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The Standardbred

On the track or off, the Standardbred is an all-American favorite.

One day in 1849, in the tiny hamlet of Sugar Loaf, N.Y., a very special colt was born. The great-grandson of an imported Thoroughbred stallion named Messenger, the colt so impressed William Rysdyk, the farm hand in charge of caring for him, that Ryskdyk used $125 of his meager earnings to buy both the colt and his dam from his boss. The colt’s dam, known as the Charles Kent Mare, had the British breeds of Norfolk Trotter and Hackney in her pedigree.

America had only been a country for 73 years, and was yet to fight the Civil War, but the sport of racing trotting and pacing horses had been a pastime for Easterners since Colonial times. Rsydyk had a sense that the colt would become a speed trotting horse, and showed him off as a sixmonth- old at the Orange County Fair in Goshen, N.Y.

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Horse Illustrated April 2019, Field Guide : For Safer Turnout + Fence Repair Checklist, Horse Adoption Challenge , And More.....