Riverside Park: Shade On Memorial

Riverside Park Road

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De Kayville Place, owned by the late John S. Kay, was the stable located just below the Neligh's Riverside Park entrance, and was once the home of the beautiful bay stallion, Shade On, and many other famous thoroughbreds. Shade On reached his zenith hall of fame in 1899 when he won the Classic Chamber of Commerce Stake at Detroit, Michigan, in a record of 2:08 ¼. He won many other races that season to become the leading money-winning pacer in the United States. During later years, he received even more acclaim as a sire of other famous winners.

In 1947, the Sioux City Journal-Tribune stated, "Shade On was a great favorite and became somewhat of a tradition in the Neligh area as the years went by. Once, he was the inspiration for a cigar, "Neligh Favorite," manufactured by a local cigar maker and featured by Cleaver's Pharmacy. The advertising on the inside of the cigar box lid showed John S. Kay with Shade On before the Judge's Stand of Neligh's Riverside Park. Buttons and watch fobs with similar advertising pictures were also available. The article also states, "That the citizens with 'long memories' would say, 'Those horses of John S. Kay were the best' Chamber of Commerce' that Neligh ever had.' They put the community on the map as nothing had done previously. The horse-racing industry grew by leaps and bounds in the early 1900s. Neligh was home to one of the most important racing and training centers in Nebraska and the big-time circuit.