The Harness Horse Youth Foundation (HHYF) spends the summer months each year traveling around to different racetracks and farms to engage kids into the world of harness racing. The organization, headed by Ellen Taylor, executive director, provides hands on training for kids to learn the ins and outs about preparing horses for the track.
This past week, the HHYF visited the farm of John and Tabatha DeLong, located just minutes from the track at Harrah’s Hoosier Park. While there, the kids learned about all the preparation and chores it takes to get a horse ready for the races as well as the duties of keeping a training center going, from track maintenance care to the different levels of care for horses at the farm. Kids were introduced to horses from the HHYL and also to horses in training for the Delong Stable. They learned the basic care as well as harnessing and jogging the Trottingbred ponies.
John and Tabatha DeLong have opened up their farm the past few seasons to kids involved in the HHYF summer program. The future of harness racing lies in the kids interested in horses and the sport at a young age. Thanks to the DeLongs, several kids now have a better understanding of the sport as they develop a passion for the Standardbred breed.