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

An early volume of the General Stud Book, Volume 6
The Jersey Act was introduced to prevent the registration of most American-bred Thoroughbred horses in the British General Stud Book. It had its roots in the desire of the British to halt the influx of American-bred racehorses of possibly impure bloodlines during the early 1900s. Many American-bred horses were exported to Europe to race and retire to a breeding career after a number of US states banned gambling, which depressed Thoroughbred racing as well as breeding in that country. The loss of breeding records during the American Civil War and the late beginning of the registration of American Thoroughbreds led many in the British racing establishment to doubt that the American-bred horses were purebred.

In 1913 the Jockey Club and the owners of the General Stud Book passed a regulation named by the foreign press after the Jockey Club's senior steward, Lord Jersey, prohibiting the registration of horses in the book unless all of their ancestors had been registered.

Selected picture

Horseracing Churchill Downs.jpg
Credit: Jeff Kubina

A Thoroughbred race horse at Churchill Downs. The Thoroughbred is a horse breed best known for its use in horse racing. Thoroughbreds are considered a "hot-blooded" horse, known for their agility, speed and spirit, and they have been influential in the creation of many important breeds.

Did you know...

The chuckwagon of professional driver Kurt Bensmiller

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 original entrance to Aintree Racecourse
Aintree Racecourse is a racecourse in Aintree, Merseyside, England. The course is home of the Grand National steeplechase, one of the most famous races in the world. Prior to the event being held at Aintree, the race was run in the nearby district of Maghull. Steeplechasing at Aintree was introduced in 1839, though flat racing had taken place there for many years prior to this. It is regarded as the most difficult of all courses to successfully complete, with 16 steeplechase fences including the Chair, the Canal Turn and Becher's Brook. These are so infamous that even their names strike fear into the most professional of jockeys. All fences bar the water jump are covered with spruce unlike any other course in British national hunt racing. Four other races take place over the National fences. These are the Topham Chase (formerly known as the John Hughes Trophy Chase) and the Fox Hunters' Chase at the Grand National meeting, and the Grand Sefton Handicap Chase and Becher Handicap Chase in the November meeting. Within the large National course there is also the smaller Mildmay course containing hurdles and fences. These fences are made of traditional national hunt material. The National and Mildmay courses used to share the water jump, but the mildmay course no longer jumps the water.

Selected race

Derby, the Paddock (1892)
The Epsom Derby, known colloquially as The Derby and internationally as the Epsom Derby, is a Group 1 flat horse race in Great Britain which is open to three-year-old Thoroughbred colts and fillies. It is run at Epsom Downs over a distance of 1 mile, 4 furlongs and 10 yards (2,423 metres), and it is scheduled to take place each year in early June. It is Britain's richest horse race, and the most prestigious of the country's five Classics. It is sometimes referred to as the Blue Riband of the turf.

The Derby originated at a celebration following the first running of the Oaks Stakes in 1779. A new race was planned, and it was decided that it should be named after the host of the party, the 12th Earl of Derby. The inaugural running of the Derby was held on 4 May 1780. It was won by Diomed, a colt owned by Sir Charles Bunbury, who collected prize money of £1,065 15s.

Selected biography

Go Man Go (1953–1983) was an American Quarter Horse stallion and race horse. He was named World Champion Quarter Running Horse three times in a row, one of only two horses to achieve that distinction. Go Man Go was considered to be of difficult temperament. While waiting in the starting gate for his very first race, he threw his jockey, broke down the gate, and ran alone around the track; he was eventually caught and went on to win the race. During his five years of competition before he was retired from racing in 1960, he had 27 wins and brought earnings of more than $86,000 ($734,631 as of 2017).

Go Man Go went on to sire two All American Futurity winners and seven Champion Quarter Running Horses. He was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame, as were two of his offspring. His daughters also produced, or were the mothers of, a number of race winners, including the Hall of Fame member Kaweah Bar. The director of racing for the AQHA once compared his impact on Quarter Horse racing and breeding to that of Man o' War in Thoroughbred racing, or that of human athletes such as Ben Hogan and Babe Ruth.

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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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