Rysdyk's Hambletonian

Rysdyk's Hambletonian

Description (Brief)
Color print of a bay trotting horse (Hambeltonian) standing in a stable with wood floor. A man with a long white beard (William M. Rysdyk) stands in front of him. "Hambeltonian" is written on a blanket on the floor beside him.
A color print of a bay trotting stallion with powerful chest muscles and a narrow sensitive face standing in his finely built stable. It has a plank floor, plastered walls, and built-in water and hay troughs. His owner is a middle-aged man with a long, white beard, wearing stylish informal dress of a maroon sport jacket and white pants, and he is smoking a cigar.
Hambletonian was bred in Sugar Loaf, NY on May 5, 1849 by Jonas Seely. He was registered as Hambletonian 10 but commonly known as Rysdyk’s Hambletonian, named after the British thoroughbred of the same name. His dam was the Charles Kent Mare, or “Kent Mare”, a descendant of the Norfolk Trotter breed known for its smooth gate; and his sire, Abdullah was known for being both mean and ugly, and had been bought for only $5. Nevertheless, William Rysdyk, one of the farm hands, purchased Hambletonian for $125. Hambletonian’s unusual build allowed for his long hind legs that were the key to his success, providing more length for every push. His first race took place at the Orange County Fair in Goshen, NY and immediately stirred public attention for his appearance and his competition with his half-brother Abdallah Chief. The rivalry was finally settled in 1852 at the Union Course on Long Island when Hambletonian trotted the mile in 2:48 ¼ seconds, a full seven seconds before Abdallah Chief. Rysdyk put Hambletonian to stud for the first time at age two, when he mated with four mares for $25 a mating. During the height of his career, Hambletonian earned $500 per mating, and his Rysdyk’s total stud earnings came to $200,000. Hambletonian fathered 1,331 foals with 1,900 mares by the end of his life on March 27, 1876, and at least 40 of his progeny were able to trot the mile in less than 2:30. Hambletonian’s blood runs through most of today’s Standardbred trotters and several Morgans, earning him the title of “Father of the American Trotter.” He was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame as an “Immortal” in 1953 and the prestigious harness race, the Hambletonian Stakes, is named after him.
Henry C. Eno was a New York City lithographer and publisher, operating under his own name between 1863-1869, and as the firm Thomas and Eno (a partnership with Henry A. Thomas) prior to that from 1862-1864. Eno was born in Connecticut in 1828, and was married to Caroline Eno. He left New York City for Orangetown, Rockland, New York where he died in the early 1900’s.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Object Type
Date made
Eno, Henry C.
original artist
Wright, James H.
Geissler, L.
place made
United States: New York, New York City
image: 19 in x 25 1/8 in; 48.26 cm x 63.8175 cm
ID Number
catalog number
Credit Line
Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection
Chronology: 1860-1869
Architecture, Domestic Buildings
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Domestic Life
Clothing & Accessories
Domestic Furnishings
Peters Prints
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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