken money away from the harness racing industry. Between 1950 and 1973 harness racing purses were supporting the industry. Then with the introduction of the Maine State Lottery, the expendable income of many Mainers moved from betting on harness racing to betting on the lottery. With racinos and casinos more expendable income may go to the slots or to the table games. By the nature of their business and state legislation racinos support harness racing. Casinos do not. I believe few or no funds from the Maine State Lottery support harness racing.

Mainers need to realize that by Voting Yes on 2, Mainers will be supporting the entire horse industry in the State of Maine. Owners, breeders, trainers, horse supply stores, veterinarians, stable owners, farmers who supply hay, farriers, and many others will be remain in business with a Yes Vote on 2.

Maine’s long history in the horse industry needs to be preserved. Voting Yes on 2 will contribute greatly to keeping Maine’s horse industry alive. Let’s bring new life and permanence to this industry so that future generations of Mainers can enjoy this sport and perhaps participate in the industry.

Voting Yes on 2 will also bring construction jobs to Biddeford and to Calais. When the construction is completed many full-time and part-time jobs will be created that will help Maine’s working families in need of income.

Funds from Maine’s lottery, racinos and casinos must support worthy causes throughout Maine. One of those causes that needs to be supported by these funds is Maine’s harness racing industry. Vote Yes on 2!
By Voting Yes on 2 you support the livelihoods of your fellow Mainers who work in Maine’s harness racing and horse related industries. 

Selected Definitions from Handbook of the Turf 1910

The Handbook of the Turf originally published in 1894 by Samuel L. Boardman provides definitions of terms related to horsemen and harness racing. I have selected definitions that I believe would be of interest to those following the Lost Trotting Parks Blog. In addition to the story of Messenger, Boardman also highlighted the Northern King, a name given to the champion trotting stallion Nelson. This version of the Handbook was published in 1910.

Click here to view the entire Google Digital version of Handbook of the Turf!

Selected Definitions from Handbook of the Turf 1910

Selected Definitions from Handbook of the Turf 1910

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Washington County's Lost Trotting Parks

Alexander's Horseman raced on the roads
with a church corner the starting point.

Name the Washington County Horseman
whose horse raced in the Hambletonian.

Washington County's Rich Yet Forgotten Harness Racing History

Images saved from Google Earth.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The American Sportsman -- October 2, 1890

This post presents the October 2, 1890 issue of The American Sportsman. This post presents the latest 2.30 list of horses and a brief description of the life and times of Charles Horace Nelson and his champion trotting stallion Nelson 4209. In September of 1890, Nelson trotted his record times at tracks in Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa. Prior to his record setting performances, Nelson was caught in the fix at the Balch National Stallion Races at Beacon Park in Boston, MA. This post highlights items that were of great interest to horsemen and other sports enthusiasts.

To view and enlarge individual storyboards, it is recommended that you open each storyboard in either a new tab or new window. To do this, place your cursor on the storyboards, click the right button of your mouse. This will give you the option to select open in new tab or new window. Make your choice. This will allow you to use Ctl ++ to enlarge the image. To decease the image, use Ctl - -.

Monday, October 10, 2011

An Invitation to Maine's Harness Horsemen!

Record your time as a Maine Harness Horseman.
As each day passes you record your moment of
harness racing history. Make the time investment
to ensure that your time in this sport is preserved.
Send four photos attached to an e-mail with your
text as the body of the e-mail to Stephen D. Thompson.

A donation to the Lost Trotting Parks Heritage Center
would be greatly appreciated. Send your checks
payable to the LTP Heritage Center to
Lost Trotting Park, P.O. Box 263, Hallowell, Maine 04347.

Saturday Morning at the Fryeburg Fair

Saturday at the Fryeburg Fair -- The Parade

The Fryeburg Farm Musuem

Sunday, October 9, 2011

In the Paddocks at the Fryeburg Fair I

In the Paddocks at the Fryeburg Fair II

Top View of the Turn from the Judge's Stand

The Start of the Third Race from Fryeburg Fair

The Third Race at the Fryeburg Fair -- from the Infield Judges' Stand

Antique Carriages at the Fryeburg Fair

This slideshow provides you with views of where Bridgton, Maine's lost trotting park once stood. When I return to Bridgton I will walk a bit further into the trees and take a photo of the back stretch which in the Google Earth aerial photo appears still to be open. The open field is actually the trotting park's infield. The track runs through the back end of the Ambulance Service Garage.