The Basics of Horse Racing
Horse racing is one of the oldest sports and its basic concept has undergone virtually no change over the centuries. Although it has grown from a primitive contest of speed or stamina between two horses to a huge public entertainment business involving vast fields, sophisticated electronic monitoring equipment and immense sums of money, the sport’s essential feature is that the horse that crosses the finish line first is the winner.
As a result, there are countless rules and regulations regarding how races are run, including the breed of horse that can be used, and whether a jockey is allowed to use a whip. In addition, the racing surface and weather can impact how a race is run.
In the past, a large number of different horse breeds were used to compete in horse races. The most common breeds for racing included Thoroughbreds, Arabian horses and Quarter Horses. Different organizations have different requirements for what type of horse can be used in a race. For example, some races are only open to horses that meet a minimum weight requirement. Other races are only open to horses that are trained by a certain trainer or have won a certain number of races.
A horse’s form is an important part of its preparation for a race. A series of numbers and letters appear alongside a horse’s name showing what position it has finished in its previous races. A helpful abbreviation to look out for is C, which stands for a victory and D, which indicates a win at that course over the same distance.
To improve the chances of a horse winning, it is crucial that its training and diet are at their best. This includes ensuring that it is fit, healthy and has a well-conditioned back. The horse’s owner must also ensure that it has adequate rest between races to help it recover from the physical and psychological stresses of racing.
The sport of horse racing is a dangerous business for horses, which are forced to sprint at such high speeds that they often suffer injuries and breakdowns. The abuse and misuse of performance-enhancing drugs in the industry is also contributing to this. As a result, horse racing is losing fans and race days at an alarming rate.
Behind the romanticized facade of horse racing is a world of broken horses, drug abuse and gruesome slaughter. It’s time for the public to wake up to the cruelty in horse racing and take action. Find out more about the issue, by reading PETA’s groundbreaking investigations into abusive training methods for young horses, drug abuse and the transport of injured and unfit animals to foreign slaughterhouses. You can help stop this cruelty by signing our petition.