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  Grave Matters: Hamburg Place, Lexington, Kentucky

Photos by Liz Martiniak, ©Liz Martiniak 2003; Anne Peters ©Anne Peters 2003; Kurt Lemke, ©2013. All rights reserved.

Hamburg Place cemetery
Nancy Hank's grave
Star Shoot's grave
Plaudit's grave
Lady Sterling's grave
Imp's grave
T.V. Lark's and Pink Pigeon's graves
ABOVE: View of Hamburg Place Cemetery before it was moved
Second Row, Nancy Hanks (champion trotting horse) grave
Third Row, Left to Right: Star Shoot, Plaudit, Lady Sterling
Fourth Row, Left to Right:Imp's grave, the graves of T.V. Lark and Pink Pigeon.

BELOW (all photos by Kurt Lemke): Views of the new location of the Hamburg Cemetery and relocated grave sites and markers. Shopping mall visible beyond.
2nd Row: The markers of Ogden and Sir Martin
3rd Row: The markers of Ida Pickwick and Miss Kearney
4th Row: The markers of Princess Mary and Bel Sheba

Moved Hamburg Place cemetery gates
Relocated Hamburg cemetery
Ogden's grave
Sir Martin's grave
Ida Pickwick's grave
Miss Kearney's grave
Princess Mary's grave
Bel Sheba's grave

The great horseman John E. Madden had a pair of good two-year-olds in his barn in 1897, HAMBURG and PLAUDIT. He sold Hamburg over the winter to Marcus Daly and put the money back into buying 235 acres off the Winchester Pike on the east side of Lexington which he named HAMBURG PLACE in honor of the colt who funded the purchase. With the second stringer, PLAUDIT, he won the Kentucky Derby of 1898 and PLAUDIT became one of the first of many good stallions at Hamburg Place, including OGDEN, STAR SHOOT, THE FINN, and FRIAR ROCK. OGDEN sired homebred champions SIR MARTIN and Belmont Stakes winner THE FINN, who stood at Hamburg until he was sold. Madden purchased a half-interest in STAR SHOOT in 1908, and moved him from Runnymede Stud to Hamburg, where he got Triple Crown winner SIR BARTON and the great handicapper GREY LAG. Madden is famous as the breeder of five Kentucky Derby winners, all by home sires: SIR BARTON (Triple Crown winner, by STAR SHOOT), OLD ROSEBUD (by Uncle), PAUL JONES (by Sea King), ZEV (by THE FINN), and FLYING EBONY (by THE FINN). Hamburg became home to a great band of broodmares, including the great racemare IMP, the stakes winner IDA PICKWICK (granddam of OLD ROSEBUD), LADY STERLING (dam of SIR BARTON AND SIR MARTIN and granddam of PRINCESS DOREEN),MISS KEARNEY (dam of ZEV) and PRINCESS MARY (dam of FLYING EBONY), all of which were buried with honors in the farm cemetery.

Concurrent with the Thoroughbred operation, Madden was also a major Standardbred breeder, and five of the greats are in the farm cemetery, including NANCY HANKS,the first of either sex to trot a mile in 2:05; world champion trotting filly HAMBURG BELLE; MAJOR DELMAR; European trotting champion SILIKO and his dam, SILICON. The farm ultimately grew to over 1,300 acres.

John Madden sold most of his horses in 1926, and opened an office in New York. He died in New York in November 1929, leaving the farm to his sons Joseph and John Edward Jr., and arranging for the care of his favorite SIR MARTIN until that horse's death the next year. The farm's facilities were used as a training center and for polo. A herd of Shetland ponies roamed the property for decades. Madden's grandson Preston Madden brought Thoroughbreds back to Hamburg Place, standing the stallions WAR ADMIRAL and WAR RELIC after Samuel Riddle's death. Madden also stood T.V. LARK, the Leading Sire of 1974, and bred his top daughter PINK PIGEON, as well as the War Admiral mare BELTHAZAR. BELTHAZARR produced the full sisters Wac (dam of Lear Fan) and BEL SHEBA. Wac was sold, but as a broodmare for Preston Madden, BEL SHEBA produced Kentucky Derby/Preakness winner ALYSHEBA, the sixth Derby winner foaled on the property. In 1996, about 100 acres at the core of the farm were developed into Hamburg Pavilion, shopping centers and residential communities.

John Madden established the original Hamburg Place horse cemetery on a small rise directly off Winchester Pike, enclosed by a stone wall. The first horse buried here was HAMBURG BELLE, and the centerpiece being the grave of NANCY HANKS, surrounded by an iron rail fence and topped by a bronze statue of the great mare. In 2005, the cemetery was moved to a new location further inside Hamburg Pavilion along Sir Barton Way but still open to the public. A bronze bust of John E. Madden was added to immortalize "The Wizard of Hamburg Place." -- A.P.

John Madden Burials
Ogden (c. 1894-1923)
Plaudit (c. 1895-1919)
Sir Martin (c. 1906-1930)
Star Shoot (c. 1898-1919)
Ida Pickwick (f. 1888-1908)
Imp (f. 1894-1909)
Lady Sterling (f. 1899-1920)
Miss Kearney (f. 1906-1925)
Princess Mary (f. 1917-1926)
Hamburg Belle (f. 1902-1909)
Major Delmar (g. 1897-1912)
Nancy Hanks (f. 1886-1915)
Silicon (f. 1890-1913)
Siliko (c. 1903-1926)
Polo Pony
Preston Madden Burials
T. V. Lark (c. 1957-1975) Bel Sheba (f. 1970-1995)
Pink Pigeon (f. 1964-1976)

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