Harness racing has not been immune to controversy either. In the United States, harness racing once rivaled baseball in popularity. The sport is thought to have originated with Assyrian kings more than 3500 years ago and ripened among the Greeks and Romans. By the fourth century, Rome's Circus Maximus, where harness racing took place, seated 200,000 citizens.
Roman harness racing was corporately sponsored, had professional officials; widespread betting; riots among fans and DOPING!
Corruption, immorality and inhumanity can be jarring things when we are exposed to them. The following is a Facebook conversation that I was involved in recently, which graphically shows the lengths that some will go to in order to win.
First, a disclaimer. I do not know the person who makes the claims here. He, and it is a "he", would not allow me to interview him, refusing saying, "No, I am not interested in that at all." And finally, he claims in writing to be a trainer/racer, but a check of his Facebook profile showed that he is a groom. To protect him I have deleted his name. I might add that his typing and spelling is iffy.
The track that I make reference to in the conversation is the old Lebanon Raceway, where my uncle, who is deceased, worked and was part owner of an unruly trotter named Speedy Trip, a gelding foaled in 1961.
- Donato Hanover 2007 Photo by Dean Hoffman
Copyright March 25, 2019 by Loren Schumacher
All photos by Dean Hoffman i