Surely horses gallop when they race; a "Trotting Cup" gives the impression that they aren't really putting much effort into it. Of course, this is happening in CANTER-bury
Hi John Indeed the racing is ‘trotting’ and not the conventional horse race with a jockey on the back! In trotting the horse pulls a two-wheeled cart called a sulky occupied by a ‘driver’ that resembles a jockey. Naturally, the horse doesn’t gallop otherwise the cart would go awol hence trotting is the speed undertaken. I guess the skill of the driver is to maintain a trot whilst steering the cart.
I think this type of racing is also popular in North America, Kentucky in particular.
and if the horse breaks into a canter or a gallop they are disqualified. All very civilised really. So the skill is to keep the horse at the fastest possible trot and at a professional level that is quite fast.
It is quite popular in Ireland too, often under rather unusual conditions.
So, I deleted my original comments about horse racing, only to find, unsurprisingly, that US harness racers, at least, don't stop at regular horse racing when it comes to abuse. Literally any sport that involves animals involves illegal drugging and all types of abuse. Even carriage horses, which look like something out of a fairytale on the surface, frequently endure terrible abuse and neglect. In fact, some cities across the US have banned carriage horses. The pictures I saw of the horses and jockeys in this sport look exactly same as in horse racing. Still a whip, still a jockey, still a race horse, still an animal whose existence is only to make a profit for someone. I know people would rather wear blinders (horse pun ) and pretend everything is happy, and that the animals like racing and are treated wonderfully. I know there are must be many owners who do care for their horses and treat them well. But animals in sport for the most part are just dollar signs to greedy, selfish people, so even if they aren't beaten mercilessly or drugged, profits and human will are still put above the needs and wants of an animal that doesn't have any say in what happens to it. Even Kentucky Derby winners are sent to slaughter when they get too old to be useful.
I of course found an article citing 27 people in the US being charged by the FBI for illegal performance enhancement drugging in harness racing. And then I found an article from Stuff describing a new whipping rule by the NZ Harness Racing Trainer and Drivers Association, designed to soften the image of harness racing. Not about the welfare of the horses, you see. And there is a group of drivers who are complaining about the new rule. Their complaint is understandable; they implememted the new rule only a month before this race, not giving drivers much time to get used to it. So, no, they aren't necessarily animal abusers, but they are putting other things ahead of the animal's needs or comfort first. It's just a little thing, but it just shows how the animals are just commodities to these people.