It wasn't called "harness" racing, or even a sport, until the turn of the 19th Century. Pitting horses against one another along country roads, or on city streets was simply called "trotting". Pacers and trotters alike were participants in "trotting".New York Governor First Promotes Racing
In 1965, at Hempstead, Long Island a birthday party was thrown, commemorating the 300th anniversary of horse racing. The competitions among the steeds of private owners was a gala event in New York City, promoted by the governor in 1665, Richard Nicolls.
New York officials and the governor gathered with particular people every May to witness races sponsored for the "improvement and encouragement of a good brand of horses". Equine winners were rewarded with silver trophies, while next bests were given an equal share of wheat.
Naysayers reared their heads by 1802 to force passage of a law banning horse racing. But by 1819, desginated riders, called jockeys, could handle horses in specified races for trotters and pacers as races became official on regulated courses. Races were allowed only in May and in October and required the presence of the local sheriff to keep tabs on the legalities.
Early Race Courses Were Paths
Early courses were established as paths in what is now Brooklyn. Bath, Long Island got the first race course, and Union Course was set in 1821 three miles west of Jamaica. It was nearly oval and covered one mile, the excepted standard for trotting races which remains today. In the southwest corner of North Hempstead, a straight track was named Newmarket Course by Governor Nicolls. Pre-revoluntionary Brits favored it for the racing of their blooded horses. In 1843, the name Newmarket was replaced by the tag Washington Race Course.
Harness racing's foundation sire, the father of the sport, Messenger, is buried on Long Island. He died in 1808 at the age of 28.
Evolution Takes Its Course
It wasn't until May 3, 1845 that race results from Union Course were reported in a newspaper for the first time. The New York Herald printed an extra edition to catch the day's racing news.
In the same year, trotters were bowing to the unbeatable Lady Suffolk. She recorded the first under 2:30 mile, an incredible feat at the time.
The trotting sport entered a new era of visibility. Such equine greats as John R. Gentry, Star Pointer, and Joe Patchen and Maud S. thrilled the crowds. Joe Patchen later sired the undefeated pacer, Dan Patch.
As the years passed, more intense competitions were sponsored. Still in place today are the Hambletonian and the Messenger, and the Little Brown Jug, all named after harness champions.
Avoiding wheelchair theft could save virtually any hospital between $19,000 to $25,000 a year. Unfortunately, with so many in need of mobility assistance a place like a hospital annually reports hospital patient transportation theft. With well over 32 million disabled Americans, wheelchairs have become a national necessity; ramps, wide doorways, and hallways have become routine accommodations.
Across the country, hospital directors now have to budget for a 10% loss of their on hand quantity of handicap equipment. It's expected that despite the need to have several hundred chairs available they may very well fall below 200 wheelchairs.
Helping to prevent mobile chair theft begins with the type of chair you purchase.
A uniquely designed wheelchair is harder to steal. There are wheelchair manufacturers that offer their clients not only a variety of eye-catching colors, but the ability to chose a custom color. More than likely, when wheelchairs are stolen, no one notices because of the high volume of people coming and going. With a custom color chair, or a bold color red chair, staff can more easily spot chairs leaving without a proper escort.
Being able to store wheelchairs in designated areas also helps prevent theft.
It's not uncommon to go to a hospital and find wheelchairs in odd locations. Almost at every turn, one can find a wheelchair left haphazardly in a corner, or alongside an empty bed in a vacant room. To a casual observer, it looks as if there's no place to store them. Wheelchairs that have the ability to be nestable take the guesswork out of where and how the valued equipment can be stored.
Many transport chairs are stolen because of a mistaken identity.
It's easy during the rush of getting a patient or loved one into a vehicle to reach for the chair, fold it, and store it away in the trunk. A transport chair that doesn't fold is a good way of getting the rushing mind of that individual to realize that the chair is not supposed to leave. In this instance, a chair that would have accidentally been stolen, now remains the property of the intended facility.
A mobility chair that requires the push of another individual may prevent theft.
The patient release forms have been signed and now the individual is ready to leave and meet their party outside. If the only way a mobility chair can be moved is by someone pushing it, your staff has more control of when and where the mobility chair goes. When only your employees move chairs, all non-qualified personnel can be observed more easily during a mobility chair theft.
When handicap patients or those that are temporarily disabled come to your facility, amongst their list of expectations is the expectation of accommodation. In today's fast pace world, it's almost unheard of for a handicap person to be turned away, or inconveniently delayed due to a lack of available wheelchairs. Help retain your investment by purchasing uniquely designed chairs that are nestable, non-folding, and require the push of your hired staff.