A horse race is a contest between two or more horses to cross the finish line first. It is one of the oldest sports in the world. Racing began in the British colonies in the 1600s and became a major public entertainment event in the 1900s. Today, racing is conducted across the world, from England to Japan, to Australia and even Argentina.
Horses are usually trained for a specific distance or time. They are bred for stamina and speed. They are often shod in leather shoes for extra traction on soft or muddy tracks. Some race meets use natural brush fences. Other fences are made of wood or post and rail.
A horse’s coat can help to predict a horse’s readiness to run. Most thoroughbreds in the United States receive race-day Lasix, which prevents pulmonary bleeding. Similarly, blinkers help to keep a horse from swerving in the middle of a race.
In order to enter a race, a horse must meet certain eligibility requirements. The rules are based on the horse’s age, sex, and previous performance. This means that some races are only open to horses that haven’t won a lot of money. But there are exceptions to the rule. For example, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, an international prize race, allows horses that are three years old or older.
When horses are ready for a race, they are led to the starting gate by a lead pony. A man is stationed at the gate to hold the horses, but they do not go through it until the race starts. At the start, a jockey and his horse are positioned in front of the horses. Before the starting gate, a flag is lowered.
A race is a series of turns. The course is set up for a particular distance and time. There are various types of courses, including fast turf tracks and even ones that are dry. If the course is dry, the horses can move quickly. On a soft track, they must be held back.
In order to enter a race, the owner of the horse must pay a claiming price. This is a fee the track or owner will receive if the horse wins. Many stakes races do not require owners to pay the claiming price.
The field is the number of horses in the race. The starting gate is a stall in the race gate, but horses must be at least a quarter mile from the finish line. During the race, they pass by stands, called “posts”. Each pole marks a quarter-mile distance.
Unlike other races, horses are not allowed to leave the racecourse after they have started. These horses are referred to as “drop down”. Usually, the rider is a steady, but the horse is often in close quarters. Typically, the jockey tries to slow the horse down or EASED, a term used to indicate that the jockey deliberately slowed the horse.
After the race, stewards, or horsemen, enforce the rules. If there are also-rans, the horse is finished out of money.