Black’s Hambletonian

By Baxter Black, DVM.

Did you ever wonder if being horsey is hereditary? 25 years ago a fellow veterinarian invited me into his office and showed me a picture in a livestock book copyrighted in 1882. It was a drawing of a bay stallion. It was labeled “Black’s Hambletonian. One of the finest and best blooded trotting stallions of the day. Property of S. Baxter Black, Compassville, PA. Cost when a weanling colt, $3500. Sired by Rysdyk’s Hambletonian; dam, Kitt, out of Long Island Black Hawk.” I was taken aback! Aunt Effie always told me that my great grandfather, James Black (b. 1833) was Pennsylvania Dutch, from Erie County Pennsylvania. His son, my grandfather, was E. Baxter Black. (b. 1866). According to the U.S. Trotting Registry Black’s Hambletonian was foaled in 1868. It’s beginning to look suspicious.
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