As suggested by the name, thoroughbred horseracing is a sport that involves the racing of horses produced from high-quality stock. Over the past several decades, thoroughbred horseracing has increased dramatically in popularity.
Recently, more and more citizens have developed an interest in the sport not only for its competitive qualities, but also for the gambling opportunities that it provides. Individuals who are interested in learning more about horse racing should first understand its history, the types of racing, and the betting aspects associated with the sport.
In addition, becoming familiar with some of the most famous thoroughbred horses in history and the events at which they raced can be useful for individuals interested in learning more about this growing sport.
The sport of horse racing features the annual Kentucky Derby at this famed race track.
Courtesy of kentuckytourism.com
Despite its relatively recent surge in popularity, horseracing is not a new sportâin fact, most historians agree that it has been around for centuries. Some archeological evidence suggests that horseracing was done in Babylon, Syria, and Egypt as early as 700 years BC, and was likely part of the first Olympics.
While the earliest horse races were probably limited to chariot pulls, horseracing soon expanded to thoroughbred racing. As the sport increased in popularity throughout Europe, it soon became known as the âsport of kings.â The first horseracing track was built in Long Island, New York, in the mid-1600s. It was the first of many to be developed around the country.
Currently, there are three different types of horseracing events in existence. These include flat racing, which is the most popular type of thoroughbred event, and which tests the speed and endurance of the animal. In contrast, steeple chase races require horses not only to exhibit their speed, but also their dexterity as they jump over various obstacles. Finally, harness racing is an event in which horses must pull their drivers in a small carriage. Depending on the specific part of the country, the frequency of each of these different events is likely to vary dramatically.
Betting on thoroughbred horse races has become a major component of the athletic competition. In fact, some evidence suggests that thoroughbred horse racing produces as much as $115 billion dollars each year in the United States alone. In most cases, states regulate the specific type of betting that can take place at the racetracks within their borders.
Traditionally, racetracks keep a small amount of each bet placed, which is then distributed between the track, state government, and racers themselves. While there are a number of thoroughbred racing events around the country, the most famous include the Kentucky Derby, the Belmont Stakes, and the Preakness. Together, these three races form the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, which is widely considered to be the most prestigious of all events.
Traditionally, only three-year-old male horses are invited to race at these events. While there have been a number of horses that have raced at these courses over the years, the most famous include Seabiscuit, War Admiral, Barbaro, and Secretariat. Other famous thoroughbred racing horses are memorialized at the Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, New York. In addition to the horses, owners, jockeys, and well-respected trainers are also identified.
Obviously, thoroughbred horseracing is a popular sport that is enjoyed by many individuals living around the world. Despite its relative popularity, it is important to remember that thoroughbred horseracing is not without risks. In fact, the event is dangerous not only to the horses, but also the jockeys. Some evidence suggests that as many as 60% of all jockeys will be treated for some type of medical conditions over the course of the racing year. In addition, approximately one and a half out of every 1,000 die during racing in the United States each year. Other criticisms associated with thoroughbred horseracing include the unethical treatment of the animals, which in some cases may be subject to abuse and slaughter.
Individuals who are interested in learning more about the history of horse racing may want to visit the following web pages:
- A History of Hose Racing
- Jockeys: History of Horse Racing
- The History of Horse Racing in Sound Area
- Brief History of Horseracing in Japan
- Horse Racing
- Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation
- Secretariat Remains No. 1 Name in Racing
- Thoroughbred Database
- War Admiral: 1937
- Kentucky Derby
- The Preakness
- New York Racing Association
- Learn the Different Types of Horse Races
- Horse Racing: The Sport of Kings
- Horse Racing Information
- Horse Racing and Betting
- Horse Race Betting and the Triple Crown
- What is Horse Racing