What is Harness Racing

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Do you enjoy competitive equine events? Do you like fast? How about making instant decisions, close quarters and athleticism? Are you looking for a career with horses? Well, harness racing may be your answer!

Harness racing is the type of horse racing in which a driver steers the horse and sits in a sulky pulled behind the horse (not a jockey who rides on the horse’s back like flat racing). Standardbreds, the exclusive breed used in American harness racing, are bred and trained to either trot or pace. Watch this video to see the difference between the two gaits. The horses are bred and trained to do one gait or the other and almost never do they race together – only pacers against pacers and trotters against trotters.

Most harness races in America are at a distance of one mile and speeds during a race can be up to 40 miles per hour. The fastest Standardbred in the world is Bulldog Hanover who paced a mile in 1:45.4 (that’s one minute, forty five and 4/5 of a second!).There are racetracks across the United States and Canada employing thousands of people who work both with the horses and on the grandstand side to make sure the races run efficiently. Check out this link to see our comprehensive Guide To Careers In Horse Racing..

HHYF offers introductory and upper level hands-on programs to let you find out more and many give you the opportunity to sit in the driver’s seat! These are held in many areas of the country so be sure to check our travel schedule! We hope to see you “at the races” very soon!

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