The evolution of the Trotting World Record

Sebastian K. in 1:49 (1:07,7)

The racing day at Pocono Downs on June 28 has written trotting history. Sebastian K. set an all time world record mark in 1:49 (in Europe 1:07,7) over the mile in the Sun Invitational (US$ 100.000), the fastest trotting race ever. Father Patrick set a new world record for 3 year old horses in the Earl Beal jr.-Memorial (US$ 500.000) trotting the mark of 1:50,2 (Europe 1:08,6) about an hour later.

The world record by Swedish Invador Sebastian K., in his stable called „Sebbe”, was quite awaited, but probably not in that kind of style. Let’s see which time this exceptional horse is able to run at a mile track. Not to forget that Ready Cash will also try to set a new record at The Red Mile in September…

Let’s have a look on the development of the world record for trotters (many thanks to our Swedish colleague Claes Freidenvall, chief editor of Travronden, for the permission to use the list). 

Year     Horse                Sex   Age  Sire                       Dam                      Record          Km avg.   Track                  Driver                      Date

* 800 meter track   ** track with only one bend   s = mare, v = gelding, h = colt

Each and every trotter from that list was for sure an exceptional one. But maybe Greyhound should be honored special because his record of 1:11,6 from 1938 lasted until 1969 – 31 years! We will try to find out the paternal and maternal lines of the record holders, even it’s not that easy especially in the early times of trotting. Thanks again to Ron Groves and John Peck for the great website

Some facts: All in all there are 31 horses in that chart, the horse which lowered the world record most often was Goldsmith Maid between 1871 and 1874. The table shows 12 mares, 11 geldings and only 8 colts! Every absolute world record was run on US-tracks, many of them not existing anymore. From the 31 horses, 28 are bred in North America and 3 of them in Sweden (Victory Tilly, Giant Diablo, Sebastian K.).

Maternal lines:

Flora Temple

Flora Temple –
world record holder from 1856 to 1869 (with the age of 14 years). Her line was active until the 70s of the 20th century in Germany especially with the Derby Winner Ewalt.
Foto: Currier and Ives

Lady Suffolk – Minor family USA
Pelham – Unknown family USA
Highland Maid – Minor family USA
Flora Temple – Flora Temple
Dexter – McKinstry mare
Goldsmith Maid – Old Ab
Rarus – Minor Families
St. Julien – Bet Shutter
Maud S. – Sally Russell
Jay-Eye-See – Midnight
Sunol – Waxy
Nancy Hanks – Sophronia
Alix – Dolly Aldrich
The Abbot – Nettie Murphy
Cresceus – Contention
Lou Dillon – Lou Milton
Uhlan – Flora Temple
Peter Manning – Lady Belmont
Greyhound – Molly J
Nevele Pride – Lizzie Witherspoon
Arndon – Medio
Fancy Crown – Nell by Hiatoga
Prakas – Miss Sears
Mack Lobell – Medio
Beat the Wheel – Sally Sovereign (Maggie H.)
Pine Chip – Midnight
Victory Tilly – Medio
Tom Ridge – Jessy Pepper
Giant Diablo – Esther
Enough Talk – Emeline
Sebastian K. – Mamie

Medio (world records in 1982, 1987, 2002) is again the most successful mother line with 3 record holders, followed by Midnight (1884, 1994) and the so called Minor family USA (1845, 1853) with 2 each. While the latter is more or less extincted since the 50s of the 20th century, the ones of Medio (*1887) and Midnight (*1865) are highly productive until now.

Paternal lines:

SEBASTIAN K. 2013 05 12 1

Sebastian K. –
latest world record holder of 2014. „Sebbe” is the only world record holder with a French sire.
Foto: Gerard Forni

Lady Suffolk – Messenger/ Engineer
Pelham – Unknown
Highland Maid – Darley Arabian/ Eclipse
Flora Temple – Messenger
Dexter – Hambletonian 10
Goldsmith Maid – Hambletonian 10
Rarus – Hambletonian 10
St. Julien – 
Hambletonian 10
Maud S. – 
Hambletonian 10
Jay-Eye-See – 
Hambletonian 10
Sunol – 
Hambletonian 10
Nancy Hanks – 
Hambletonian 10
Alix – Messenger
The Abbot – 
Hambletonian 10
Cresceus – 
Hambletonian 10
Lou Dillon – 
Hambletonian 10
Uhlan – 
Hambletonian 10/ Bingen
Peter Manning – 
Hambletonian 10/ Peter The Great
Greyhound – 
Hambletonian 10/ Axworthy
Nevele Pride – Hambletonian 10/ Volomite/Star’s Pride
Arndon – 
Hambletonian 10/ Scotland/ Speedster/ Arnie Almahurst
Fancy Crown – 
Hambletonian 10/ Scotland/ Speedster/ Speedy Crown
Prakas – 
Hambletonian 10/ Scotland/ Speedster/ Speedy Crown
Mack Lobell – 
Hambletonian 10/ Volomite/ Victory Song
Beat the Wheel – 
Hambletonian 10/ Scotland/ Speedster/ Speedy Crown
Pine Chip – 
Hambletonian 10/ Scotland/ Speedster/ Arnie Almahurst
Victory Tilly – 
Hambletonian 10/ Volomite/Star’s Pride
Tom Ridge – 
Hambletonian 10/ Scotland/ Speedster/ Speedy Crown/ Valley Victory
Giant Diablo – 
Hambletonian 10/ Volomite/Star’s Pride
Enough Talk – 
Hambletonian 10/ Scotland/ Speedster/ Arnie Almahurst
Sebastian K. – 
Hambletonian 10/ Sam Williams/ Carioca II/ Fakir du Vivier

– Arndon was the only world record horse which has been able to produce a world record follower (Pine Chip).
– Victory Tilly (ca. 20% from the damsire Fakir du Vivier) and Sebastian K. 
(about 33% from his sire Korean) are the world record holders with French blood in their pedigrees, all other horses are 100% US-Standardbred. Sebastian K. is the only horse with a French sire, of course also from the sire line of Hambletonian 10.

© Nikolaus Matzka 2014–2022