Racing Under Saddle has started to make its imprint in the North American Standardbred racing industry this year, and Ontario-based participant Britt Kennedy would like people to know that it’s not as easy as it may look.
“To get started doing it, it’s painful,” Kennedy has been quoted as saying in an article by the London Free Press. “The strength you need in you legs, it’s something you have to work on.”
Kennedy explained that although riders are perched atop the RUS Standardbreds in a position similar to a jockey on a Thoroughbred, the RUS rider’s job is very different. The article also explains that there are no weight restrictions for RUS riders.
“In some cases being lighter is not always an advantage with the trotters,” Kennedy said. “You’ve got to be able to have the strength. The Thoroughbred, you are pushing them on the gallop. With Standardbred, you are holding them on the trot. It takes a lot of upper body strength, too.”
Kennedy also reflected on the success of Racing Under Saddle in 2014 and stated that enthusiasts are looking to keep the momentum going.
“That is our vision to keep growing year by year,” she said. “We’ve come leaps and bounds in the last year. For us to be available for pari-mutuel wagering at this point is huge. Our numbers thus far this year, usually we are in the top races wagered on. If there are 10-12 races on a card each track we’ve gone to we’ve had wagering at, the numbers have been good.
“For the bettors it’s something different. That’s what our industry is dying for right now something knew something different that is going to catch fans’ attention and renew their interest in this industry.”
(With files from the London Free Press)