Harness Racing: Rules, Equipment, Fields, Trading Ring

Harness racing is a form of horse racing in which the horses race at a specific gait. They usually pull a two-wheeled cart called a sulky, or spider, occupied by a driver.

In Europe, and less frequently in Australia and New Zealand, races with jockeys riding directly on saddled trotters are also conducted.

Harness Racing: Rules, Equipment, Fields, Trading Ring


In North America, harness races are restricted to Standardbred horses, although European racehorses may also be French Trotters or Russian Trotters, or have mixed ancestry with lineages from multiple breeds. Orlov Trotters race separately in Russia. The light cold-blooded Coldblood trotters and Finnhorses race separately in Finland, Norway and Sweden.

“Appeal” is a request for the Commission or its designee to investigate, consider and review any decisions or rulings of steward/judges of a meeting.

“Association” is a person or business entity holding a license from the commission to conduct racing and/or pari-mutuel wagering.

“Association Grounds” is all real property utilized by the association in the conduct of its race meeting, including the racetrack, grandstand, concession stands, offices, barns, stable area, employee housing facilities and parking lots and any other areas under the jurisdiction of the Commission.


There are two main categories of horse harness: (1) the “breaststrap” or “breastcollar” design, and (2) the collar and hames design.

For light work, such as horse show competition where light carts are used, a harness needs only a breastcollar.

It can only be used for lighter hauling, since it places the weight of the load on the sternum of the horse and the nearby windpipe. This is not the heaviest skeletal area; also heavy loads can constrict the windpipe and reduce a horse’s air supply.


Harness Racing: Rules, Equipment, Fields, Trading Ring

Australian harness racing fields are accompanied by a full online form guide, bookmakers’ odds, past results, scratchings, track information and statistics for horses, trainers and drivers.

With nearly 2,000 harness meetings held across the country every year and more than 90 harness racing tracks nationally, Australia is one of the world’s leading harness racing jurisdictions.

Trading Ring:

As of January 1, 2019, Foiled Again is the richest Standardbred horse in the world. Foiled Again retired on January 1, 2019, but the then 15-year-old gelding left an indelible mark in harness racing annals. He compiled a 331/109–70–46 record and earned an all-time record US$7,635,588 in purse money. In one of his last races at Rosecroft Raceway, he beat the then 10 year old career winner of over $600,000, Real Flight.

Team membersindividual
Mixed genderyes for human drivers and trainers, horses may be separated by sex in some individual races, but not all
Equipmenthorsesulkyhorse harness
Venuedirt racetrack
Country or regionWorldwide


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