With over 100 members, the Canfield Harness Horsemen is one of the largest organizations of its kind in the state of Ohio.
Sunday, at the Canfield Fairgrounds, some members of this group put on a little show and did some training in the process.
“C’mon Chubby. Quit holding your breath,” said horse racing veteran Kim Sigler.
Sigler’s best friend is just three years old.
“He’s like a kid,” Sigler said with a deep raspy laugh. “[He's] Always on the go.”
Sigler is talking about Lone Valley Cody, a three-year old colt. Sigler trains the young horse.
“This is what it’s all about,” said Sigler, as he properly equipped Cody. “Just getting him ready.”
Sigler is prepping Cody for his first full season of harness racing. It’s far from that for Sigler. He’s been at it for 42 years.
“I’ve always enjoyed it,” said Sigler. “I enjoy the thrill of racing.”
It’s not a race today, but rather a training session, too, that helps younger colts work up to a schedule that can see them compete at least once a week through late fall.
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“These horses are a lot tougher than thoroughbreds,” said Sigler. “The thoroughbreds only race about once a month or so.”
That’s not the only difference. Sigler is considered a driver not a jockey.
“You can see everything that’s in front of you,” said Sigler. “You’re watching that nobody makes a bad step or falls down in front of you.”
You are also watching for the finish line, because, after all, that’s the goal this pair is galloping towards.
“Beat everyone in there,” said Sigler with a big laugh to follow.
When they are done, this pair will start the process all over again in preparation for next week.