Behind the scenes at Lewis County Fair horse races

Behind the scenes at Lewis County Fair horse races

LOWVILLE, N.Y. (WWNY) - Tuesday marked the beginning of the 199th Lewis County Fair.

Visitors had no shortage of attractions to take in from food, rides, and even livestock shows.

Tucked behind the typical fair entertainment sits the venue for harness racing.

A total of 16 races took place.

According to the presiding judge and former harness racer Scott Campbell, the harness race has been going on since “long before I was born, and I’m 56 years old.”

The race is put on by the New York SIRE Stakes in the County Fair division.

The program serves to promote horse breeding and uses the race to showcase horses for future auctions.

Although the County Fair division is the lowest among the Excelsior and Sire Stakes classes, Campbell says some horses may move up.

“A lot of these horses will race in the Excelsior or SIRE Stakes, but it’s a good educational step for them,” he said.

The New York State SIRE Stakes puts on the harness race, but it’s really the drivers that fuel the event.

“We get to know one another pretty well, and know what their horses are capable of, and we give and take. It’s a lot of fun, a lot of enjoyment,” said Kevin Gale, harness racer.

Gale is a 40-year race veteran.

He held the track record for trotters until Tuesday.

John McDonald riding Lucid Thoughts beat Gale’s 2013 time by one second.

The next county fair harness race is scheduled for July 18 at the Clinton County Fair in Plattsburgh.

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