Horse races are an exhilarating tradition in our culture and history. Unfortunately, horse racing also comes with its fair share of problems: doping and other illegal practices which harm horses are rampant in this industry. Yet despite this issue, this sport has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry and remains an integral component of society today.
Horse races are competitive thoroughbred horse contests in which matched horses compete against one another to determine the winning horse. A horse race can be dangerous both for competitors and spectators, as horses often sustain injuries as they push beyond their limits and often use legal and illegal drugs to mask injuries and increase performance. They may then experience physical stress of racing; these horses may suffer exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage; as their lungs bleed during intense exertion. In order to decrease this bleeding, Lasix (similar to diuretic with performance enhancing properties) is given to reduce this bleeding; otherwise known as exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage).
An extremely difficult feat, being “in the money” refers to finishing in first, second or third place of a race – something most horses cannot accomplish as lead can often slip away towards its close. A close call refers to finishes wherein one horse barely edged out another to emerge victorious.
Bettors in the United States often bet to show when placing bets on horse races, with this bet requiring picking two horses finishing in the top two places for payout. Betting to place is less popular as only the first few finishers are typically paid out from most European races.
Prior to racing begins, bettors scrutinize each horse in the walking ring to see if its coat appears healthy and vibrant. A bright coat usually indicates that a horse is ready for running while duller hues suggest they haven’t had adequate rest or recovery from previous activities. A dark hue indicates they could lead the pack when racing begins.
After each race, a judge evaluates its outcome to detect any breaches of rules. If they detect an offense, a signal will appear on the toteboard to alert others of its presence, and potentially result in changing of order of finish.
A jockey wears silks that may either be provided by the track or specifically tailored to his horse owner. Black is the preferred hue as it stands out easily among other colors, making black an obvious and instantly identifiable choice. A hotwalker hand walks horses either after training sessions have concluded or simply for light exercise purposes; hotwalkers usually hand walk them for cooling purposes after workouts are complete, stretching their legs with light exercise sessions or as a cooldown exercise after hard rides are finished. Finally, shadow rolls – typically made out of sheep wool rolls placed half way up horse’s faces to prevent reflections from seeing its reflection and potential collision with their shadow.