Bill S5920-2013

Relates to harness racing

Relates to harness racing.



  • Jul 29, 2013: REFERRED TO RULES


BILL NUMBER:S5920            REVISED MEMO 01/14/14

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law, in relation to harness racing


To allow competition and wagering on "racing under saddle" at standardbred harness racetracks.


Section 1: Amends subdivision 3 of section 301 of the Racing, Pari-Mutuel Wagering and Breeding law to permit a mounted rider as an acceptable form of standardbred harness racing.

Section 2: Effective date.


Under current law, the definition of harness racing limits the racing of this very specific and unique breed of horse (standardbred a/kla harness horse) to racing attached to "a sulky, carriage or similar vehicle" and effectively prohibits the practice of "racing under saddle" with a mounted rider.

A promotional event, where no purse money was awarded, was held at Yonkers Raceway in 2010. While the Yonkers exhibition created interest and excitement in this new form of racing, it has remained a novelty with unrealized potential because of the inability to pay purses. Permitting "racing under saddle" at New York State harness tracks could have significant benefits for the racing industry, and therefore, for the entire state.

This proposal would specifically limit such racing at harness tracks only to registered standardbred horses (and only at a trot or a pace). Such changes would allow licensed harness tracks to conduct either harness races or "racing under saddle" races, and would allow wagers to be made and purses to be paid under the same regulatory guidelines currently in place for the conduct of harness races.


New bill.


None to state.


This act shall take effect immediately.


STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5920 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE July 29, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sens. BONACIC, LARKIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules AN ACT to amend the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law, in relation to harness racing THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 3 of section 301 of the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law is amended to read as follows: 3. The term "racing", as used in this article, shall be construed to mean UTILIZING only [horse racing in which the horses participating are harnessed] HORSES THAT ARE REGISTERED WITH A RECOGNIZED BREED REGISTRY AS STANDARD (HARNESS) AND WHERE THE STANDARDBRED HORSE IS ATTACHED to a sulky, carriage, or similar vehicle[, and shall not include any form of horse racing in which the horses participating are] OR mounted [by a jockey]. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.


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