American Horse Breeders — January 25, 1998 Issue

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This issue of the American Horse Breeders features an image of Waterville Maine’s champion trotting stallion, Nelson 4209. Nelson was foaled in 1882 and became a world’s champion trotting stallion in the early 1890. The image was taken from a photo of Nelson at the Readville Trotting Park in Massachusetts.  Nelson had been retired from racing in…

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Nelson, early life

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Known as Hod by his many friends, Nelson grew up in Palermo, a small country town twenty miles from Waterville, Maine. Hod’s father, Benjamin ran a country store. Little is known of Hod’s developmental years. Historical documents indicate that Hod attended public school and his family attended the Baptist Church in town of China. It was through…

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Civil War

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Civil War At the age of nineteen, Hod enlisted in the Maine 12th Infantry, Company F and became disabled. However, In 1865 after he recovered, he re-enlisted in 19th Infantry, Company G and on March 3, 1866 at Savannah, Georgia, he was honorably discharged, but suffered from lifelong health issues. Some years after the Civil War, Nelson…

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Bloodline

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  Nelson 4209’s historic bloodline still exists through the maternal bloodlines originating with his daughters Suzette Nelson and Gertrude Nelson. In the 1890’s and as late as 1901, Nelson 4209 was bred with horses from other states. Both Suzette Nelson and Gertrude Nelson raced and were bred as broodmares. Suzette Nelson was bred with Baron Wilkes —…

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Redemption

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Nelson 4209 died on December 4, 1909. In September two years earlier, Hod Nelson found redemption. Although we know that Nelson continued to operate Sunnyside Farm and race a few horses, writers of articles for the horse periodicals or books related to trotting history seemed to leave C.H. Nelson and his famous stallion out of the historical…

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