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Harness Racing


There are three main types of horse racing in the world today - Flat horse racing (over a flat distance), National Hunt racing (over a distance with low hurdles or fences) and finally Harness racing, where horses are required to pull a two-wheeled buggy or 'sulkie' containing a jockey. Harness racing is most prevalent in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and a few countries in Europe.

There are two types of Harness Racing - 'trotting' and 'pacing'. Trotting is where the horses move their legs forward diagonally, so when they move their right front leg forward so too will they move their left hind leg forward and so on. Pacing is where the horses move their legs forward laterally, so when they move their right front leg forward so too will they move their right hind leg forward and so on.

Trotting is pretty much the chosen style of harness racing in Europe, while elsewhere pacing - and in some cases also trotting - are in use. Another major difference between the two styles is that pacing harness racing horses are generally faster than their trotting counterparts, and are less likely to break into a gallop which is not permitted in the sport. Should a horse start to gallop, its jockey must slow it down and guide it to the outside of the track until it regains its stride.

Even though countries have either adopted trotting or pacing as their preferred style of harness racing, there are still difference in the sport within those countries. For example, in the United States harness races are usually conducted up to 1 mile, and the horses are given a 'mark', which is their fastest winning time over that distance. In Australia, the races are conducted in meters and are usually longer than 1 mile, and the horses are classified according to the number of wins they have accrued.

Harness racing involves a lot of strategy. Unlike traditional thoroughbred flat horse races, in harness racing the horses normally start of the race at their slowest and then build up speed towards the final stages. The race distance also plays a part in harness racing, as the shorter the race, the more important the early stages are, while the longer the race, the more important the closing stages are.

Most important harness races

Top harness racing tracks



Other Articles:
  • Harness Racing Tracks
  • Most Important Harness Races
  • Royal Ascot Betting
  • Belmont Stakes Betting
  • Preakness Stakes Betting




  • 2014/02/16 01:15:22 AM
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