While the on track accomplishments of the great Walter Dear are no mystery to harness racing history buffs, the winner of the 1929 Hambletonian remains the only Hambo winner whose whereabouts are unknown
An article on ESPN.com highlights Walter Dear's career and his unfortunate disappearance. After winning the Kentucky Futurity in straight heats, Walter Dear and driver Walter Cox took home the Hambletonian trophy in two heats on Saturday, October 8, 1929. He clocked his final mile in 2:02 3/4, which was the second best time in Hambo history up to that point.
Two months later, owner William Cane sold his champion to Irishman Charlie Mills, a top European horseman who resided in Germany, for a whopping $25,000 - the largest purchase price ever by a European trainer for an American bred horse at the time. Walter Dear went on to capture the 1934 Prix D'Amerique and stand stud for many years after, but from that point on the history of Walter Dear remains a blur. Amidst the chaos of World War II in Germany, Walter Dear disappeared.
To read Kristian Dyer’s ESPN.com article in its entirety, click here.