Trotters will be taking to the track for the first time at two British racecourses to boost the popularity of the sport in the UK.
Traditionally known as trotting, harness racing attracts thousands of spectators abroad but is not well-known in the UK and does not often take place at mainstream racecourses.
In the next two weeks, harness racing fixtures are scheduled at Kempton Park and Hereford racecourses.
At Hereford an entire harness racing fixture is planned on 13 July — with eight trotting races run in association with the British Harness Racing Club (BHRC).
Stella Havard from the BHRC told H&H: “It’s a great way to complement traditional racing. Harness racing is very strong in the Hereford area and North Wales. We’ve attracted so many entries from top-class horses from the UK and Ireland that we will have to ballot.”
At Kempton Park there will be one race after the scheduled evening Flat racing on 16 July. Drivers are yet to be confirmed, but president of the BHRC Lord Lipsey is to take part.
A spokesman from Kempton Park said: “We are always looking for something different to offer our customers and harness racing seemed ideal.”
At both events, drivers in single-seater sulkies — a lightweight two-wheeled racing cart — will be racing over a mile.
This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (10 July, ’08)