Horse racing is an equestrian performance sport involving two or more horses ridden by jockeys over a set distance for competition. It is one of the most ancient of all sports, as its basic premise – to identify which of two or more horses is the fastest over a set course or distance – has been unchanged since at least classical antiquity. Horse races vary in format and many countries have developed their own particular traditions around the sport. Variations include restricting races to particular breeds, running over obstacles, running over different distances, running on different track surfaces and running in different gaits. While horses are sometimes raced purely for sport, a major part of horse racing's interest and economic importance is in the gambling associated with it, an activity that in 2008 generated a worldwide market worth around US$115 billion. Horse racing has a long and distinguished history and has been practised in civilisations across the world since ancient times. Archaeological records indicate that horse racing occurred in Ancient Greece, Babylon and Egypt.
It plays an important part of myth and legend, such as the contest between the steeds of the god Odin and the giant Hrungnir in Norse mythology. Chariot racing was one of the most popular ancient Greek and Byzantine sports. Both chariot and mounted horse racing were events in the ancient Greek Olympics by 648 BC and were important in the other Panhellenic Games, it continued although chariot racing was dangerous to both driver and horse, which suffered serious injury and death. In the Roman Empire and mounted horse racing were major industries. From the mid-fifteenth century until 1882, spring carnival in Rome closed with a horse race. Fifteen to 20 riderless horses imported from the Barbary Coast of North Africa, were set loose to run the length of the Via del Corso, a long, straight city street. In times, Thoroughbred racing became, remains, popular with aristocrats and royalty of British society, earning it the title "Sport of Kings". Equestrians honed their skills through games and races. Equestrian sports provided entertainment for crowds and displayed the excellent horsemanship needed in battle.
Horse racing of all types evolved from impromptu competitions between drivers. The various 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. There are many different types of horse racing, including: Flat racing, where horses gallop directly between two points around a straight or oval track. Jump racing, or Jumps racing known as Steeplechasing or, in the UK and Ireland, National Hunt racing, where horses race over obstacles. Harness racing, where horses trot or pace while pulling a driver in a sulky. Saddle Trotting, where horses must trot from a starting point to a finishing point under saddle Endurance racing, where horses travel across country over extreme distances ranging from 25 to 100 miles.
Different breeds of horses have developed. Breeds that are used for flat racing include the Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse, Arabian and Appaloosa. Jump racing breeds include the Thoroughbred and AQPS. In harness racing, Standardbreds are used in Australia, New Zealand and North America, when in Europe and French Trotter are used with Standardbred. Light cold blood horses, such as Finnhorses and Scandinavian coldblood trotter are used in harness racing within their respective geographical areas. There are races for ponies: both flat and jump and harness racing. Flat racing is the most common form of racing seen worldwide. Flat racing tracks are oval in shape and are level, although in Great Britain and Ireland there is much greater variation, including figure of eight tracks like Windsor and tracks with severe gradients and changes of camber, such as Epsom Racecourse. Track surfaces vary, with turf most common in Europe, dirt more common in North America and Asia, newly designed synthetic surfaces, such as Polytrack or Tapeta, seen at some tracks.
Individual flat races are run over distances ranging from 440 yards up to two and a half miles, with distances between five and twelve furlongs being most common. Short races are referred to as "sprints", while longer races are known as "routes" in the United States or "staying races" in Europe. Although fast acceleration is required to win either type of race, in general sprints are seen as a test of speed, while long distance races are seen as a test of stamina; the most prestigious flat races in the world, such as the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Melbourne Cup, Japan Cup, Epsom Derby, Kentucky Derby and Dubai World Cup, are run over distances in the middle of this range and are seen as tests of both speed and stamina to some extent. In the most prestigious races, horses are allocated the same weight to carry for fairness, with allowances given to younger horses and female horses running against males; these races offer the biggest purses. There is another category of races called handicap races where each horse is assigned a different weight to carry based on its ability.
Beside the weight they carry, horses' performance can be influenced by position relative to the inside barrier, gender and training. Jump racing in Gr
The Jockey Club is the largest commercial horse racing organisation in the United Kingdom. No longer responsible for the governance and regulation of British horseracing, today it owns 15 of Britain's famous racecourses, including Aintree, Epsom Downs and both the Rowley Mile and July Course in Newmarket, amongst other concerns such as the National Stud, the property and land management company, Jockey Club Estates; the registered charity Racing Welfare is a company limited by guarantee with the Jockey Club being the sole member. As it is governed by Royal Charter, all profits it makes are reinvested back into the sport; the regulator for the sport, the Jockey Club's responsibilities were transferred to the Horseracing Regulatory Authority in 2006. The Jockey Club has long been thought to have been founded in 1750 – a year recognised by the club itself in its own records; some claim it was created earlier, in the 1720s, while others suggest it may have existed in the first decade of the century.
It was founded as one of the most exclusive high society social clubs in the United Kingdom, sharing some of the functions of a gentleman's club such as high-level socialising. It was called'The Jockey Club' in reference to the late medieval word for'horsemen', pronounced'yachey', spelt'Eachaidhe' in Gaelic; the club's first meetings were held at the "Star and Garter" tavern in Pall Mall, before moving to Newmarket. It was the dominant organisation in British horseracing, it remained responsible for its day-to-day regulation until April 2006, it passed its first resolution in 1758. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, The Jockey Club had a clubhouse in Pall Mall, where many other gentlemen's clubs were based; the fact that it acquired a governing role in the sport reflected the dominant role of the aristocracy in British horse racing up to the 20th century, the removal of this role was in part a conscious effect to move the sport away from its patrician image. This can be compared with the way that cricket's Marylebone Cricket Club became the governing body of cricket by default, but surrendered most of its powers to more representative bodies.
Before 2006, it was one of the three bodies which provided management for horse racing in the United Kingdom in conjunction with the British Horseracing Board and the Horserace Betting Levy Board. These regulatory responsibilities were transferred to a new Horseracing Regulatory Authority from 3 April 2006, it should be pointed out that this major re-organisation did not arise from a fundamental failure of the existing arrangements, but an understanding that the old system might not meet modern conditions. The HRA itself ceased to exist on 31 July 2007 as its regulatory duties were merged with the governing responsibility of the British Horseracing Board to create the new British Horseracing Authority; the Jockey Club is run by executives. The chairman of the board is called the Senior Steward; as of December 2017 there were seven Stewards, including the Senior Steward and Deputy Senior Steward. Individuals may be elected as Members, who "are in effect'trustees'. However, they may not profit from their role, as all profits are invested into British racing."
As of December 2017 there were 162 Members, including 24 Honorary Members. Jockey Club Racecourses: operates 15 racecourses in Great Britain, which host a quarter of the racing calendar; this includes four of the five'Classics' of Flat racing: The Oaks and The Derby at Epsom Downs and the 2,000 Guineas and the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket's Rowley Mile course, major National Hunt meetings include the Cheltenham Festival and the Grand National at Aintree Jockey Club Estates: property and land management company, which operates 3,000 acres of training facilities in Newmarket and Lambourn The National Stud: a breeding and bloodstock training operation transferred to the Jockey Club in 2008 Racing Welfare: a racing charity that aims to help to those working in the Thoroughbred industry Racing Calendar, publication Jockey Club Racecourses was called Racecourse Holdings Trust. The fifteen racecourses owned by Jockey Club Racecourses are: Large courses: Aintree – Merseyside Cheltenham – Gloucestershire Epsom – Surrey Haydock Park – Merseyside Kempton Park – Surrey Newmarket July Course – Cambridgeshire Newmarket Rowley Mile – Suffolk Sandown Park – SurreySmaller courses: Carlisle – Cumbria Exeter – Devon Huntingdon – Cambridgeshire Market Rasen – Lincolnshire Nottingham – Nottinghamshire Warwick – Warwick Wincanton – Somerset Official site
The Thoroughbred is a horse breed best known for its use in horse racing. Although the word thoroughbred is sometimes used to refer to any breed of purebred horse, it technically refers only to the Thoroughbred breed. Thoroughbreds are considered "hot-blooded" horses that are known for their agility and spirit; the Thoroughbred as it is known today was developed in 17th- and 18th-century England, when native mares were crossbred with imported Oriental stallions of Arabian and Turkoman breeding. All modern Thoroughbreds can trace their pedigrees to three stallions imported into England in the 17th century and 18th century and to a larger number of foundation mares of English breeding. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the Thoroughbred breed spread throughout the world. Millions of Thoroughbreds exist today, around 100,000 foals are registered each year worldwide. Thoroughbreds are used for racing, but are bred for other riding disciplines such as show jumping, combined training, dressage and fox hunting.
They are commonly crossbred to create new breeds or to improve existing ones, have been influential in the creation of the Quarter Horse, Anglo-Arabian, various warmblood breeds. Thoroughbred racehorses perform with maximum exertion, which has resulted in high accident rates and health problems such as bleeding from the lungs. Other health concerns include low fertility, abnormally small hearts and a small hoof-to-body-mass ratio. There are several theories for the reasons behind the prevalence of accidents and health problems in the Thoroughbred breed, research is ongoing; the typical Thoroughbred ranges from 15.2 to 17.0 hands high. They are most bay, dark bay or brown, black, or gray. Less common colors recognized in the United States include palomino. White is rare, but is a recognized color separate from gray; the face and lower legs may be marked with white, but white will not appear on the body. Coat patterns that have more than one color on the body, such as Pinto or Appaloosa, are not recognized by mainstream breed registries.
Good-quality Thoroughbreds have a well-chiseled head on a long neck, high withers, a deep chest, a short back, good depth of hindquarters, a lean body, long legs. Thoroughbreds are classified among the "hot-blooded" breeds, which are animals bred for agility and speed and are considered spirited and bold. Thoroughbreds born in the Northern Hemisphere are considered a year older on the first of January each year; these artificial dates have been set to enable the standardization of races and other competitions for horses in certain age groups. The Thoroughbred is a distinct breed of horse, although people sometimes refer to a purebred horse of any breed as a thoroughbred; the term for any horse or other animal derived from a single breed line is purebred. While the term came into general use because the English Thoroughbred's General Stud Book was one of the first breed registries created, in modern usage horse breeders consider it incorrect to refer to any animal as a thoroughbred except for horses belonging to the Thoroughbred breed.
Nonetheless, breeders of other species of purebred animals may use the two terms interchangeably, though thoroughbred is less used for describing purebred animals of other species. The term is a proper noun referring to this specific breed, though not capitalized in non-specialist publications, outside the US. For example, the Australian Stud Book, The New York Times, the BBC do not capitalize the word. Flat racing existed in England by at least 1174, when four-mile races took place at Smithfield, in London. Racing continued at fairs and markets throughout the Middle Ages and into the reign of King James I of England, it was that handicapping, a system of adding weight to attempt to equalize a horse's chances of winning as well as improved training procedures, began to be used. During the reigns of Charles II, William III, George I, the foundation of the Thoroughbred was laid; the term "thro-bred" to describe horses was first used in 1713. Under Charles II, a keen racegoer and owner, Anne, royal support was given to racing and the breeding of race horses.
With royal support, horse racing became popular with the public, by 1727, a newspaper devoted to racing, the Racing Calendar, was founded. Devoted to the sport, it recorded race results and advertised upcoming meets. All modern Thoroughbreds trace back to three stallions imported into England from the Middle East in the late 17th and early 18th centuries: the Byerley Turk, the Darley Arabian, the Godolphin Arabian. Other stallions of oriental breeding were less influential, but still made noteworthy contributions to the breed; these included the Alcock's Arabian, D'Arcy's White Turk, Leedes Arabian, Curwen's Bay Barb. Another was the Brownlow Turk, among other attributes, is thought to be responsible for the gray coat color in Thoroughbreds. In all, about 160 stallions of Oriental breeding have been traced in the historical record as contributing to the creation of the Thoroughbred; the addition of horses of Eastern bloodlines, whether Arabian, Barb, or Turk, to the native English mares led to the creation of the General Stud Book in 1791 and the practice of official registration of horses.
According to Peter Willett, about 50% of the foundation stallions appear to have been of Arabian bloodlines, wit
Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of 209,331 km2, it is the largest of the British Isles, the largest European island, the ninth-largest island in the world. In 2011, Great Britain had a population of about 61 million people, making it the world's third-most populous island after Java in Indonesia and Honshu in Japan; the island of Ireland is situated to the west of Great Britain, together these islands, along with over 1,000 smaller surrounding islands, form the British Isles archipelago. The island is dominated by a maritime climate with quite narrow temperature differences between seasons. Politically, Great Britain is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, constitutes most of its territory. Most of England and Wales are on the island; the term "Great Britain" is used to include the whole of England and Wales including their component adjoining islands. A single Kingdom of Great Britain resulted from the union of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland by the 1707 Acts of Union.
In 1801, Great Britain united with the neighbouring Kingdom of Ireland, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, renamed the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" after the Irish Free State seceded in 1922. The archipelago has been referred to by a single name for over 2000 years: the term'British Isles' derives from terms used by classical geographers to describe this island group. By 50 BC Greek geographers were using equivalents of Prettanikē as a collective name for the British Isles. However, with the Roman conquest of Britain the Latin term Britannia was used for the island of Great Britain, Roman-occupied Britain south of Caledonia; the earliest known name for Great Britain is Albion or insula Albionum, from either the Latin albus meaning "white" or the "island of the Albiones". The oldest mention of terms related to Great Britain was by Aristotle, or by Pseudo-Aristotle, in his text On the Universe, Vol. III. To quote his works, "There are two large islands in it, called the British Isles and Ierne".
Pliny the Elder in his Natural History records of Great Britain: "Its former name was Albion. Old French Bretaigne and Middle English Bretayne, Breteyne; the French form replaced the Old English Breoton, Bryten, Breten. Britannia was used by the Romans from the 1st century BC for the British Isles taken together, it is derived from the travel writings of the Pytheas around 320 BC, which described various islands in the North Atlantic as far north as Thule. Marcian of Heraclea, in his Periplus maris exteri, described the island group as αἱ Πρεττανικαὶ νῆσοι; the peoples of these islands of Prettanike were called the Priteni or Pretani. Priteni is the source of the Welsh language term Prydain, which has the same source as the Goidelic term Cruithne used to refer to the early Brythonic-speaking inhabitants of Ireland; the latter were called Picts or Caledonians by the Romans. Greek historians Diodorus of Sicily and Strabo preserved variants of Prettanike from the work of Greek explorer Pytheas of Massalia, who travelled from his home in Hellenistic southern Gaul to Britain in the 4th century BC.
The term used by Pytheas may derive from a Celtic word meaning "the painted ones" or "the tattooed folk" in reference to body decorations. The Greco-Egyptian scientist Ptolemy referred to the larger island as great Britain and to Ireland as little Britain in his work Almagest. In his work, Geography, he gave the islands the names Alwion and Mona, suggesting these may have been the names of the individual islands not known to him at the time of writing Almagest; the name Albion appears to have fallen out of use sometime after the Roman conquest of Britain, after which Britain became the more commonplace name for the island. After the Anglo-Saxon period, Britain was used as a historical term only. Geoffrey of Monmouth in his pseudohistorical Historia Regum Britanniae refers to the island as Britannia major, to distinguish it from Britannia minor, the continental region which approximates to modern Brittany, settled in the fifth and sixth centuries by migrants from Britain; the term Great Britain was first used in 1474, in the instrument drawing up the proposal for a marriage between Cecily the daughter of Edward IV of England, James the son of James III of Scotland, which described it as "this Nobill Isle, callit Gret Britanee".
It was used again in 1604, when King James VI and I styled himself "King of Great Brittaine and Ireland". Great Britain refers geographically to the island of Great Britain, it is often used to refer politically to the whole of England and Wales, including their smaller off shore islands. While it is sometimes used to refer to the whole of the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland, this is not correct. Britain can refer to either all island
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 recognizable horse breeds in the world, it is one of the oldest breeds, with archaeological evidence of horses in the Middle East that resemble modern Arabians dating back 4,500 years. Throughout history, Arabian horses have spread around the world by both war and trade, used to improve other breeds by adding speed, refinement and strong bone. Today, Arabian bloodlines are found in every modern breed of riding horse; the Arabian developed in a desert climate and was prized by the nomadic Bedouin people 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, good-natured, quick to learn, willing to please; the Arabian 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. The Arabian is a versatile breed. Arabians dominate the discipline of endurance riding, compete today in many other fields of equestrian sport, they are one of the top ten most popular horse breeds in the world. They are now found worldwide, including the United States and Canada, United Kingdom, continental Europe, South America, their land of origin, the Middle East. Arabian horses have refined, wedge-shaped heads, a broad forehead, large eyes, large nostrils, small muzzles. Most display a distinctive concave, or "dished" profile. Many Arabians have a slight forehead bulge between their eyes, called the jibbah by the Bedouin, that adds additional sinus capacity, believed to have helped the Arabian horse in its native dry desert climate. Another breed characteristic is an arched neck with a large, well-set windpipe set on a refined, clean throatlatch; this structure of the poll and throatlatch was called the mitbeh by the Bedouin.
In the ideal Arabian it is long, allowing flexibility in the room for the windpipe. Other distinctive features are a long, level croup, or top of the hindquarters, high tail carriage; the USEF breed standard requires. Well-bred Arabians have a well-angled hip and well laid-back shoulder. Within the breed, there are variations; some individuals have wider, more powerfully muscled hindquarters suitable for intense bursts of activity in events such as reining, while others have longer, leaner muscling better suited for long stretches of flat work such as endurance riding or horse racing. Most have a compact body with a short back. Arabians have dense, strong bone, good hoof walls, they are noted for their endurance, the superiority of the breed in Endurance riding competition demonstrates that well-bred Arabians are strong, sound horses with superior stamina. At international FEI-sponsored endurance events and half-Arabians are the dominant performers in distance competition; some Arabians, though not all, have 5 lumbar vertebrae instead of the usual 6, 17 pairs of ribs rather than 18.
A quality Arabian has both a horizontal croup and a properly angled pelvis as well as good croup length and depth to the hip, that allows agility and impulsion. A misconception confuses the topline of the croup with the angle of the "hip", leading some to assert that Arabians have a flat pelvis angle and cannot use their hindquarters properly. However, the croup is formed by the sacral vertebrae; the hip angle is determined by the attachment of the ilium to the spine, the structure and length of the femur, other aspects of hindquarter anatomy, not correlated to the topline of the sacrum. Thus, the Arabian has conformation typical of other horse breeds built for speed and distance, such as the Thoroughbred, where the angle of the ilium is more oblique than that of the croup. Thus, the hip angle is not correlated to the topline of the croup. Horses bred to gallop need a good length of croup and good length of hip for proper attachment of muscles, so unlike angle, length of hip and croup do go together as a rule.
The breed standard stated by the United States Equestrian Federation, describes Arabians as standing between 14.1 to 15.1 hands tall, "with the occasional individual over or under." Thus, all Arabians, regardless of height, are classified as "horses" though 14.2 hands is the traditional cutoff height between a horse and a pony. A common myth is that Arabians are not strong because they are small and refined. However, the Arabian horse is noted for a greater density of bone than other breeds, short cannons, sound feet, a broad, short back, all of which give the breed physical strength comparable to many taller animals, thus a smaller Arabian can carry a heavy rider. For tasks where the sheer weight of the horse matters, such as farm work done by a draft horse, any lighter-weight horse is at a disadvantage. However, for most purposes, the Arabian is a strong and hardy light horse breed able to carry any type of rider in most equestrian pursuits. For centuries, Arabian horses lived in the desert in close association with humans.
For shelter and protection from theft, prized war mares were sometimes kept in their owner's tent, close to children and everyday family life. Only horses with a good disposition were allowed to reproduce, with
American Stud Book
The American Stud Book is the stud book for the Thoroughbred horse in the United States. It was founded with assistance from his brother B. G. Bruce. In 1896, The Jockey Club bought out Bruce and assumed publication of the book, which it has continued to the present; the American Stud Book was first published, as volume one, in 1868, covering the first part of the alphabet from A to K. In 1873, a revised volume one and a second volume were published, with the new volume one covering A through L. Bruce continued publishing the volumes, but a fire in his offices right before volume five was published put him in financial difficulty, he entered into a legal fight with The Jockey Club over the right to publish the American Stud Book, settled in 1896 when The Jockey Club bought the American Stud Book from Bruce for $35,000; the American Stud Book includes all Thoroughbred horses foaled in the United States and Puerto Rico. It includes any Thoroughbreds imported into those places from other countries, as long as those countries' Thoroughbred stud books are approved by The Jockey Club
Horse Racing Ireland
Horse Racing Ireland is the governing body of horse racing on the island of Ireland. The HRI mission statement is "to develop and promote Ireland as a world centre of excellence for horse racing and breeding". Like most other sports, horse racing is run on an All Ireland basis, so Horse Racing Ireland is responsible for racing in both the Republic of Ireland, which has 24 racecourses, in Northern Ireland, which has 2 racecourses; the remit of the British Horseracing Authority does not extend to Northern Ireland. HRI was founded in 2001, succeeding the Irish Horseracing Authority, the 1994 successor to the Racing Board founded in 1945. In addition to fulfilling regulatory and promotional functions, Horse Racing Ireland owns Fairyhouse, Leopardstown and Tipperary racecourses; the group's current chairperson is its CEO Mr Brian Kavanagh. The industry still contributes to the Irish economy. Bloodstock sales, Tote betting and racecourse attendances produced significant growth in 2011, figures issued by Horse Racing Ireland show.
This marks a positive upturn for the industry which had suffered severe contraction since 2007 across all areas. In 2004 this contribution was estimated to be in the region of €330 million euros. official website