Thoroughbred vs. Harness Racing

In horse racing, there are two major types – Thoroughbred and Harness. There are a couple of major differences between these two types of racing.

Harness Racing

In Harness racing, also known as standard bred racing, a sulky is used. A sulky is a lightweight cart with two wheels and is attached to the horse by use of a harness. This is what gives the race its name. Also, in Harness racing, the horses can trot or pace during the race. Pacing is faster than trotting. In trotting or pacing, there is a risk the horse might start to gallop; if this is the case, the horse must be slowed down in time to not face a DQ.

Thoroughbred Racing

Contrasting, in Thoroughbred racing, a jockey rides the horse during the race. These horses maintain a run/gallop, no matter what surface they are racing on.

Funky Munky Fun Fact:
Funky Munky Stable silks for thoroughbred racing are bright green and pink making it easy to spot your horse in the race.

Thoroughbred Racing Facts

Contains two types of races: dirt or grass
Varying distances from 4 furlongs to 1.5 mile (A furlong is 1/8 of a mile)
Begin the race in a starting gate
Jockeys must be a specific weight – adjusted by adding weight to the saddle
Choice of jockey silks – bright green and pink

Thoroughbred Ownership Facts

Typical purses range from $20-100K
Horses race only once every 3 – 4 weeks (average)
Greater cost involved in training

Harness Racing Facts

Dirt/clay racing surface
Distance is approximately one mile
Begin the race behind a motorized gate
Drivers are not under any weight restrictions
Driver always wears the same silks

Harness Ownership Facts

Typical purses range from $10-30K
Horses race 3 – 4 month (average)