|Flora Temple was foaled in
1845 and bred by a man named Samuel Welch of Oneida, New York. The sire of Flora Temple
was by some claimed to be One Eyed Kentucky Hunter, but in a letter published in Wallace
Monthly of February 1878 Mr. Welch stated that her sire was Bogus Hunter. Mr. Welch took
the dam of Flora Temple to Bogus Hunter and had her mated with him, but since she failed
to conceive, she was sent back. Some meant that since Bogus Hunter was so busy the day she
returned One Eyed Kentucky Hunter was used instead.
Flora Temple's dam, Madame Temple foaled about 1840, was a spotted horse, said to be of
Arabian blood. She was by a horse known as Terry's Spotted Arabian. The dam of Madame
Temple was, according to Mr. John L. Peck, "a bay in color with black points, low set
and heavy, had a docked tail and was a very smart animal." Mr. Peck did however not
know anything of her origin or breeding. Madame Temple was the first mare to produce two
2:30 trotters, Flora Temple 2.19 3/4 and Pilot Temple (by Pilot Jr. 12) 2.24 1/4.
During the first five years of Flora's life (which was her name then) she
passed through the hands of several people. She became so willful
and flighty that no one that knew of her wanted to purchase her. Therefor she was sent
away to be sold. While passing through the small village of Washington Hollow, a man named
Jonathan Vielee, caught sight of her. Mr. Vielee apparently had an eye for good horses and
he saw that this little rough-coated bay mare with black man and legs and black bobbed
tail was something special. Flora was indeed a fine looking mare with a fine head, a
well-set neck, firm shoulders, strong, straight back, powerful forearms, short cannon
bones and general display of muscle. Mr. Vielee sold Flora after two weeks to George
Perrin, who took her to Long Island and started her. With hard training Flora became
"a true stepper with a clean, even, long, low, locomotive stroke", to quote the
Spirit of the Times. In 1852 Flora started her carrier and was also renamed Flora Temple.
In these days a race could last for many heats and Flora Temple was often racing against
the best horses you could find. In spite these hard condition she gained her fame quickly
by defeating a lot of her competitors in a good style. In 1859 Flora Temple became the
first trotter to trot faster than 2:20. This was at Kalamazoo in Michigan on October 15.
But this was not the first time that Flora Temple appeared in the world mile record
holder's list, it was her sixth. The first time was when Flora Temple was eight years old
in 1853 on August 20. She trotted 2:27 at Utica. Three years later, in 1856 on September
2, she reduced the record to 2.24 1/2 at Union, Long Island. As a fourteen-year-old in
1859 she reduced the record fourth times! First to 2.23 1/2 on August 9, at Eclipse, Long
Island. Then to 2:22 on September 10, at Baltimore, to 2.21 1/2 on October 7, at
Cincinnati and finally to 2.19 3/4 on October 15.
When Flora Temple was sixteen years old she was retired. In her carrier she had trotted
103 races and she had won 86 times. Her last home was the Erdenheim Stud. of Aristides
Welch near Philadelphia. Here she produced three foals:
Kitty Temple, a brown filly by Rysdyk in 1868
Prince Imperial, a brown colt by William Welch in 1869
The Queen's Daughter, a brown filly by imp. Leamington in 1871
before she died in 1877 on December 21.