Reading Becomes the Wild West
The individuals who were racing horses on Skyline Drive in Reading PA will face charges. On February 22 around 10 horses, reportedly of the type used in sulky races, raced down Skyline Drive. A crowd estimated at more than 50 lined the drive, some taking cell phone videos and with some onlookers cheering the riders.
Videos posted online showed shod horses racing on Skyline Drive between the Pagoda and the William Penn Memorial Fire Tower. This activity is known as racking. These types of races are the equivalent of drag racing – but for horses.
The investigation has been turned over to the Central Berks Police Department, with whom the city has an agreement giving it policing powers around the Pagoda and on the Mount Penn Preserve. They will be filing charges. The city parks code does prohibit horseback riding in city parks, but horseback riding is allowed in parts of the preserve areas of Mount Penn. However, Pennsylvania law does not allow horses to be ridden on roads.
Apparently, they also know who the identity of the group, although that information has not been released. Interestingly, an officer on duty at central Berks regional police said the department did not receive any reports about the racing.
The group was reported to have applied for a permit in Reading but never contacted Lower Alsace Township where the riding occurred. The permit that was applied for was never granted because there was not time enough time to check the backgrounds of the group between the date of application on February 14th and the event that happened on February 22nd. There is no word yet as to why, but perhaps the investigation will reveal the purpose behind, and the choice of location for, the activity.