Then & Now – harness racing sulkies


Then - Aug. 28, 1891, at the Champaign County Fair with harness horse hitched to high-wheeled racing sulky on the racetrack in front of the judges’ stand (CCHS #A1745). In 1892 this high-wheeled racing sulky was superseded by bicycle pneumatic tired-sulky, a modification still used today. Note the elaborate judges’ stand. July 4, 1911 photo (CCHS #A1704) shows this judges’ stand in front of the grandstand. It is not known when this judges’ stand was replaced.

Then - Aug. 28, 1891, at the Champaign County Fair with harness horse hitched to high-wheeled racing sulky on the racetrack in front of the judges’ stand (CCHS #A1745). In 1892 this high-wheeled racing sulky was superseded by bicycle pneumatic tired-sulky, a modification still used today. Note the elaborate judges’ stand. July 4, 1911 photo (CCHS #A1704) shows this judges’ stand in front of the grandstand. It is not known when this judges’ stand was replaced.


Photos courtesy of the Champaign County Historical Society

Now - Aug. 7, 1977, Champaign County Fair photo showing Dick Buxton, a harness horse trainer based at the fairgrounds, in front of the judges’ stand with winning 2-year-old filly Regatta Day. Contrast the modern bicycle-tired sulky shown here with the high wheeled sulky of 1891. Note the different position of the drivers and their position relative to the horse. Also note the difference in attire of the drivers. Drivers are currently required to wear a safety helmet. The use of the bicycle-tired sulky immediately allowed harness racing horses to race much faster. The Champaign County Historical Society is an all-volunteer, not-for profit organization that preserves, protects, archives and displays the artifacts that tell the Champaign County story. The society depends upon donations and dues to provide a free public museum, which is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays.


Photos courtesy of the Champaign County Historical Society

Then – Aug. 28, 1891, at the Champaign County Fair with harness horse hitched to high-wheeled racing sulky on the racetrack in front of the judges’ stand (CCHS #A1745). In 1892 this high-wheeled racing sulky was superseded by bicycle pneumatic tired-sulky, a modification still used today. Note the elaborate judges’ stand. July 4, 1911 photo (CCHS #A1704) shows this judges’ stand in front of the grandstand. It is not known when this judges’ stand was replaced.

Now – Aug. 7, 1977, Champaign County Fair photo showing Dick Buxton, a harness horse trainer based at the fairgrounds, in front of the judges’ stand with winning 2-year-old filly Regatta Day. Contrast the modern bicycle-tired sulky shown here with the high wheeled sulky of 1891. Note the different position of the drivers and their position relative to the horse. Also note the difference in attire of the drivers. Drivers are currently required to wear a safety helmet. The use of the bicycle-tired sulky immediately allowed harness racing horses to race much faster. The Champaign County Historical Society is an all-volunteer, not-for profit organization that preserves, protects, archives and displays the artifacts that tell the Champaign County story. The society depends upon donations and dues to provide a free public museum, which is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays.

Then – Aug. 28, 1891, at the Champaign County Fair with harness horse hitched to high-wheeled racing sulky on the racetrack in front of the judges’ stand (CCHS #A1745). In 1892 this high-wheeled racing sulky was superseded by bicycle pneumatic tired-sulky, a modification still used today. Note the elaborate judges’ stand. July 4, 1911 photo (CCHS #A1704) shows this judges’ stand in front of the grandstand. It is not known when this judges’ stand was replaced.
https://www.urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2018/08/web1_ThenWeb.jpgThen – Aug. 28, 1891, at the Champaign County Fair with harness horse hitched to high-wheeled racing sulky on the racetrack in front of the judges’ stand (CCHS #A1745). In 1892 this high-wheeled racing sulky was superseded by bicycle pneumatic tired-sulky, a modification still used today. Note the elaborate judges’ stand. July 4, 1911 photo (CCHS #A1704) shows this judges’ stand in front of the grandstand. It is not known when this judges’ stand was replaced. Photos courtesy of the Champaign County Historical Society

Now – Aug. 7, 1977, Champaign County Fair photo showing Dick Buxton, a harness horse trainer based at the fairgrounds, in front of the judges’ stand with winning 2-year-old filly Regatta Day. Contrast the modern bicycle-tired sulky shown here with the high wheeled sulky of 1891. Note the different position of the drivers and their position relative to the horse. Also note the difference in attire of the drivers. Drivers are currently required to wear a safety helmet. The use of the bicycle-tired sulky immediately allowed harness racing horses to race much faster. The Champaign County Historical Society is an all-volunteer, not-for profit organization that preserves, protects, archives and displays the artifacts that tell the Champaign County story. The society depends upon donations and dues to provide a free public museum, which is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays.
https://www.urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2018/08/web1_NowWeb.jpgNow – Aug. 7, 1977, Champaign County Fair photo showing Dick Buxton, a harness horse trainer based at the fairgrounds, in front of the judges’ stand with winning 2-year-old filly Regatta Day. Contrast the modern bicycle-tired sulky shown here with the high wheeled sulky of 1891. Note the different position of the drivers and their position relative to the horse. Also note the difference in attire of the drivers. Drivers are currently required to wear a safety helmet. The use of the bicycle-tired sulky immediately allowed harness racing horses to race much faster. The Champaign County Historical Society is an all-volunteer, not-for profit organization that preserves, protects, archives and displays the artifacts that tell the Champaign County story. The society depends upon donations and dues to provide a free public museum, which is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Photos courtesy of the Champaign County Historical Society