Twin Maples, Newport, PA, is the region’s sole remaining Trottingbred club, racing every other weekend from May to September at the Perry County fairgrounds and during the Perry County Fair.
Trottingbred racing is a do-it-yourself, family oriented sport found in the USA, Canada, Bermuda, and Italy. Drivers range from 12 – 80 years of age and most owners do their own training. The ponies trot or pace in miniature versions of Standardbred harnesses complete with hobbles and hangers. Races consist of 2 ½ second time bars with 2:00 and slower up to a Free-For-All level where ponies can finish in less than 1 minute.
Trottingbred racing began in the late 1950’s. Shetland, Welsh, and Hackney ponies raced a half-mile at a trot hooked to small scale sulkies. Then around 1960, the ponies began to be crossed with the Standardbred to produce better competitors. Trottingbreds were recognized as a breed by The American Horse Council in 1997. They appear to be miniature Standardbreds with a height limit of just under 13 hands, but the cross breeding has produced a sturdier animal than the Standardbred.
The International Trotting and Pacing Association, currently based in Auburn, IN, was formed in 1964. The ITPA is a non-profit organization that promotes harness racing as a performance activity, creating a much needed increased spectator participation, and consequent marketing opportunity for the breed.
The Twin Maples Trottingbred club is interested in recruiting newcomers to the sport. For more information about the Trottingbreds visit http://trottingbreds.homestead.com/. For more information about racing with Twin Maples contact Mark and Sue Shatto at (717) 275-5434 or Janeen Rizio at (717)-275-6780 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.