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

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50 km riders approaching an assistance point
Endurance riding is an equestrian sport based on controlled long-distance races. It is one of the international competitions recognized by the FEI. There are endurance rides worldwide. Any breed can compete, but the Arabian generally dominates the top levels because of the breed's stamina and natural endurance abilities.

Though the need to ride long distances has existed since the domestication of the horse, endurance riding as an organized activity was first developed in the United States based on European cavalry (particularly Polish and Russian WWI) and breeding program tests requiring the ability to carry 300 lb (140 kg) over 100 miles (160 km) in one day. Organized endurance riding as a formal sport began in 1955, when Wendell Robie and a group of equestrians rode from the Lake Tahoe area across the Sierra Nevada Range to Auburn in under 24 hours, following the historic Western States Trail.

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Did you know...

Artist: John Frederick Herring, Sr.

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
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Selected race track

The redeveloped stand at Ascot
Ascot Racecourse is a famous English racecourse, located in the small town of Ascot, Berkshire, used for thoroughbred horse racing. It is one of the leading racecourses in the United Kingdom, hosting 9 of the UK's 32 annual Group 1 races, the same number as Newmarket. The course is closely associated with the British Royal Family, being approximately six miles from Windsor Castle, and owned by the Crown Estate.

Ascot Racecourse was founded in 1711 by Queen Anne. The first race, "Her Majesty's Plate," with a purse of 100 guineas, was held on 11 August 1711. Seven horses competed, each carrying a weight of 12 stones (76 kg). This first race comprised three separate four-mile (6437 m) heats. Ascot today stages twenty-five days of racing over the course of the year, comprising sixteen Flat meetings held in the months of May and October. The Royal Meeting, held in June, remains a major draw, the highlight being the Ascot Gold Cup. The most prestigious race is the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes run over the course in July.

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The Belmont Stakes is an American Grade I stakes Thoroughbred horse race held every June at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. The race is the third and final leg of the Triple Crown, following five weeks after the Kentucky Derby, and three weeks after the Preakness Stakes. The Belmont Stakes is a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) horse race, open to three year Thoroughbreds. Colts and geldings carry a weight of 126 pounds (57 kg); fillies carry 121 pounds (55 kg). The attendance at the Belmont Stakes ranks fourth in North America and usually surpasses the attendance of all other stakes races, including the Breeders' Cup.

The first Belmont Stakes was held at Jerome Park Racetrack in The Bronx, built in 1866 by stock market speculator Leonard Jerome (1817–1891) and financed by August Belmont, Sr. (1816–1890), for whom the race was named. The race continued to be held at Jerome Park until 1890, when it was moved to the nearby facility, Morris Park Racecourse. The race remained there until the May 1905 opening of the new Belmont Park, 430-acre (1.7 km²) racetrack in Elmont, New York in the borough of Queens.

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Exterminator, 1922
Exterminator (May 30, 1915 - September 26, 1945) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse and the winner of the 1918 Kentucky Derby, and in 1922 won Horse of the Year honors. The lanky chestnut colt was bred by F. D. "Dixie" Knight and foaled at Almahurst Farm near Lexington, Kentucky.

Exterminator was sired by McGee who also produced Donerail, the winner of the 1913 Kentucky Derby. At the Saratoga Paddock sale of 1916, he was bought as a yearling for $1,500 by J. Cal Milam who trained his own horses. The big colt grew fast, reaching 16.3 hands at two but he was awkward and coarse looking. For this reason, Milam had him gelded. On June 30, 1917 at Latonia Race Track in Covington, Kentucky, Exterminator made his debut in a six-furlong maiden race that he won by three lengths. Sent to race in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, he suffered a muscle sprain and Milam gave him time off to grow into his size, which by now was 17 hands. Still, he had earned $1,500 and a potential nomination to the Kentucky Derby.

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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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