The sound of the starting horn means that it’s time for another season of racing at North America’s oldest continuously operated horse racing track in Goshen.

The track officially opened in 1838, in a town that’s hosted informal horse racing since the 18th century. Fourth of July weekend was the start of the 2024 season, with 10 races on Friday and more harness races on Saturday and Sunday.

"Harness racing is alive, well and kicking in New York," said state Gaming Commission Chair Brian O'Dwyer. "Hundreds and races and thousands of dollars being spent in purses for people to perpetuate this great New York tradition."

What You Need To Know

  • This weekend marks the start of the 2024 harness racing season at Goshen Historic Track

  • The track, opened in 1838, is the longest continously running horse racing track in North America

  • Friday featured 10 races and thousands of dollars in prizes for the winners

It’s a tradition kept near and dear for many families in Goshen and around the area. Isabelle Fleming and her family have kept their box seats for decades.

"It's such a family event," Fleming said. "You look around, you'll see a lot of kids here, a lot of families here."

Steven Jones, president of the track, says it’s a feeling shared by many of the families who spend their weekends here year after year. But not only them; the track remains a huge draw for the town of Goshen and the region.

"I run into people here that I've known my whole life that have been coming to Goshen since they were born," Jones said. "So it's very important to preserve the tradition of Goshen, and we intend to do that."

It’s that community feeling, whether it’s your first race or 50th, that keeps folks like Fleming coming back.

"It's a little something different, very social, a lot of fun," Fleming said. "It’s a good day."