horse article
horse site navigation

Horse Racing by Rob Daniels

Horse racing is an equestrian sport which has been celebrated for thousands of years. The racing of horses in harness dates back to ancient times with Chariot races in Rome. The sport virtually disappeared with the fall of the Roman Empire.


For thousands of years, horse racing flourished as the sport of kings and the nobility. Matching the fastest of these animals in two-horse races for a private wager became a popular diversion of the nobility. Today both thoroughbred horse racing and harness racing can be found, though thoroughbred racing is generally the more popular sport. The distances in thoroughbred races and the turf varies with horses running on both dirt and grass.


Breeders have selectively bred Thoroughbred for their endurance, temperament and size. Nearly all race horses are from Thoroughbred stock. Breeders hope that horses with certain pedigrees are more likely to pass along their racing ability to their offspring. In the US Horse Racing sharply declined in popularity after 1900, as the automobile replaced the horse and the United States became more urbanized. In recent years as the media publicized the Triple Crown quests an increase interest in traditional horse racing took hold.


To add to the excitement the sport of horse racing often wagers will be placed on the outcome of the race. Programs will include information that includes the horses past performances. The program indicates the horse's speed, its ability to win, and whether the performances tend to be getting better or worse. The difficult art of predicting the winner of a horse race is called handicapping. The odds of "2-1," for example, mean that the bettor will receive $2 profit for every $1 wagered if his or her horse wins. American betting on horse racing is sanctioned and regulated by state governments


The highlight of thoroughbred horse racing is the quest for the Triple Crown. The Triple Crown is comprised of three spring races of different distances for qualified three year olds. Only a handful of horses throughout history have managed to win all three races. The races that comprise the Triple Crown are known as the Kentucky Derby , Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.


While Thoroughbred racing is more popular in the United States, harness racing is more popular in Canada. Harness racing is an equestrian sport in which the horses race using a specified gait. The harness racing horses usually pull two-wheeled carts, called sulkies. The driver sits or stands in the sulky. Almost all harness races are one mile in length. Most horses racing in harness racing are Standardbreds.

Standardbreds are a relatively new breed, dating back just over 200 years. Sttandardbreds have shorter legs than the American thoroughbred race horses and longer bodies and they are often known as trotters.

About the Author:
Rob Daniels has been an equestrian rider for 25 years. He has studied various disciplines additional articles are available at: Riding Stable - http://www.riding-stable.com and Horse Stall http://www.horse-stall.net



About the Author
Dean Erickson. Journalist, and web site builder Dean Erickson lives in Texas. He is the owner and co-editor of horses-for-sale-directory.info on which you will find a longer, more detailed version of this article.