Now that the bright evenings are getting longer, racing sulkies, much loved by Travellers, are becoming more visible on our roads.Different people have different views but, last week, a councilor in Tipperary called for an official sulky racing track to be established in the county, one that would also most likely attract sulky enthusiasts from other areas.
Fianna Fail’s John Hogan told a meeting of the County Council that Sulky Racing was one of the oldest sports in the world and could be traced back to the Circus Maximus in Rome during the 6th century BC.
Pointing out that there were facilities in Tipperary for car racing, Councillor Hogan said the local authority should provide an appropriate track and take sulky racing off the roads. Simply banning the sport would not solve or achieve anything, he said.Councillor Martin Browne reminded his colleagues that sulky racing was actually illegal in many areas at present but the Traveller Horse Owners Association was trying to deal with issues surrounding the practice.
“I don’t condone sulky racing,” said Councillor Browne, “ but we shouldn’t be hypocritical about it. “Horses had to be put down after being driven hard over 36-fences in the Aintree Grand National and there was no uproar.”