Harness Racing like most sports has its own language so here are some commonly used words/terms.

Break - generally means to gallop, therefore breaking from the correct gait it should be in.

Colt - a male horse up to three years old.

Entire - male horse over the age of three that has not been gelded.

Filly - female horse up to the age of three.

Free-for-All - type of race that allows horses of all grades to compete off the same handicap (front mark).

Gait - type of running action. These are pacing and trotting.

Gelding - male horse of any age that has been neutered.

Grand Circuit - specified feature Group 1 races held in Australia and New Zealand for pacers and trotters. These races are designed for horses aged four years old and older.

Group One - the highest level of racing and the most prestigious races on the calendar.

Handicap - a race that places horses of varying classes together, with better or more highly assessed horses starting the race from ‘handicaps’. There are different types of handicap racing: Handicaps, Special Handicaps and Discretionary Handicaps.

Horses' Birthday - all Standardbred horses share the same birthday (1 January), regardless of when their actual birthday is.

HRNZ (Harness Racing New Zealand) - Harness racing’s administrative body.

Interdominions - yearly racing competition conducted over heats and a final contested between the best pacers in New Zealand and Australia.

Junior Driver - a driver who is under the age of 25 that has driven less than 100 winners, from a minimum of six seasons of race driving regardless of the number of winners driven. Also includes drivers aged 25 – 29 years who have driven less than 100 winners from a maximum of six seasons of race driving.

Mare - a female horse four years old or older.

Markers - mark the inside of the race track. On most race tracks around New Zealand markers have replaced the running or hub rail.

Mile Rate - a complicated calculation that allows horses’ race times to be compared over all distances. No matter the race distance each race will have a Mile Rate declared by the judge.

Mobile Start - a race start type that involves a vehicle with two gate-like arms attached, which horses assemble behind. A Mobile Start ensures all runners are moving together at speed before the race begins.

Near Side - means the left side of the horse.

Off Side - means the right side of the horse.

One-One - the racing position in which a horse is one horse out from the marker line (running rail) and has one horse in front of it.

Pacing - when pacing, a horse's near side front and rear legs move back and forth at the same time. The opposing stride sees the off side front and rear legs moving back and forth at the same time.

Parked - the racing position on the outside and often just behind the leader.

Passing Lane - an inward expansion of the race track in the front/home straight, which provides the horse following the leader (trailer) a clear run to the winning post, in the final lap only.

Racecourse Inspector - employed official that covers drug testing and security at race meetings and undertakes non-race day enquiries, such as investigations of alleged rule breaches.

RIB (Racing Integrity Board) - The Racing Integrity Board is an independent body who will promote and ensure compliance with high standards of integrity, animal welfare and professionalism by participants in the racing industry, for the benefit of the public, participants and the racing industry.

Racing Season - the racing season runs from August 1 to July 31.

Standing Start - the race start type that involves horses lining up behind a barrier strand(s). The Starter will only start a race when all horses are standing well in a line.

Stipendiary Steward - employee of the RIB to make sure race meetings are conducted within the rules of Harness Racing. Stipendiary Stewards act as prosecutors in race day enquiries.

Three Wide - a horse is three wide when there are two horses racing on its inside.

Trail - the racing position directly behind the leader.

Trot - when trotting a horse's near side back leg comes forward at the same time as the off side front leg goes forward and then vice versa. So the diagonal legs move together.

Turnover - total number of dollars invested through the TAB on any given race or race meeting.

Weanling - a foal that has been taken off its mother.

Industry Information