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Harness racing season set to resume this weekend

After being suspended due to an unavailability of ponies due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the harness racing season is set to resume this Sunday. (File photo by Glenn Tucker )

Harness racing is set to resume at the National Equestrian Centre on Sunday.

The 2021-22 season has been suspended since New Year’s Day, because of a low turnout of ponies due to quarantined participants, stemming from the latest wave of Covid-19 cases on island.

However, the Driving Horse and Pony Club of Bermuda has announced that racing will resume this weekend, with 18 heats to be contested among the various divisions.

“We are excited to have a full racecard in the plans for this Sunday,” a representative from the club told The Royal Gazette. “After a few weeks of Covid and other impacts to ponies’ availability, it’s a good sign that everyone wants to get back to the track.

“All club members and owners have continued to put in the work to keep our ponies fit and race ready. So we hope to see some great racing this weekend and the rest of the upcoming race dates in the calendar.”

The global coronavirus pandemic has taken its toll on the sport over the past two years.

Harness racing was suspended in December 2020 when a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases on the island led to a government shutdown of sporting activities.

The DHPC ultimately decided to end the 2020-21 season early in February, after taking various key factors into consideration.

The pandemic also delayed the start of the 2021-22 season, which began on November 21 and runs until April 3.

The previous race day at Vesey Street was nothing shy of spectacular, as Simsfield Hardtimes reclaimed the season’s fastest time of 1:02.1 outright, with driver Kirista Rabain in the bike.

The Simsfield Stables-owned pony held a share of the previous season’s fastest time of 1:03 along with rival gelding, War Machine, and mare Google Me, heading into the festive holiday event.

Before then, Simsfield Hardtimes held the season’s fastest time of 1:03.2 alone, having eclipsed the 1:04.3 posted by Google Me, owned by Tyler Lopes, on the opening day of the season.

Google Me, bred in Indiana, holds the overall track record, which stands at 1:01.1.

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Published January 27, 2022 at 7:53 am (Updated January 27, 2022 at 7:54 am)

Harness racing season set to resume this weekend

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