More Horse Racing at the York Fair
A recent post concerned harness racing at the York Fair way back in 1867, over 150 years ago. A reader commented that he remembered non-harness horse races at the fair when he was a boy, with jockeys without helmets.
Click here for post on 1867 races. Click here for 1929 York Fair races. Click here for current York Fair harness racing.
He didn’t say when that was, but booklets and clippings in the York Fair file at the York County Heritage Trust Library/Archives indicate that racing with jockeys was also a long tradition, alongside the harness racing. At one time or another automobiles, motorcycles and bicycles were also raced at the fair.
For example, in 1959 accidents occurred on both horse races and harness races. Three jockeys, aged 16, 17 and 44, were injured in a three-horse pileup, according to the Gazette and Daily. According to the article, there had also been two accidents during harness racing that week.
We may even be able to view some segments of 1940s and 1950s York Fair races. The table of contents of the Noss films, which have been recently digitized by the YCHT through a Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission grant, lists some York Fair races. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Noss took motion pictures of York area events in that period and then showed them around the community. I don’t know how much racing they captured, but the films can all now be conveniently viewed on a computer at the YCHT Library/Archives.