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York Fair Horse Racing Good Sport

1929 York Fair Horse Racing
York Fair time is rolling around again. Previous posts looked at horse racing at the fair in the 1860s and in the 1950s.
In 1929, horses and jockeys were part of a fair racing circuit from mid-August through mid-October. The Central Fair Circuit included Kutztown, Lancaster, Bloomsburg, Pottsville, Reading, Allentown, York and Frederick, in that order.
The York Fair touted itself as “One of America’s Outstanding Half Mile Tracks.” The York racing officials were E. C. Knebelkamp, Presiding Judge; Jack H. Yerian, Starter and Herbert D. Smyser, Racing Secretary.
The first page of an eight-page program and brochure promoting York Fair racing continues:

“A Real Show Spot

Never in the history of racing has so much genuine interest been manifest of the part of clean Sportsmen as today.

King Horse is on the Throne

Each day brings announcement that more of the finest people in the Nation are paying him court. New Owners, new Breeders, new interests are invading the Turf World. We believe that racing is coming into its own just as in Great Britain and other countries where it is the recognized National Sport.
The York Fair has but one interest at heart–Clean Racing for Clean Sportsmen.
One of the paragraphs in the ‘Code of a True Sportsman’ reads like this, ‘Honor the game thou playest, for he who playeth the game straight and hard wins even when he loses.’
There is no better placed town than York for shipping in or out. The Pennsylvania and Western Maryland switches are inside the grounds and if you want to truck there is an improved road in every direction. All of these things go with the York Fair and they constitute so many reasons why those who own, breed, or race horses like to attend.
A bale of hay and straw will be furnished free for each entered horse.
A Fair without Running Races is no Fair at all, at least not an honest to goodness American Fair.
For stall reservation of any other information write or wire
Racing Secretary.”

They certainly stressed how honest the York Fair races would be. It seems to imply that the horse racing of the day had a sometimes shady reputation.
The only racing at the York Fair anymore seems to be done by pigs, as part of the free entertainment. Does anyone remember when horse racing, either or both with jockeys or with sulkies and drivers was discontinued at the fair, and why? Note: I was wrong about horse racing being a thing of the past at the York Fair. As of 2009, it is alive and well, with two days of scheduled harness racing. There is no extra charge above the regular fair admission, so it is just as free as the racing pigs.
Click here for current York Fair racing.