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On a Monday in mid-July short track harness races are held on the grass track behind the church in Stompwijk. They are races for 24 horses and the finish is at minimum 968 and maximum 1017 feet. The horses in this competition pull a light cart, a sulky, and trot as fast as they can. There is a driver in the sulky. The horses trot in pairs against each other, alternately in the inner and the outer track. The horse that wins the first two rides, qualifies for the next round. Through a knock-out system four fast trotters remain, that run for the first up to the fourth prize. The short track regulations of the Dutch Harnessing and Racing Sports Foundation are applicable. The short track harness races are the highlight and the closing event of the Stompwijk Horse Days. On Friday there is a parade with horses and ring tilting. On Saturday there is a show jumping competition and on Sunday the National Pony Races are held. During the Horse Days there is a fair in Stompwijk. There are a lot of other activities, for young people, like shows in the party tent, disco, quad biking and tonknuppelen (barrel beating) and for the elderly (card games).



The Short Track Harness Races are part of the Stompwijk Horse Days. These days are a feast for the people of Stompwijk. Former Stompwijk residents return for it, families gather to eat together and attend the festivities. The Stichting Stompwijkse Harddraverij Nooit Gedacht (The Stompwijk Harness Race Nooit Gedacht Foundation) is in the first place engaged in the organisation of the races. Stompwijk still had many breeders and owners of trotter race horses. Horse lovers from all over the country come to Stompwijk because of the special grass track, the good view on the circuit, the horses and to socialise.



Before the eighteenth century short track harness races were often organised by bar managers to attract extra customers for their businesses. In the nineteenth and twentieth century societies were established that organised an annual short track race, often including a fair. Nowadays there are still 28 short track races, of which Stompwijk is the only one on grass. As far as we know, the first short track harness race in Stompwijk was held in 1857. In 1909 the Short Track Society Nooit Gedacht was established. As of 1913 a two-day festival was held, but during crisis years it became one day again. After World War II the festivities grew out again, up to three days from the middle of the sixties. From 1989 four days have been reserved for the event. The afternoon races have always enjoyed major participation of nationally known drivers and horses. Thousands of visitors from the surroundings came to watch. The circuit has become ever better in the course of the years. As of 1985 the track has been brightened up with gigantic vases with multi-coloured flowers. The wealth of flowers gives the track an elegant look and contributes to the atmosphere around the tradition. The side-activities, the fair and the party in the tent, guarantee four festive days for Stompwijk. Flags are flying throughout the village.



Stichting Stompwijkse Harddraverij Nooit Gedacht
Stompwijkseweg 29
2266 GC