From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Barnes, Shelby D., "Pike"

(born: 1871  -  died: 1908) 

Shelby D. "Pike" Barnes was inducted into the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame in 2011. He was born in Beaver Dam, KY, the son of Joseph Barnes and Susan Austin Barnes [source: Ohio County Marriage Record, for Shelby D. Barnes]. Pike Barnes became a jockey when he was 14 years old. Barnes had a number of noted achievements in the racing industry. In 1888, he won the first race of the Futurity aboard Proctor Knott. The win was one of his 206 victories in 1888, a record number of wins by a jockey in the United States for one year. Barnes also had the most wins in 1889 with 170. Barnes would go on to win other big races such as the Belmont Stakes, but he soon gave up racing.

In 1891, Barnes owned a farm in Beaver Dam, KY and was contemplating whether he would ride again [source: "Epitome of horsemen," Freeman, 11/14/1891, p. 2]. In 1908, Barnes was part owner of a saloon in Columbus, OH, when he died from consumption (tuberculosis). The Paragraphic News column in the Washington Bee, 01/18/1908, p. 1, noted that "[i]t is reported that Shelby Barnes, better known as "Pike" Barnes, died without any money, not withstanding he won $100,000 as a jockey."

He is listed in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census as "Pike Barnes," the husband of Mary Barnes, a cook, who was born in August of 1873 in Kentucky. Her previous name was Mary C. Pennman, [correction] she was the daughter of James Pennman [source: Ohio County Marriage Records]. Pike and Mary Barnes married in 1897 and lived on E. Elm Street in Columbus, OH, according to the 1900 Census. However, their marriage certificate is dated June 16, 1906 [could be a typo]. For more see T. Genaro, "Shelby Pike Barnes to join the racing Hall of Fame on August 12," The Saratogian, 08/05/2011, Sports section; and "Reported death of Pike Barnes," Daily Racing Form, 01/15/1908, p. 1.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Ohio County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Beaver Dam, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: The Freeman [Indianapolis Freeman] (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The Washington bee (newspaper)
NKAA Source: The Saratogian (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Daily racing form (serial)

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Barnes, Shelby D., "Pike",” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 28, 2024,

Last modified: 2020-07-13 15:02:32