Thursday, 24 January 2013

Horse Racing

Today's post is going to be on horse racing! This is a topic I have not covered much on The Horse Talker but there are lots of things to talk about!

A big factor in the racing industry is the betting that takes place on the horses. This may be what gives the sport so much money and increases the following of horse racing dramatically. An example of how horse betting can work can be seen when looking at the Cheltenham Festival horse racing odds which is on quite soon. Horses will be given odds depending on how good they are, for example, currently Puffin Billy is 6/1 to win any horse. This would mean that if you put a £1 bet on the horse and it won you would get your £1 back and then £6 extra. 

When I went to the races with a group of people we just put small bets on of around £5 in pairs and then split any money we won. This was really fun and even though we were picking horses based on their names we won quite a bit!

The Horses
In the past I have written a short post on the history of Thoroughbreds. The Thoroughbred world is often seen as very different to the rest of the horse industry and can be very interesting to look into.

Jargon Busting
  • Claimer- An apprentice flat race jockey.
  • Clerk of the course- The person responsible for the overall management of a racecourse during raceday.
  • Conditional Jockey- A National Hunt jockey who is under 26 and receives a weight allowance for inexperience until he has ridden a certain number of winners.
  • Draw- The position in the starting stalls in a flat race. 
  • Drifter- A horse whose betting odds have lengthened.
  • Furlong- The unit of distance in a horse race. One-eighth of a mile or 201 metres.
  • Going Report- The condition of the racecourse ground. The turf is classed as Hard, Firm, Good To Firm, Good, Good To Soft, Soft, Heavy. 
  • Hacked Up- When a horse wins easily.
  • Handicap- A handicap race in which the the weight each horse has to carry is individually allotted according to it's past performance to make the chances of all horses in the race more equal. 
  • Juvenile- A two year old Flat horse or a three year old National Hunt horse.
  • National Hunt- Racing over fences and hurdles AKA jump racing.
  • Novice- A horse which has not won more than two races.
  • Nursery- A handicap race for two year old horses.  
  • Penalty- Additional weight carried by a horse on account of previous wins. In a handicap, penalties are added to the allotted weight of a horse if it has won since the weights for the race were published.
  • Steeplechase A horse race over fences, open ditches and water jumps.
  • Weights- Lead strips placed in a weight cloth bring the jockey up to the handicap weight of the race.
I have been to watch the races once at Haydock and I really enjoyed it. I think it can be a really enjoyable sport if the rules are correctly followed. I have also just realised I don't think I wrote a post on that trip so I will have to do that soon with the photos I took.


Have any of you been to watch the races and what did you think? I would love to go back again soon!

Love Laura


Leeshy-Lou said...

I went to the races for the first time last weekend. I had SO much fun. I picked horses judged on their conformation... and ended up picking the winners on 6/8 races! Too bad I didn't bet :(

Valerie Ormond said...

Hi Laura,
Love the races! So much, in fact, that my husband and I became half-owners of a beautiful American Thoroughbred. Too bad I can't post a picture. :) Learning what happens on the backstretch makes us enjoy the sport even more. Hard working people and tremendous horse athletes. Thanks for the article.

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