Animal Production Science Animal Production Science Society
Food, fibre and pharmaceuticals from animals
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Descriptive statistics and the pattern of horse racing in New Zealand. 2. Harness racing

Charlotte F. Bolwell A C , Chris W. Rogers A , Erica K. Gee A and Sarah M. Rosanowski B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Massey Equine, Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Private Bag 11222, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

B Epicentre, Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Private Bag 11222, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

C Corresponding author. Email: c.bolwell@massey.ac.nz

Animal Production Science 56(1) 82-86 https://doi.org/10.1071/AN13443
Submitted: 25 October 2013  Accepted: 8 September 2014   Published: 2 December 2014

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to describe the pattern of pacing and trotting races and starts, including temporal trends, in Harness racing in New Zealand. Data on all race starts between 1 August 2005 and 31 July 2010 were supplied by Harness Racing New Zealand. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the data at both race and starts level, stratified by pacing and trotting races. In total, 78% of races run were pacing races and most races occurred in the Southern region. The start type varied by race, with most pacing races run with mobile starts and trotting races with standing starts. Regardless of race type most races were run on all-weather tracks and were run in the summer or autumn. There was little change in the median number of starts per horse over time and the median number of starters per trainer per year was 16 (interquartile range 7–35, max. 612) and 12 (interquartile range 5–24, max. 235) for pacing and trotting races, respectively. Differences in track surfaces, gait, region and drivers between the Standardbred and the Thoroughbred industry suggests a need for data specific to the Harness racing industry in New Zealand. This study provided baseline data on the pattern of Standardbred racing and highlighted factors unique to the Harness racing industry in New Zealand.

Additional keywords: pacing, race, Standardbred, starts, trotting.


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