Then - August 28, 1891 Champaign County Fair, Ohio with harness horse hitched to high-wheeled racing sulky on the racetrack in front of judges’ stand (CCHS #A1745). In 1892 this high-wheeled racing sulky was superseded by bicycle pneumatic tired-sulky, a modification of which is used today. Note the elaborately ornament judges’ stand. July 4, 1911 photo (CCHS #A1704) shows this judges’ stand in front of the grandstand. It is not known when this judges’ stand was replaced.
Now - August 7, 1977 Champaign County Fair showing Dick Buxton, a harness horse trainer based at the fairgrounds, in front of judges’ stand with winning two-year-old filly Regatta Day. Contrast the modern bicycle-tired sulky shown here with the high wheeled sulky of 1891. Note the different position of the drivers and their position relative to the horse. Also note the difference in attire of the drivers. Drivers are currently required to wear a safety helmet. The use of the bicycle-tired sulky immediately allowed harness racing horse to race much faster.
The Champaign County Historical Society is an all-volunteer, not-for profit organization that preserves, protects, archives and displays the artifacts that tell the Champaign County story. The society depends upon donations and dues to provide a free public museum, which is open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays.
Looking Back at Champaign County
The Champaign County Historical Society strives to highlight historical people, places and events throughout Champaign County. If you have photos of historical significance that you believe would be of interest to Champaign Countians, please Contact Us.