Make your own free website on Tripod.com
The Harness Racing Stable

Historty Of Harness Racing

Home
History of The Hambletonian
News And Notes On The Hambo
Historty Of Harness Racing
Harness Racing Today
What Is A Standardbred??
Difference between the pacer and trotter
Harness Racing Terminology
A little about my favorite harness driver
Famous Harness Horses

This is the page where I'll explain the history of the sport

horsesracing.gif

Harness Racing

The racing of horses in harness dates back to ancient times, but the sport virtually disappeared with the fall of the Roman Empire. The history of modern HARNESS RACING begins in America, where racing trotting horses over country roads became a popular rural pastime by the end of the 18th century. The first tracks for harness racing were constructed in the first decade of the 19th century, and by 1825 harness racing was an institution at hundreds of country fairs across the nation.

Harness racing reached the early zenith of its popularity in the late 1800s, with the establishment of a Grand Circuit of major fairs. The sport sharply declined in popularity after 1900, as the automobile replaced the horse and the United States became more urbanized. In 1940, however, Roosevelt Raceway in New York introduced harness racing under the lights with pari-mutuel betting. This innovation sparked a rebirth of harness racing, and today its number of tracks and number of annual races exceed those of Thoroughbred racing. The sport is also popular in most European countries, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.

horsesracing.gif