The Return of the New York State Harness Breeders Awards

The New York State Harness Breeders Awards were put into place in the year 1977, and for fourteen years the program gave monetary awards to breeders who were able to breed horses that excelled on the track. Due to the revenue of the sport becoming too low, the New York State Harness Breeders Awards fell away in 1991. Now, after seventeen years of absence from the world of New York harness racing, it has been announced that the awards will be returned.

For a breeder to win, their horses must take part in one of the New York Sire Stakes races in the two year old or three year old level. The awards will restart at the Sire Stakes, which takes place on 8 June 2008, at the Saratoga Gaming and Raceway, and is a racing event for three year old fillies. The other races that fall under the New York Sire Stakes races are the County Fairs, State Fair and Late Closers. The horses that finish their respective racing event in the top five positions will win their breeders an award, that is calculated according to the purse of the race and distributed in percentages, with the winner receiving fifty percent, second gets twenty five percent, twelve percent goes to third place, fourth place is allocated eight percent and fifth position is given five percent.

The breeder of a horse is determined by the name that has been declared by the owner of the mare, to the United States Trotting Association. Breeders are therefore responsible for ensuring that their names are registered and if a group of people were involved in the breeding of a horse, the first name that was registered will be the person that is to be contacted.

It is estimated that the New York State Harness Breeders Award fund will be paying out about $1 million in monetary awards during the harness racing season for 2008 and that bringing the awards back, will be an incentive for breeders to work towards. Horse racing has always been a part of the history of New York, and New York State has always carried a good reputation as a racing state. It is hoped that by recognizing the efforts made by breeders to produce quality horses, the state will start to enjoy the reputation of being a top standardbred breeding state, as well as a racing state. Breeders will again be put in the spotlight for their contribution to horse racing industry.