Chadron, NE is the starting point of the longest horse race in A - Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Chadron, NE is the starting point of the longest horse race in American history

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One hundred and twenty years ago this month, nine riders took off on the longest horse race in America.

Our Anndrea Anderson takes us to the starting point of the thousand mile horse race.

"Doc Middleton was one of the riders. They also had a man by the name of Rattlesnake Pete... some colorful characters," says Dawes County Museum Director Belvadene Lecher.
Those colorful characters were group of nine riders that took off from the city of Chadron 120 years ago to compete in the longest horse race in America.
"It was run on June 13, 1893 from the Blaine Hotel downtown, down in Chadron."
That building is still standing today.
"It was in this very spot that those nine racers took off for the longest race in America. Fourteen days and 1,000 miles later, they ended up at Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show in Chicago."
The goal was to make it to Chicago.
"They didn't all end up being there. But the winners by the rules were Josiah Gillespie and Mr. Smith."
She says winners "by the rules" because...
"There was some controversy."
It was this man who should have been named the winner of the race.
"John Berry who had laid out the race, climbed on his horse and he was the first one in there."
But he wasn't allowed to claim that title.
"He was not called the winner horse because he laid out the route."
The Dawes County Museum in Chadron tells the story of the race with real artifacts.
"Behind me is the hide that was on his horse after he died of course."
It was a captivating race filled with competition and controversy, which always makes for a good story to tell.

Belvedene lecher says some of Josiah Gillespie's family comes to the museum once a year to recollect on their family's history.

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