Day At The Track

Harness Racing…why we stay at it?

04:37 AM 29 Feb 2008 NZDT
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Kimberly Rinker questions why we stay with harness racing on her new blog ‘Harness Racing Insider’:

I’ve been involved in harness racing since 1981, when I was a publicity intern with the United States Trotting Association while still a journalism major at The Ohio State University. By the way, back then we just called it Ohio State–now, some more formal years later, it’s politically correct to use “The” as the start of the title. But that’s not the crux of this story.

Here’s what is.

Why do we little guys–the people with the one, two, three and four-horse stables–stay in the harness racing business year after year, competing against bigger stables that can afford higher-quality stock and seem to think nothing of entering the winner’s circle multiple times on a nightly basis?

For sure it can’t be the money. There’s simply not enough around anymore in the form of purses–especially in Chicago–to make it cost effective for the small owner. Even the owner-trainer who does everything themselves–does well to simply break even. In most cases, these folks have another full-time job–such as a truck driver, a bricklayer, or even a freelance journalist–to support their horse in harness habit.

Some reasons are obvious. The thrill of victory–to be sure, is one, and also, the realization that together, you and your equine partner have achieved the tough goal of besting a field of eight or more rivals to reach the wire first. Not an easy task when you consider that all of your competitors are out there trying to accomplish that same goal.

Read the full article on Kimberly Rinker's blog here

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