Harness racing a Wand family tradition - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Harness racing a Wand family tradition

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MADISON, Wis. (WKOW) -- "Rain or shine, a horse has to get out."

No matter how you measure passion or where you find it, to be the best you must have passion. And a lot of it.

"This one and another one will be racing tomorrow at Elkhorn."

Gabe Wand of Shullsburg has been around horses and horse racing for most of his life. But his type of racing is a little different from what you may see each summer during the Triple Crown. 

"This is the normal race harness. The crupper goes under the tail."

When it's all said and done, there is a series of straps and harnesses that attach to a two wheeled cart. Instead of sprint, horses either trot or pace. For Gabe, racing doesn't end with a finish line -- it's a full time job.

"It's jog them every day, Train them every day and get them to the races and a lot of times they pan out, a lot of times they don't pan out. It's not for the weak of heart. When you invest in a living animal, anything can happen."

Wand is setting records in Wisconsin, winning eight straight driving titles. An impressive career partially owed to his coach, who also happens to be his dad. 

"There's different points of views. Every time you send a horse out, he may look at it this way, I look at it this way, you meet in the middle and find out what works."

Robert Wand started his racing career in the 1960's. Over five decades later, he knows all of the in's and out's of harness racing. That knowledge has rubbed off on Gabe.

"When he first started the amateur. I remember one time while cutting the mile for him I said, 'Get going!', and he won the race."

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