Remarkable Dams

Just as there were certain lines of sires that grew stronger than others, there were maternal lines that seemed to possess a lot of talent and speed. These families are special since they also seem to be able to leave their good genes to next generation and next and next... And so on even until today.

Mambrino Beauty

This family starts with the mare Mambrino Beauty but is mostly called the Nervolo Belle-family. That's because there weren't many stars in this family before Nervolo Belle showed up.

Mambrino Beauty was foaled in 1881 and by Mambrino King 1279, out of a mare by Allie West 745. She was bred by Joseph S. Woolfolk, Lexington, Kentucky but then she passed through the hands of others. She did have at least one foal, Josephine Knight, by Betterton 8022 and it's from Josephine Knight that the family continued.
In 1892 two brothers Knight bought this filly and they gave her the name Josephine Knight. She was sent to be bred to Jay McGregor in 1905 but instead she was mated with the pacer Nervolo. This mismating caused hard feelings but it was one of the most fortunate mistakes in harness horse history, the result was Nervolo Belle. However, the worry wasn't over yet since Nervolo Belle became very ill as a filly but Miss Carrie Knight nursed her well and she recovered.

Nervolo Belle was used on the roads before she was sent to Patchen Wilkes Farm to become a broodmare. She was bred to Peter the Great and left one of the greatest in harness history, Peter Volo (f.1911). Peter Volo grew up to be a champion both on the race track and as a sire. He was only beaten once in his racing career.
Next Nervolo Belle-foal was Volga (f.1913), a full sister to Peter Volo, and she was as successful as her brother. In fact, she was undefeated on the race track. Volga is more known as Volga E. in honor of one of her owners.

Volga E. foaled a Guy Axworthy-daughter in 1920 and she was named Jane Revere. From Jane Revere came trotting queen Rosalind and you will also find that a sister to the queen, Warwell Worthy, foaled Worthy Boy. Other great horses from this branch is Scott Frost, TV Yankee, Cumin, Yankee Glide and Garland Lobell.

Two other Volga E.-daughters, Volga Hanover, by Dillon Axworthy and Nervola Hanover, by Guy McKinney, created their own branches with pacers as speciality.

Peter Volo and Volga E. had another full sister, The Great Miss Morris (f.1917), and you will find her in the pedigrees of Napoletano and No Nonsense Woman.

Nervolo Belle f.1906 Jane Revere f.1920
Nervolo Colbert Onward
Queen B.
Nelly D. Allie Gaines
Josephine Knight Betterton George Wilkes
Mother Lumps
Mambrino Beauty Mambrino King
by Allie West
Guy Axworthy Axworthy Axtell
Lillian Wilkes Guy Wilkes
Volga E. Peter the Great Pilot Medium
Nervolo Belle Nervolo
Josephine Knight

Maid of Honor

This family is also known as the Lizzie Witherspoon-family and the Isotta-family. Lizzie Witherspoon is the actual foundation mare and she was foaled in 1865 by Gough's Wagner. She was bred by Thomas Van Dyke in Kentucky but passed through the hands of several men before she ended up at Woodburn Farm in Kentucky. Mr. Lister Witherspoon was the one who started this family since he bred Lizzie Witherspoon to Red Wilkes in 1878 and the foal was a filly named Betty Mac.

In 1882 C.J. Hamlin went to Kentucky to buy Mambrino King but he also bought Betty Mac. Mr. Hamlin mated his two purchases and got Maid of Honor (f.1884). Maid of Honor was mated with Chimes and she foaled a filly named Beautiful Chimes. Later on Mr. Hamlin also bought a stallion by the name Rex Americus, a horse that showed some speed but never lived up to the expectations. Beautiful Chimes was bred to Rex Americus and the result was a filly called American Belle. American Belle went to Naubeck Farm and Mr. A.B. Coxe. Unfortunately she didn't have many foals but her foal of 1910 was The Zombro Belle, by Zombro. This mare foaled maybe the most important foal of this family when mated to Peter the Great, Isotta.
Isotta was foaled in 1917 and she got several foals and among them, a lot of daughters to carry on the family. In 1926 Mr. Coxe died and Isotta moved to Hanover Shoe Farm.

Isonta was the foal of 1924, by Dillon Axworthy, and from her came Carlisle and Sharp Note.

Isabel Hanover (f.1929), by Dillon Axworthy, is to be found in the pedigree of Duke Rodney but she also had a famous daughter, Ilo Hanover (f.1946), by Nibble Hanover. Ilo Hanover foaled three sisters, the world record holder Impish (f.1959), Important (f.1962) and Impudent (f.1972), all by the Scotland-son The Intruder. From these three sisters came several stars like Noble Gesture, I'm Impeccable, Bullville Victory, Fly Caster, Impish Legacy and Allen Hanover, who sired the famous Ina Scot.

Irene Hanover (f.1930), by Dillon Axworthy, is to be found in many pedigrees of pacers for example Falcon Almahurst (p), Overcomer (p), Kimberly Kid (p), Sampson Hanover (p), General Star (p) and White Ruffles (p). But she also appears in the pedigrees of trotters like Nevele Diamond.

From Isotta's daughter of 1933, Easter Hanover, came Painter (p). Melba Hanover was the daughter of 1937, by Calumet Chuck, and from her came champion trotter and champion sire Nevele Pride.
The last daughter was Faith Hanover (f.1938) and she can be found in the pedigree of Nero (p).

Maid of Honor f.1884 Isotta f.1917
Mambrino King Mambrino Patchen Mambrino Chief
Rodes mare
Belle Thornton Edwin Forrest
Brown Kitty
Betty Mac Red Wilkes George Wilkes
Queen Dido
Lizzie Witherspoon Gough's Wagner
Not Traced
Peter the Great Pilot Medium Happy Medium
Santos Grand Sentinel
The Zombro Belle Zombro McKinney
American Belle Rex Americus
Beautiful Chimes

Foundation Mares
Minnehaha and Medio.
Jessie Pepper and Kathleen.
Mamie and Midnight.
Mambrino Beauty and Maid of Honor.
Maggie H. and Esther.
Miss Copeland and Miss Duvall.