This film is part of Free


The nearest modern equivalent to the chariot racing of ancient Greek and Roman times, equally enjoyable, but thankfully less dangerous.

Amateur film 1970 6 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


This is another fine example of Bradford amateur filmmaker Eric Hall capturing a local custom, in his inimitable style, this time that of sulky racing in Brough, Cumbria, in 1970. A well as showing some great racing, watched by a large crowd, and all the paraphernalia of bookies etc., as usual Eric provides a very informative commentary.

Eric Hall began making films documenting the local customs, people and places of Yorkshire in 1929, right up to 1980, and was President of Bradford Cine Circle. Sulky racing, which is thought to have begun back in the mid-1700s, still takes place every August at Brough (at the nearby Holme Farm, Appleby) which at the time was part of the historic county of Westmorland. Sulky racing, now usually called harness racing, is also associated with gipsies and travellers and the nearby annual Appleby Horse Fair. Notice the different gait of the pacer, as opposed to the trot, with a lateral gait where the legs on each side of the horse’s body moves forward and back at the same time, a la Spotty Dog from ‘The Woodentops’.