The 163rd Muskingum County Fair kicked off today and one of the main events was harness racing. As riders from all over the state came to compete, Zanesville resident, Ed Rider, was ready to hold his own. Rider has raced horses for almost 25 years and says the local fair is what got him interested as a child.
“Going to the Warren County Fair with my grandfather when I was 6 years old, we used to go down and eat bologna sandwiches and watch the races at the fairs and stuff. That was a really big deal back then, one of the most popular things back at the fairs when I was growing up,” tells Rider.
Rider now owns a harness racing stable and competes at tracks and fairs on the Southern Valley Circuit. His horse today was Jazzy’s Boy, a 3 year old standard-bred, trotting colt. As spectators saw today, it takes a lot of preparation to get these horses ready to race.
“With the horse we have to warm it up before we race. At least jog them a couple miles and go on a slow training trip the direction we will be racing. It just depends on the animal again, some of them need more exercise than others do,” says Rider.
And then they were off as the horses flew across the track. Ed Rider and Jazzy’s Boy placed 6th in their race. Rider says that the Muskingum Fair is one of the best races in the Southern Valley Circuit.