Types of Horse Racing


Throughout the world, horse racing is one of the most well loved and enjoyed sporting events. Horse racing has evolved over the years to include many exciting and different forms of the event. The following is a list of some of the various forms of horse racing:

Harness Horse Racing: This type consists of a horse fastened to a two-wheeled cart. A jockey is in the cart and controls the horse. Two types of this form are ‘Pacing’ and ‘Trotting.’ They differ according to the horse’s gait, or how the horse runs. With ‘trotting,’ the horse’s right front leg and left hind leg land on the track at the same time while they are running. In ‘Pacing,’ there are shorter pauses during a race and the horse travels at a much faster rate. As a horse begins to gallop, the jockey must slow it down in order to regain its pace. A popular sport in North America, Australia, New Zealand and Europe, harness horse racing not only relies on quickness, but also tactics. The Standardbred horse is known for its excellent harness racing abilities. These horses are well-built, muscular, and have a calm disposition.

Thoroughbred Horse Racing: Thoroughbred is governed by different national horse racing organizations and involves the racing of thoroughbred horses. A popular sport with gamblers, there are two forms of this equestrian sport: ‘Flat Racing’ and ‘Jump Racing.’ Flat racing can be run at different distances. Horses competing in this form are very fast. Jump racing can be divided into ‘hurdling’ and ‘steeple chasing.’ The distances of the dashes can vary from 3/4 mile to more than two. Steeple chasing is a horse race that involves a variety of fence and ditch obstacles. In hurdling horses run over obstacles referred to as hurdles. The hurdles are usually over three and a half feet high in height.

Because speed is a major component, it involves high-quality horses and prestigious prizes. Horses competing in these events are usually the same age and gender.

Quarter-Horse Racing: This form received its name quarter-horse because the race originally ran a quarter of a mile. Horses run at a very fast pace for a short distance. It is one of the more recent equestrian events as its governing organization was not formed until the 1940s.

Stakes Horse Races: This type of race involves is governed by the Graded Stakes Committee. The term “stake” comes from the race entry fees. The fees make up the total amount of the prizes awarded. Prizes are given to the top three and sometimes four winners. There are three grades that include Grade 1, 2, and 3. Medium size and large tracks will have at least one grade 3 race. These events have the highest purse prizes. The Breeders’ Cup Classic prize is $ 5 million.

There are a number famous horse tracks in the US that include Keeneland Race Track in Lexington, Kentucky, Churchill Downs in Louisville, Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Saratoga Springs in New York, and the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersy.

As one of the oldest racing sports, this fever has spread throughout the world. It is a thrilling event for horse racing fans of all ages.

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