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
New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and 1,000 kilometres south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia and Tonga; because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal and plant life; the country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington. Sometime between 1250 and 1300, Polynesians settled in the islands that were named New Zealand and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the United Kingdom and Māori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, which declared British sovereignty over the islands.
In 1841, New Zealand became a colony within the British Empire and in 1907 it became a dominion. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.9 million is of European descent. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration; the official languages are English, Māori, NZ Sign Language, with English being dominant. A developed country, New Zealand ranks in international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, education, protection of civil liberties, economic freedom. New Zealand underwent major economic changes during the 1980s, which transformed it from a protectionist to a liberalised free-trade economy; the service sector dominates the national economy, followed by the industrial sector, agriculture. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the prime minister Jacinda Ardern.
Queen Elizabeth II is the country's monarch and is represented by a governor-general Dame Patsy Reddy. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes; the Realm of New Zealand includes Tokelau. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, ASEAN Plus Six, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Pacific Community and the Pacific Islands Forum. Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sighted New Zealand in 1642 and named it Staten Land "in honour of the States General", he wrote, "it is possible that this land joins to the Staten Land but it is uncertain", referring to a landmass of the same name at the southern tip of South America, discovered by Jacob Le Maire in 1616. In 1645, Dutch cartographers renamed the land Nova Zeelandia after the Dutch province of Zeeland. British explorer James Cook subsequently anglicised the name to New Zealand. Aotearoa is the current Māori name for New Zealand.
It is unknown whether Māori had a name for the whole country before the arrival of Europeans, with Aotearoa referring to just the North Island. Māori had several traditional names for the two main islands, including Te Ika-a-Māui for the North Island and Te Waipounamu or Te Waka o Aoraki for the South Island. Early European maps labelled the islands North and South. In 1830, maps began to use North and South to distinguish the two largest islands and by 1907 this was the accepted norm; the New Zealand Geographic Board discovered in 2009 that the names of the North Island and South Island had never been formalised, names and alternative names were formalised in 2013. This set the names as North Island or Te Ika-a-Māui, South Island or Te Waipounamu. For each island, either its English or Māori name can be used. New Zealand was one of the last major landmasses settled by humans. Radiocarbon dating, evidence of deforestation and mitochondrial DNA variability within Māori populations suggest New Zealand was first settled by Eastern Polynesians between 1250 and 1300, concluding a long series of voyages through the southern Pacific islands.
Over the centuries that followed, these settlers developed a distinct culture now known as Māori. The population was divided into iwi and hapū who would sometimes cooperate, sometimes compete and sometimes fight against each other. At some point a group of Māori migrated to Rēkohu, now known as the Chatham Islands, where they developed their distinct Moriori culture; the Moriori population was all but wiped out between 1835 and 1862 because of Taranaki Māori invasion and enslavement in the 1830s, although European diseases contributed. In 1862 only 101 survived, the last known full-blooded Moriori died in 1933; the first Europeans known to have reached New Zeala
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
The Wellington Cup is a Group 3 Thoroughbred horse race in New Zealand held annually in late January at Trentham Racecourse in Trentham by the Wellington Racing Club. Inaugurated in 1874, it was raced over various distances until 1974 when it was converted to a metric distance of 3200 metres 2 miles: 1874-1889, 1942–1973 1 1⁄2 miles: 1890-1941 3200 metres: 1974-2008 2400 metres: 2009-2015 3200 metres: 2016 onwardsThe event is one of New Zealand's most important races and offers a purse of NZ$250,000. Given the prestige of the race, there was some disappointment at the news that the race would lose its Group One status from 2009; the Wellington Racing Club responded to the downgrade by reducing the distance to 2400 metres in order to attract a higher quality field. Speed record: 3.15.59 - Daria's Fun 1988 3200 metres 3.16.2 - Il Tempo Most wins: 3 - Cynisca 3 - Great Sensation 3 - Castletown Most wins by an owner:? -Most wins by a jockey:? -Most wins by a trainer:? - Winners list at Thoroughbred Heritage Wellington Cup Day at Trentham Racecourse