william m. rysdyk
William Rysdyk began as a young farmhand, working for Jonas Seeley, of Sugar Loaf, New York. In 1849, when forty years old, Rysdyk purchased a colt and mare from his employer. He named the colt Hambletonian. He had always dreamed of owning a good roadhorse. Matched in a trial with Abdallah Chief in late October 1852, Hambletonian won in 3:03. A day or two later he trialed in 2:48 (2:48 1/2 on some watches, so Rysdyk always gave the time as 2:48 1/2). He only trialed his colt this one time, then placed him in stud in Chester and bred him to local mares. The horse's reputation quickly grew as a sire of speed. Rysdyk made a modest fortune from the horse's services. He owned the famous stallion until his death on April 23, 1870. William Rysdyk is buried in the Community Cemetery on the Old Seely Ward Farm in Chester, New York.
Published in the Harness Racing Museum's 1994 book, The Immortals