The equestrian sport of horse racing involves humans on horses competing in races. The sport is well known around the world for its elite races such as the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France, Caulfield and Sydney Cups in Australia, Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini in Argentina, Durban July in South Africa, and more. Despite the high profile of these races, there are many issues in horse racing that go unseen by spectators. Behind the fancy hat veneer of the sport is a world of broken bones, drug abuse, and even death.
The two main people in a race are the horse and jockey, but there are many others that help the horses get ready to run. Horse owners, trainers and grooms are important people that keep the horses in good shape for the races. Owners are usually the ones that purchase the horse, and then they work to provide the best possible experience for the horse so it can win a race.
Trainers are like coaches for the jockeys. They teach the jockeys how to ride and also give them tips on how to win races. Trainers are important for the success of the horses, and some trainers are known as some of the greatest in history.
Spectators come to watch horse races for the excitement and beauty of the horses. They cheer on the horses by their number, and sometimes a favorite horse will become very popular and be called a crowd pleaser. Some of the most famous crowd pleasing horses include Seabiscuit and Secretariat.
In order for a horse to be eligible to race, it must have a pedigree that shows it is a purebred. This means that the horse must have a father and mother who are both purebreds of whatever breed is being raced.
Aside from the breeding aspect, a race is contested between horses by having them compete in heats. The horse that crosses the finish line first is deemed the winner of the race. There are a variety of different types of heats, and they are generally divided by age and gender.
Although horse racing has been around for centuries, it was organized in North America in 1664 when colonists laid out a 2-mile course on Long Island and offered silver cups to the winners. Prior to this, many of the races were simply a test of endurance, and the hallmark of excellence for American Thoroughbreds was stamina rather than speed. The use of illegal electric shock devices called jiggers on the backs of horses has been banned by most racing authorities. Nevertheless, the use of whips and tongue ties is still prevalent in racing. These items restrict the movement of a horse’s tongue and can cause significant pain and discomfort, and some horse breeders have banned the use of these devices. In addition, a horse can suffer a traumatic breakdown or even die from the stress of being forced to race at such a fast pace.