What You Need to Know About Horse Racing

horse race

Horse racing is a thrilling, engaging sport that has stood the test of time. It has been an integral part of our culture and history, from the contest between the steeds of Odin and Hrungnir in Norse mythology to today’s high-profile racing events that draw affluent spectators in their droves. Despite its popularity, the industry has faced many criticisms, including allegations of animal cruelty and doping. The truth is that racehorses are subject to a myriad of conditions on and off the track that can lead to serious injury, disease, and even death. The industry’s best intentions are not enough to protect these animals, and the problem is embedded in the business model itself.

The modern era of organized horse racing began in the colony of New Amsterdam (now New York City) when Col. Richard Nicolls laid out a two-mile course and offered silver cups to the winners of each event. Until the Civil War, the hallmark of excellence for Thoroughbred horses was stamina rather than speed. However, after the war, speed became the goal and the King’s Plate was established.

Objections: A jockey may file a claim of foul following a race, usually due to interference by another horse or rider. The stewards will then investigate the incident and determine whether a rule violation was committed. A successful claim can result in the disqualification of a winning horse or the re-starting of a race.

Clubhouse turn: The first turn of a race that begins on the frontstretch or homestretch. Generally, horses that begin the race on the far outside of the field will make this turn more easily.

Consolation payout: The amount a player receives when they do not hit the full winning combination of races in a Pick Six wager. Typically, this payout is much smaller than the total payout of a winning Pick Six.

Hand ride: A style of riding that allows a jockey to urge his or her mount by gently scrubbing the horse on its neck. This method is not used during official races.

Term in the money: To finish in the top four, which usually entitles the owner to a share of the purse.

Jockey agent: An individual who obtains rides for jockeys.

Look of Eagles: A horse that has a confident appearance. Often used to describe the winner of the Kentucky Derby or Preakness Stakes.

Thousands of horses leave the racing industry each year as foals, during training or when they retire. Without an adequate, industry-sponsored wraparound aftercare solution, these horses can find themselves hemorrhaging into the slaughter pipeline. In some places like Louisiana, these equine athletes are given a Facebook post and a short window of time to be “bailed” by a private rescue organization before being sent to slaughter. In other cases, they simply disappear. If they do not survive this gruesome journey, these once-bright horses will likely find themselves in the feedlots of Mexico and Canada, where they are stuffed into trucks and then slaughtered for dog food and other products.