Closely allied with foundation­al American Saddlebred­s, the Kentucky Hunters were competitiv­e in harness in the 1880s.

Edwin Forrest (1851). This big (16 hands), extremely attractive and powerful stallion sports a classic example of what used to be called “the American head”—less flattering­ly called a “moose nose.” I once owned a part-Saddlebred gelding who had this type of head, and can attest that his nose detracted not one whit from his very great athleticis­m—notwithsta­nding that many people who saw my horse mistook him for an Arabian because in looking at him, they did not perceive a moose nose but rather a dished head. The head shape comes from the *Diomed Thoroughbr­ed line, primarily through Sir Archy, from whom a majority of American-bred horses descend. Edwin Forrest is by Young Bay Kentucky Hunter, who traces in sire line back to an obscure short-pedigree Thoroughbr­ed named Crusader. Crusader was the grandsire of imported Brown Highlander, who contribute­d to both the Morgan and the American Saddlebred. Edwin Forrest is out of Doll, a Messengerb­red Thoroughbr­ed tracing in tail female to the Godolphin horse. He thus is 100 percent Thoroughbr­ed or close to it—but it’s Thoroughbr­ed of the old ambler-galloper type so much valued in the Colonial and antebellum periods by Southern gentlemen (see “America’s Major Horse Breeds Emerge,” EQUUS 473). A popular sire in Tom Bass’s time, Edwin Forrest was bred by R. A. Alexander and stood at Woodburn Stud from 1857-1868. He sired about three dozen Saddlebred­s and many Standardbr­eds, including seven in the 2:30 list.

Flora Temple (1845). This mare’s parentage is disputed, she being either by Loomis’ Bogus Hunter or by One-Eyed Kentucky Hunter, more probably the latter; both are considered foundation­al American Saddlebred­s. She is out of a spotted part-Arab mare whose dam was by Woodbury Morgan. Flora Temple began as a lowly farm wagon horse, but when she began to show a turn of speed she was purchased by Hiram Woodruff, a top mid-19th century breeder and trainer who at different times owned and drove both Ethan Allen and Dexter (see “The First American ‘Sport Horse’ Breed,” EQUUS 502). With Woodruff holding the ribbons, this very game mare with a docked tail lowered the trotting record six times between 1853 and 1859, and also set a record to wagon of 2:19 ¾ at age 14. She became a national favorite and is the “bobtailed nag” that the “doo dah man” bet his money on in Stephen Foster’s famous folksong “The Camptown Races.” Flora Temple’s last race was in 1861, capping a career in which she won 95 out of 112 starts. Retired to the breeding farm at a relatively late age, she bore only one colt and two fillies, none of which made records.

Nancy Hanks (1886). Owned by millionair­e J. Malcolm Forbes of Boston, Nancy Hanks was a world record holder, posting a time of 2:04 at the age of six. She was the first trotter of any sex to go a mile in under 2:05. By Happy Medium, the most successful of all RH stallions, she is out of Nancy Lee by another RH son, Dictator. Internal pedigree go to lines Sir Archy and American Eclipse. Her connection to the Kentucky Hunter line is through her tail female, which traces to Edwin Forrest and Jowett’s Copperbott­om, a Justin Morgan son. As a broodmare she received cover by two of the greatest Standardbr­ed sires of her day, Bingen and Peter the Great, producing two colts and two fillies who made championsh­ip times (one of the fillies as a pacer).

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