100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

First Women’s Harness Race In Illinois

Chariot racing existed in ancient Greece and Rome. In the US the Dutch brought “hardriverij – hard drivery” to New Amsterdam in the 1700’s. Trotting harness races became a popular rural past-time using carts and carriages and by the early 19th century the first harness racing tracks where established. Trotting races were an attraction and most county fairs. A standard track for trotting was one mile with a standard time of 2.5 minutes maximum. While the classical thoroughbred is used in flat and jump races, the harness races use what is known as a ‘standardbred’ horse, a horse who can meet the standard distance and time. The horses race do not gallop but move in a specified gait–either the trot or the pace with a trotter’s forelegs move in tandem with the opposite hind legs.

On September 7, 1912 the very first women harness drivers competing in a four-wheeled trotting raced the standard track at Lake Forest racetrack – Lake Forest, Illinois.

Women harness drivers racing at Lake Forest Racetrack
Lake Forest, Illinois
September 7, 1912


Single Post Navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: