Portal:Horse racing

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Horse racing

Horse racing at Arlington Park, 2007

Horse racing is an equestrian sport that has been practiced over the centuries; the chariot races of Roman times are an early example, as is the contest of the steeds of the god Odin and the giant Hrungnir in Norse mythology. Chariot racing was one of the most popular ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine sports. Chariot racing was often dangerous to both driver and horse as they frequently suffered serious injury and even death, but generated strong spectator enthusiasm. In the ancient Olympic Games, as well as the other Panhellenic Games, the sport was one of the most important equestrian events.

Historically, equestrians honed their skills through games and races. Equestrian sports provided entertainment for crowds and honed the excellent horsemanship that was needed in battle. Many sports, such as dressage, eventing and show jumping, have origins in military training, which were focused on control and balance of both horse and rider. Other sports, such as rodeo, developed from practical skills such as those needed on working ranches and stations. Sport hunting from horseback evolved from earlier practical hunting techniques. Horse racing of all types evolved from impromptu competitions between riders or drivers. All forms of competition, requiring demanding and specialized skills from both horse and rider, resulted in the systematic development of specialized breeds and equipment for each sport. The popularity of equestrian sports through the centuries has resulted in the preservation of skills that would otherwise have disappeared after horses stopped being used in combat.

Horse racing is an equestrian sport and major international industry, watched in almost every nation of the world. There are three types: "flat" racing; steeplechasing, i.e. racing over jumps; and harness racing, where horses trot or pace while pulling a driver in a small, light cart known as a sulky. A major part of horse racing's economic importance lies in the gambling associated with it, an activity that in 2008 generated a world-wide market worth around US$115 billion

Selected article

A purebred Arabian stallion
The Arabian or Arab horse is a breed of horse that originated on the Arabian Peninsula. With a distinctive head shape and high tail carriage, the Arabian is one of the most easily recognizable horse breeds in the world. It is also one of the oldest breeds, with archaeological evidence of horses that resemble modern Arabians dating back 4,500 years. Throughout history, Arabian horses spread around the world by both war and trade, used to improve other breeds by adding speed, refinement, endurance, and strong bone. Today, Arabian bloodlines are found in almost every modern breed of riding horse.

The Arabian developed in a desert climate and was prized by the nomadic Bedouin people, often being brought inside the family tent for shelter and protection from theft. Selective breeding for traits including an ability to form a cooperative relationship with humans created a horse breed that is good-natured, quick to learn, and willing to please. The Arabian also developed the high spirit and alertness needed in a horse used for raiding and war. This combination of willingness and sensitivity requires modern Arabian horse owners to handle their horses with competence and respect.

Selected picture

Tambo valley races 2006 edit.jpg
Credit: Fir0002

Horses race on grass at the 2006 Tambo Valley Races in Swifts Creek, Victoria, Australia. Horseracing is the third most popular spectator sport in Australia, behind Australian rules football and rugby league, with almost 2 million admissions to the 379 racecourses throughout Australia in 2002–03.

Did you know...

  • ... that as of 2005, theories of foul play still have not been ruled out in the 1976 death of jockey Michael Hole?

Goldsmith Maid pulling a sulky

In the news

Wikinews Horse racing portal
  • May 11: Grand National winning horse 'Comply or Die' dies, aged 17
  • June 9: Winning horse I'll Have Another loses shot at US Triple Crown
  • May 21: I'll Have Another wins 2012 Preakness Stakes
  • May 6: I'll Have Another wins 2012 Kentucky Derby
Current events on Wikinews

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Selected race track

Flemington Race Course, Melbourne, Australia

Flemington Racecourse is a major horse racing venue located in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It is most notable for hosting the Melbourne Cup, which is Australia's richest horse race. The racecourse is situated on low alluvial flats, next to the Maribyrnong River, first used for horse racing in 1840.

The Flemington Racecourse site comprises 1.27 square kilometres of Crown land. The course was originally leased to the Victoria Turf Club in 1848, which merged with the Victoria Jockey Club in 1864 to form the Victoria Racing Club. The first Melbourne Cup was run in 1861. In 1871 the Victoria Racing Club Act was passed, giving the VRC legal control over Flemington Racecourse. The racecourse is shaped not unlike a pear, and boasts a six-furlong (1,200 m) straight known as 'the Straight Six.' The track has a circumference of 2,312 metres and a final straight of 450 metres for race distances over 1,200 metres.

Selected race

Beechers Brook, 1890
The Grand National is a world famous National Hunt horse race which is held at Aintree in the United Kingdom. It is a handicap chase containing thirty fences which is run over a distance of 4 miles and 856 yards (7,242 m). It is presently scheduled to take place each year on a Saturday afternoon in early April. It is the most valuable National Hunt event in Great Britain, and in 2010 it offered a total prize fund of £925,000.

The race is run over two circuits of Aintree's National Course, which is triangular in shape and on which there are sixteen fences. All, except The Chair and the Water-Jump, are jumped twice. Some fences are notorious for their severity, particularly Becher's Brook and The Chair, although in recent years Aintree authorities have worked in conjunction with animal welfare organisations to minimise the danger of the jumps while still preserving them as formidable obstacles. The Grand National is the centrepiece of a three-day meeting, one of only four run at Aintree in the racing season.

Selected biography

Sunday Silence at Shadai Stallion Station Hayakita(Abira), Hokkaido, Japan.
Sunday Silence (19862002) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse, earning distinction as 1989 American Horse of the Year over American Champion Two-Year-Old Male Horse Easy Goer. He was foaled in 1986, sired by Halo out of Wishing Well by Understanding. Though he was registered as a dark bay/brown, he was in fact a true black. In the Blood-Horse magazine List of the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century, Sunday Silence is ranked #31. Sunday Silence was retired to Japan, where his success as a leading sire was confined mainly to Asia.

Sunday Silence was bred by Oak Cliff Thoroughbreds, Ltd. He was passed in twice at the sales ring as a yearling, before he was finally sold in California for $50,000 as a two-year-old in training. Arthur B. Hancock III bought him as a "buy-back" (he had bred him), hoping to ship him to Kentucky. However, an accident kept Sunday Silence in California. Hall of Fame inducted trainer Charlie Whittingham bought a half share of the colt and then sold half of that to Dr. Ernest Gaillard. (Ownership designate: H-G-W Partners)

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Topics

History HorseEvolution of the horseDomestication of the horseDarley ArabianGodolphin ArabianByerley Turk
Governing bodies Australian Racing BoardBritish Horseracing AuthorityFrance GalopHong Kong Jockey ClubHorse Racing IrelandInternational Cataloguing Standards CommitteeJapan Racing AssociationJockey Club of CanadaMacau Jockey ClubNational Association of RacingNational Steeplechase AssociationThe Jockey ClubWeatherbys
Terminology Glossary of Australian and New Zealand puntingBackstretchBlindersChute (racecourse)FurlongGoingHandicappingHorse lengthPhoto finishPurse distributionRacecardRing bitStarting barrierStarting gateStirrup
Types of racing Chariot racingEndurance ridingFlat racingHarness racingHurdling (horse race)SteeplechaseThoroughbredQuarter Horse
Race classes Claiming raceConditions racesGraded stakes raceGroup racesHandicap raceHurdling (horse race)Maiden race horseWeight for Age
Professions BookmakerGroomHorse trainerJockeyOdds compilerRace callerStud MasterStrapper
Awards Cartier Racing AwardEclipse AwardJRA AwardLester AwardScobie Breasley MedalSovereign Award
Breeding Breed registryEquine anatomyEquine conformationFoalHorse breedingHorse careInbreedingLive foal guaranteeMareStallionStud farmStud feeThoroughbred breeding theories
Graded races AustraliaBarbadosCanadaFranceGermanyGreat BritainGreat Britain (NH)IrelandIreland (NH)ItalyPeruSingaporeUnited States
Hall of Fame inductees AustraliaCanadaFranceJapanNew ZealandUnited States
Wagering Arbitrage bettingBetting exchangeBookmakingParimutuel betting

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