Horse Trotting

Horse Trotting

One of the family stories is that the family was involved in horse trotting or horse racing. I came across an article today which confirms they were involved with horse trotting. We imagine Fanny Driscoll went to the horse races with her sister, Daisy and that is where she met Henry Ten Eyck White, horse trotting reporter for a Chicago paper. (more on Fanny and Henry)

Little Wonder
The Celebrated Trotting Horse Died from a Rupture

“Little Wonder,” the famous fast trotter, owned by Messrs. William Sanderson and John E. Pierce, of this city, died yesterday afternoon at the stables of the Cold Spring Race Course, as is currently reported, from the effects of an operation performed some days ago. Little Wonder was a chestnut stallion, 7 years old, and made-seeral years ago, his first surprise trotting record of 2:24 at Quincy, Ill. He was bought by his last owners, who could not be seen last night, for $5000, and put in the hands of a careful trainer. It is understood that quite a large amount of money, as high as $20,000, was offered last year for Little Wonder, but refused by his owners. The horse had, on account of a rupture which necessitated the fatal operation, not been entered for any races in this year’s circuit. Of late the horse was under the care and training of Mr. Thomas Dunbar of this city, who anticipated wonderful results from Little Wonder’s trotting capacity. the horse was counted one of the handsomest ever exhibited in the Northwest. [1]

From the American Trotting Register 1879:

Little Wonder, ch. h. foaled 1872; got by Wilson’s Blue Bull; dam said to be by a horse called Sovereign, Jr.; g.d. by Cadmus. Bred by Eugene Ramsay, Milroy; owned by James L. Caldwell, Lewisville, Ind. Record 2:30.[2]

Cold Spring Race Course

Cold Spring Park has been around since the 1840s. It was named for a natural spring that was then bounded by 27th street, 35th street, West Juneau Avenue and Vliet Street.

October 6-8, 1852 Wisconsin State fair was held at the park. They did not hold any horse races that day, but they did hold a plowing match. Other activities held there throughout the years, besides horse trotting, are pigeon shoots, shooting tournaments, ploughing matches, dragging matches. It sounds like early on it was kind of like a modern day tractor pull course.

Source:
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[1] Milwaukee Daily Sentinel, (Milwaukee, WI) Monday, July 11, 1881; pg. 4; Issue 160; col D
[2] Wallace’s American trotting register, Volume 3
By National Association of Trotting Horse Breeders, American Trotting Register Association, 1879.

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