SECRET WORLD OF TROTTING
week in the East, illegal horse races take place on open roads.
They attract hundreds of travellers who come to watch.
might say the thundering horses and their two-wheel carriages seriously
endanger other road users.
Out has penetrated the clandestine world of 'trotting' to gain a
not an issue for us... They have the right to use the road
as much as anyone else."|
Inside Out's investigation, a Hertfordshire Trotter cautiously agreed
to the filming of a race.
the race, the trotters were in fear of arrest.
Out asked Hertfordshire Police to comment on the races.
their presence in the area at the time of the race, they said, "It
is not an issue for us here in Hertfordshire. They have a right
to use the road as much as anyone else."
not everyone would agree.
animal welfare organisations and road users believe that the police
should stop these races.
hang from car windows during the race|
RSPCA spokesperson told Inside Out, 'The activity by it's very nature
will compromise the welfare of the horses.'
the trotters Inside Out talked to, many of whom were travellers,
wanted to express why they are determined to preserve their ‘sport’…
The Trotters' view
that binds communities. Many trotters' lives are steeped in
have a right to use public highways as much as car drivers.
are well cared for by the trotting community.
are socially excluded from more prestigious, legal tracks.
The Opposers' view
encourages illegal gambling. Thousands of pounds change hands
at each race.
car drivers could be killed as horses veer across roads.
is cruel as horses could be killed by vehicles or unregulated
Racing is the legal form of the sport and enthusiasts can indulge
claims the horses are not treated cruelly|
Harbour is respected as a road racer in trotting circles.
of reason, he recognises the difficulties travellers face. In
particular, he defends the way the horses are gaited and treated.
says "It's not cruel at all. It's in the horse to do it. It
(moving in the gait) is an easy action."
trotters claim they will fight to the last to keep their sport going.
road racing’s alleged lack of safety and regulation means that they
will meet fierce opposition.
issue is not only in the East. Inside Out's North
East and Cumbria team have also uncovered illegal trotting.