I'm not going to pretend I had any idea what a 'sulky' was at first, so you don't need to pretend either. If you do know - well, you've got one up on me today, nice job.

A sulky is akin to a chariot in horse races, although much smaller and lighter and typically without the body of a cart, just a small seat to hold the driver. Also called 'harness racing', sulky races are intended for both horse and dog racing (or in some cases, feral goats...?).

Sulky - or harness - racing works with a particular horse breed, the Standardbred, which I'm also not going to pretend I've known much about (my horse knowledge has faded considerably since my obsession at the age of 11). Most interestingly, sulky/harness races are run at either of two gaits: a trot, which we're all pretty familiar with, or a pace, which functions similar to a trot but with the legs on the same side of the body moving in unison.

But did you know sulky racing used to be common in Wyoming? Sure, we had plenty of standard Quarter Horse derby races - which have been resurging in the past few years - but I certainly didn't expect something like harness racing to catch on in the state. And yet, it certainly was around. The Western History Center at Casper College has been good enough to provide me with a series of photos from the early-to-mid 1900s, including one from today, September 22, in 1915.

Check 'em out below - and try this point-of-view video to experience a sulky ride yourself.

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Photos of Historic Wyoming Horse Races

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