Sulky design flaw

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Sulky design flaw

Post by ray the beancounter on Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:17 pm

I drove from Auckland down to Cambridge on Friday evening to watch my horse Edamfast go round in race 8. He ran a very creditable third place after starting from the ugly draw of 8 and being taken back to the rear of the field right from the start of the race.

The point of my post is in regard to a disturbing design flaw in the manufacture of some sulkies that resulted in the death of the horse Sporty Ell in the abandoned race 5.

I don’t have a picture to more easily show what I mean so I will attempt to describe the issue. Sulkies are generally a simple basic design with a substantial metal frame across the rear from one side to the other, that the wheel frames attach to on either side. Simple so far...
From this cross bar are attached two smaller metal bars in the centre of the sulky that are positioned horizontally and pointing towards the rear. These bars are about 30cm long and form the slides onto which the seat is attached.

You may now see the problem........if the seat were removed you are left with two metal spears pointing backwards towards the trailing horse that can be travelling at close quarters behind you and can be travelling at 50km/hr.

In the abandoned race a horse fell and the trailing horse crashed at full force into the rear of the sulky in front of him. The force catapulted the driver of the front horse forward and ripped the seat from the frame thus exposing these two metal seat slides which the trailing horse had no hope of avoiding. Without getting too graphic I will just say that the injured horse had two puncture wounds and was euthanized.

I had a look at a few different sulky designs when I was down at the stables and not all sulkies have this specific problem. Some do in fact have an additional bar or rail around the extreme outside of the seat frame which offers some degree of protection to a trailing horse.

Sulkies have to have a Warrant of Fitness to be used in a race so why are the New Zealand regulations not more stringent in this regard to provide a higher degree of protection to a trailing horse.
A horse had to be euthanized whilst in his debut race appearance and in my opinion it was due to a sulky design flaw.
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ray the beancounter

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Join date : 2015-03-29
Age : 51
Location : Auckland

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