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.