Mahonri M. Young (1877-1957), Harness Races, Danbury Fair (Danbury Fair, Trotting Races), 1937, oil on canvas, 47 1/8 x 80 1/16 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchase/gift of the Mahonri M. Young Estate, 1959.
In this MOA highlight, Mahonri Young captured the rapid movement of the trotting races at the annual Danbury Connecticut Fair. Horse racing was one of the first modern sports in America. Among the middle class, “trotting” became popular as trotting horses were not pure-bred and were more affordable. Many saw the trotting horse as a national horse because it was from American stock, unlike thoroughbreds which were bred in Europe. Here the horses rear and strain against the drivers’ whips, while an elegantly dressed couple watch to see how their entry will perform.