Hambletonian’s life was centered in Chester

Sugar Loaf. The Chronicle got it wrong.

| 19 Aug 2020 | 01:18

Editor’s note. Hamiltonian 10, an American trotter and a founding sire of the Standardbred horse breed, was born in Sugar Loaf on May 5, 1849. A story in last week’s Chronicle, “The Painted Trotters of Goshen return,” incorrectly identified Hamiltonian’s birthplace.

We regret the error and the inconvenience it caused.

What follows is Chester Town Historian Clifton Patrick gracious note correcting the newspaper for its mistake:

Rysdyk’s Hambletonian was foaled on May 5, 1849, in a swampy field on the Jonas Seely farm just outside the Hamlet of Sugar Loaf, which is in the Town of Chester.

A monument on the spot was dedicated on Aug. 13, 1935. This monument was moved across Hambletonian Road, and placed next to Banker’s barn in 1995 when a developer built houses on the site.

When Hambletonian died in 1876, he was buried in a coffin in the yard of William Rysdyk’s residence on what is now known as Hambletonian Avenue in the Village of Chester.

Some years later, an obelisk of Missouri granite was erected through the efforts of the National Association of Trotting Horse Breeders. An ornate wrought-iron fence was placed around it, and a formal dedication took place in 1893.

Hambletonian’s life was centered in Chester, but the race honoring Hambletonian, “The Great Progenitor of Modern Trotters,” was fittingly held in the county seat, Goshen, from 1930 to 1956, except the 1943 race which was held at Yonkers due to wartime rationing.