One Horse Open Sleigh Race

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It shows trainers from Scioto Downs jogging their horses across a snow-laden track during their morning workouts. Harness racing and the song Jingle Bells have a long, common history. The song was inspired by, and tells the tale of, the sleigh races that were held on Salem Street there in the early s. It was a veritable hotbed of trotting action that inspired a timeless classic.

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Trotting competitions in North America over ice and snow go back a long way and were not isolated to New England. You can find documentation of equine sledding in just about every state that snow occurs. A Dec. The horsemen of Wisconsin and Minnesota were arranging a racing circuit to start about Christmas Day. That same year a Canadian circuit was being formed and they anticipated that many horses from northern and western New York were going to make up a good part of the entrants.

It noted that the meet in Ottawa was held in conjunction with the winter carnival there which as everyone knows was and still is held on the Rideau Canal. In the s, ice and snow racing were very popular in New York state. In Clayton, N. Lawrence River in A reporter stated the condition of the track was so good, one may have thought it had been readied for the Hambletonian Stakes. Many horsemen, who frequented the regular harness tracks in the state during the summer, brought some stock to these meets in the winter. Garland Garnsey was one of them.

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Contact Us. More on that in a moment. First the backstory behind this curious song. In another verse, a similar mishap is ridiculed by a passerby: A gent was riding by In a one-horse open sleigh, He laughed as there I sprawling lie, But quickly drove away. The chorus is then sung similar to what we know it today: Jingle bells, jingle bells, Jingle all the way; Oh! The last verse references the races: Just get a bobtailed bay Two forty as his speed Hitch him to an open sleigh And crack! But the true purpose of the bells is much more alarming — quite literally.

Hear jingly bells ringing? Get the heck out of the way.