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Wales and Border Counties Racing Association (WBCRA)

| Introduction | Area Covered | The Season | Participants | Race Day | WBCHA Structure |

Introduction

Wales & Border Counties Racing Association (WBCRA) is the original independent harness racing organization in Great Britain. Harness Racing is often referred to as the equestrian worlds best kept secret. For some reason the sport doesnt get the media coverage it deserves.

Our Area

We cover the southern half of Wales and the bordering counties of England, extending from the West coast of Wales as far as the English county of Herefordshire, and from Caersws in Mid Wales to Ammanford in South Wales.

Wales & Borders Map
Wales & Borders' area and some meeting loacations
© welsh-trotting.co.uk

The Season

The season traditionally begins on Easter Monday with the oldest (run since 1884!) meeting in the calendar at Llangadog in Carmarthenshire, South Wales. Race meetings are held every weekend until the end of September, while mid-week evening meetings are held regularly during July and August.

Races are run predominately on grass - moving from one venue to another each week. Each venue creates its own ambience and every club jealously guards its individual identity, whether it be the typical “Cardi” meeting at Synod Inn, West Wales or the so called “Wembley of Wales” at Penybont in Powys. It literally is a case of taking the racing to the people, rather than centralising affairs at one track.

The last race meeting of the season is a charity meeting with the venue changing yearly. The horse-owners hold a low prize-money meeting to raise money for local charities. The presentation of the annual awards to horses and drivers takes place at this meeting and adds to the great friendly party atmosphere.

Participants

Wales & Border Counties harness racing, also known locally as trotting, is a truly amateur sport. Most of the competitors own, train and drive their own horses. It is one of the easiest equine sports to take up, with members providing lots of help and support to newcomers as well as staging junior races for the younger members of the families who cannot wait to grow up to get involved. There are a few professional trainers but these are all part-time and although the competition is intense, this sport constantly maintains its special family atmosphere of neighbourly association with the emphasis being on fun and enjoyment for all participants alike.

Typical Race Day

Most of the races are usually 1 mile long although a number of meetings stage 1¼ mile races and the occasional 1½ mile race. The crowd is never far away from the action, and there is usually plenty of it with up to 20 (or sometimes more!) races per day being run every 20 minutes or so. Saddle races are very popular, as are six furlong races as well as the exciting junior races. Meetings have on site book makers where the public can pit their wit or just take a chance with lady luck to make a profit. Welsh harness racing attracts fans from all walks of life and professions. The magic of a ‘day at the trotting races’ is something which has a uniquely Welsh feel to it.

Structure of WBCRA

Wales & Borders in organised in two associations to look after all aspects of the harness racing:

  • The Wales & Border Counties Racing Association (formerly called 'The Mid Wales')
  • The Wales & Border Counties Trotting Association (usually called 'The Horseowners')

The racing Association was originally formed in the 1970s by Penybont, Llandrindod Wells, Presteigne, Kington and Aberedw race committees to establish common rules for their different race meetings. Then in about 1976 it took responsibility for all the race committees to run under The Mid Wales rules. At the same time The Horseowners association was formed to look after the interests of the horseowners and to register the horses for racing.

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